The Portland Timbers trained at the team's Beaverton practice facility today, following Monday's regular recovery session. With the Timbers ramping up for a road visit to Real Salt Lake this weekend, today was all about sharpness, according to Caleb Porter's instructions to the team on the pitch.
The session started out with a series of passing drills, followed by four on four plus two possession drills, then seven on seven scrimmages with keepers, and finally a gym session to wrap things up.
Injuries and Absences
Keeper Andrew Weber was not in training today and was spotted leaving the facility at the start of training. While Timbers fans are collectively scarred by the circumstances of Troy Perkin's trade, that seems unlikely to be the case here, with the window for trades having closed last Thursday.
Liam Ridgewell and Fanendo Adi were both on the sidelines working with fitness coach Nick Milonas, separate from the rest of the team. Although Ridgewell took a bit of a knock during Friday's match against the Chicago Fire,ultimately staying in the match, neither he nor Adi looked like they would not be available for this weekend. Expect further updates on the pair when Caleb Porter is available to the press later this week.
Ben Zemanski continued the process of rehabbing his repaired ACL, continuing to work on the sidelines of practice and over on the team's turf secondary pitch under the supervision of one of the team's trainers.
New arrival Micahel Seaton was not in training today after playing with the Portland Timbers 2 over the weekend. Seaton has reportedly been called up to the Jamaica U-23s for the upcoming Olympic Qualifiers.
Seven on Seven
As always, there were several highlights from the Timbers' short field scrimmages.
Both keepers, Jake Gleeson and Adam Kwarasey, came up big for their teams in one on one situations. Early on in training, Rodney Wallace was played in one on one with Gleeson, but the big New Zealander was able to make the save as he slid and got a hand to the ball just as Wallace got his shot off. Later in the series of short matches, Maximiliano Urruti found himself one on one with Kwarasey and it was the Timbers' first choice keeper that came up on top, making a sliding kick save to stop the shot.
Not every save was a one on one chance, however, and Kwarasey had several opportunities to make classic diving saves, including one on a curled shot that looked like it would nestle just inside the upper ninety of the net were it not for an impressive leap and some physics defying hang-time from Kwarasey to palm the ball away and out of bounds.
The new boy, Lucas Melano, showed off some of his finishing chops today as he continued getting acclimated to the Portland attack. Playing as the striker in his seven-man side, Melano drifted out to the right before cutting back in and receiving the ball in front of goal. He shaped up to rip a shot at the far post before artfully placing a precise shot just inside the near post that appeared to Gleeson off balance and unable to get to the ball.
Darlington Nagbe also got in on the scoring action, picking up a ball out wide on the left and cutting inside to lash a strong shot ringing off the inside of the far post and into the goal.
Finally, the highlight of the day was not a goal but an assist. With his orange team ahead, Norberto Paparatto picked out Taylor Peay and Rodney Wallace both pushed up the right flank and sent a chipped ball up the pitch. Peay, with Wallace in an advanced position head of him and defenders closing him down, chested the ball up and over his own head where it fell to Wallace who was free and clear to smash a close-range shot on goal that Kwarasey had no chance of saving.