Day two of Timbers training was very similar to opening day with long team talks, periods of warm-ups and stretching and a multitude of possession and passing games. A half-hour of small-sided games completed the day's events.
Norberto Paparatto made his Jeld-Wen Field debut and Maximiliano Urruti joined him from Argentina after missing Saturday's initial workout. As with everyone, those two were knocking off some rust at certain points but looked great at other times. It is training camp, after all.
Caleb Porter spent some time watching draft picks and Bryan Gallego working under Sean McAuley in the south end of the stadium. The more senior players went inside for a gym session while Porter took a good look at the likes of George Fochive, Schillo Tshuma and others. Fochive joined regulars Jack Jewsbury, Jorge Villafana, Kalif Alhassan, Pa Kah and Frederic Piquionne in small-sided games earlier in the session while most of the rest of the youngsters were lumped into one team. Fochive played reasonably well and seemed to be mostly defensively inclined.
The Timbers have already assigned Tshuma a number (12) so clearly he's already part of the team. Not that it's particularly surprising, given his Generation adidas status. Porter spoke highly of the Maryland product in post-training comments to the gathered media, and said Tshuma could very well earn first team minutes, if injuries to other wide area players warrant it.
Porter was also asked if he would be bringing in a new assistant coach to replace Amos Magee. He said he felt comfortable in promoting Cameron Knowles to take over some of Magee's former tasks, as well as promoting player relations manager Pablo Moreira to some of Knowles' old tasks. Moreira will continue with his current title, though, as well as being the club's video analyst.
Both Futty Danso and Piquionne spoke after practice and both sounded happy to be back, looking forward to working in new players, developing competition and not having to go through all of the little things that were required last offseason.
Injuries and Absences
Diego Valeri, Steve Zakuani, Rodney Wallace, Steven Evans, Mikael Silvestre
No word on why Evans wasn't on the field today. Wallace did not make an appearance, though presumably he was inside with the trainers, rehabbing. Both Valeri and Zakuani watched the small-sided games at the end of training but were inside for the first three-quarters of the day. Porter spoke in detail about why Zakuani is not yet ready:
"[Zakuani's] leg is completely healed, 100%. He tore his abductor and he had to have surgery for that. That's healed as well. But then coming back through that, he started having, on the other leg, a little bit of a sports hernia soreness type feeling. They went in and he basically had some scar tissue around a nerve and they cleaned that up and everything looks good. He's just now coming back from that. The other thing is we're just trying to get him biomechanically sorted. Through the leg and through the abductor, as you can imagine, he's developed some imbalances and weaknesses. It's very correctable and he'll be fine. When he's in? We don't know yet. But nothing to be alarmed about or worried about. The big issue people thought was the leg, and that's healed. So we've just got to get him right, get him strong and completely healthy and flying."
He also gave a more general description of when to expect either Zakuani or Valeri to be ready to play:
"I think a guy like Shillo will get some minutes because we have Zakuani out and Valeri out. We'll see when these guys come back. We're not going to rush them, we've got six weeks and we'd like to get them to start the season. We're in no rush and I think they're going to take a few weeks."
Silvestre was not present again, though today Porter addressed his absence with a pretty short, clear answer:
"We're in the process of coming to a resolution with his situation. So we should have information here probably in the next couple of days. Obviously, as you see, he's not out here. So, we're sorting out that situation as we speak."