The Portland Timbers held their first training session of the week this morning after Sunday's disappointing 2-0 loss to the visiting New York Red Bulls. Working at the team's Beaverton training facility, the Timbers went through a usual post-game recovery session with one notable twist: rather than starting the day with a fifteen minute or half hour meeting to go over the previous match, the Timbers stayed indoors for almost an hour.
The long meeting, Caleb Porter confirmed after practice, was the longest that he has held in his tenure as the head coach of the Timbers. Porter declined to give the specifics of what he talked to the players about or what approach he took as the team reviewed the match against the Red Bulls.
The portion of training spent out on the pitch was relatively brief, with the full team running through a series of passing drills before the starters from Sunday headed indoors to continue their recovery. The remainder of the team went through several possession drills before breaking into an eight on eight short field game with keepers, pitting a group mostly consisting of players that spent time together with T2 against the Timbers' recent bench players.
The second stringers would go on to win the series of matches with an aggregate score of 5-2, including several well-worked goals finished off by (of course) Jack Jewsbury. On the other side of the pitch, the newest Timbers, Michael Seaton, was at the heart of his team's attacking moves as well as the cause of many of their struggles. Prone to holding on to the ball for just a little too long, Seaton produced several impressive moments, but generally stalled out play for the third string, a definite no-no in a drill in which Porter stressed quick, two to three touch movement of the ball.
After practice wrapped up, Porter addressed the press and talked about his team's performance against the Red Bulls. Porter told the press that most of the issues against New York, he felt, came down to a lack of execution of the team's game plan, something he blamed on himself.
Asked about the team's effort, particularly on the first goal when New York midfielder Felipe was allowed to dribble unmolested through the Timbers' half of the field before shooting, Porter told the press that he had never seen the Timbers lack for effort, but that the organizational side of things, particularly in the midfield, was a problem for the Timbers on Sunday.
Injuries and Absences
The Timbers were all hands on deck today with everyone except Ben Zemanski on the pitch at least until Sunday's starters headed indoors.
For his part, Zemanski continued working on the sidelines with the team trainers. Zemanski went through several different exercises before doing a significant amount of running up and down the pitch to finish off his time on the pitch today.
T2 Guest Players
Danny O'Rourke and Justin Luthy both joined the first team for training today, providing the bodies needed to fill in the day's drills. Their T2 teammates, despite their season being over, trained today after the Timbers left the pitch. Several first teamer players, including Seaton, also practiced with T2, putting in a double session today.
That's all I have time for folks. Gotta get to work. -Will