Thanks to Roscoe Myrick of the Portland Timbros for writing up a report on Tuesday's training session for us while I am out of town for the week. You might also recognize Roscoe's name from some recent galleries on the site. Anyway, sorry to get this up a day late, but there were flight issues and I couldn't get to it. Thanks, United Airlines. -Will
It was a beautiful day in Beaverton as the Portland Timbers put in work preparing for this Saturday’s game in Philadelphia. The majority of first team players remained inside regen and yoga. Requests for official Timbers yoga poses were denied. With the absence of the first team on the pitch, a pack of hungry T2 players filled the void.
Injuries and Absences
Diego Chara and Ben Zemanski spent the entire training session working with a trainer on the sidelines. Alvas Powell is already in Los Angeles with the Jamaican national team.
This is the first we have seen of Zemanski on the training pitch since his torn ACL during preseason! -Will
Gaston Fernandez, Taylor Peay, Maximiliano Urruti, Rodney Wallace, Nat Borchers, Jeanderson, Michael Nanchoff.
Nick Besler*, Tim Payne, Danny O’Rourke, Schillo Tshuma*, Rennico Clarke, Fatawu Safiu, Andy Thoma*, Anthony Manning, Justin Luthy, Jake Gleeson*.
*First team players on loan to T2.
After some initial stretching and warmup, the Timbers broke into a 7 v. 7 possession game whereby a point was earned for every eight consecutive passes. Nat Borchers executed a hard tackle and started a thirty-eight consecutive pass sequence that lasted for one minute and ten seconds. Andy Thoma received effusive praise from Sean McAuley for his soft touch.
The Timbers then broke off into a scrimmage. The format? Two games for six minutes with a two minute break in between. The game was scored with the musical stylings of McAuley’s chants of "Press!" "Tight!" "Rodney go on son!" "Lovely!" The player getting the most praise was Fatawu Safiu who ripped some nice shots. Michael Nanchoff, George Fochive, Maximiliano Urruti, Schillo Tshuma, and Gaston Fernandez all put numbers on the scoreboard.
A Pint of Porter
Caleb Porter addressed the media after practice with clarity and transparency. He answered the right back question by stating Taylor Peay will start in Philadelphia. Porter was adamant about his trust in Peay, saying that Peay has earned his spot in the squad. When asked about the possibility of Jack Jewsbury at right back, Porter reiterated that Jack is in good form in his midfield position and naturally that’s his best position. He mentioned injuries to Diego Chara(ankle), Darlington Nagbe(shoulder) and Norberto Paparatto(calf), but only going so far as to say that with the depth in the squad, that they would be treating these injuries cautiously. Interesting note: Porter mentioned that the team doesn’t have a top eleven; the Timbers have many talented players and the freedom to rotate the squad as dictated by the situation and the opponent.
It was a light day of training for the Timbers has they recoup from their insane June stretch. The second team looked tight and competitive. Injuries to Diego Chara, Darlington Nagbe, and Norberto Paparatto, in addition to the absence of Alvas Powell, will require adjustments to the squad on Saturday against Philadelphia with an incredibly deep midfield and frontline, the Timbers should be able to weather the storm in regard to Chara and Nagbe; filling Alvas Powell’s boots might be a tougher task. Taylor Peay’s future begins now.
After training, Merritt Paulson and Gavin Wilkinson could be seen having an excited conversation full of smiles and giddy energy. I wonder what they were talking about, probably nothing. The mind wanders.