The Portland Timbers spent today's training session running a full-field eleven on eleven scrimmage, having brought in a handful of players from T2 to fill in the gaps left by the team's six national team call ups. The scrimmage went for two 35 minute halves and ended in a 1-1 draw between the green and grey teams.
The Green Team:
Gleeson; Barmby, Valentin, Borchers, Klute; Zemanski, Jewsbury; Meva*, Duarte*, Unknown*; Seaton
The Grey Team:
McIntosh*; Richards*, Morley*, Palacios*, Langsdorf**; Valeri, Chara, Grabavoy; Melano, McInerney, Asprilla
*T2 Player; **Academy Player
With the Timbers' remaining first team defenders facing off against their remaining first team attackers, the match was an even one, featuring several intriguing moments from both sides.
Jack Barmby and Chris Klute were definitely the players to keep an eye on for the match as both are possibilities to take over the Timbers' left back role from Zarek Valentin in the side's upcoming match against Orlando City SC. Barmby got the start at left back, while Klute switched into the position for the second 35', giving both players a chance at the spot.
While Barmby did not have much occasion to show off his defensive prowess, he certainly looked good going forward, scoring the grey team's lone goal after corralling the ball outside the box and firing off a shot from long range that clipped just inside the upper-ninety for the score. Barmby also impressed with the ball at his feet, regularly giving former Timbers academy player Foster Langsdorf fits as he pressed forward into the attack.
Klute, meanwhile, had a more circumspect game at full back, generally slowing down play and looking to hold onto the ball, rather than trying to make something happen himself.
Both full backs received praise from head coach Caleb Porter after the match. Porter told the press that both players are building up their fitness and being evaluated by the team.
Other highlights of the day's scrimmage included a vintage Diego Valeri goal as he made two hard cuts in the opposition box with the ball at his feet, creating just enough room to hit a low shot past Kendall McIntosh at keeper for the games' only other goal.
T2 striker and FC Barcelona product Alexis Meva also stood out on the day, showing off his one on one chops in the early going as he regularly beat defenders on the dribble. Meva also had the first shot of the match, collecting his own blocked cross near the top of the box and hitting a furious volley at the near post that skimmed just over the crossbar.
Injuries and Absences
Liam Ridgewell and Andrew Thoma both continued their recoveries from injury and were not on the pitch. Porter told the press that Ridgewell, who is returning from a hamstring injury, was recovering well, but that he did not want to put a timeframe on it.
A number of the Timbers' first team youngsters were not at training today as they most likely traveled with T2 for their season opener against the Swope Park Rangers. Among those not accounted for in training were Nick Besler, Neco Brett, Anthony Manning, Taylor Peay, and Ben Polk. When asked about the status of the players on hand today, Porter confirmed that the T2 players currently with the Timbers would not be traveling for tomorrow's match.