Timbers conclude Week 4 of preseason

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers reached the end of Week 4 of preseason training camp at PGE Park Friday. An action-packed week concluded with a shortened training session under wet conditions at the stadium.
Week 4 was highlighted by the arrival of defender Justin Thompson at training. Thompson joined the team over the weekend and played limited minutes in the preseason match against Gonzaga University on March 30. Thompson has been training with the team since Monday.
“Physically, it was a tough week for me,” said Thompson. “To help catch with the rest of the group I did double training sessions with other guys on the team this week. It was a good week overall, and I don’t think I’m as far behind in fitness as I thought. With two weeks left in preseason, the team is coming together nicely. Most of the guys are in town and things are falling into place. Best of all, no one is carrying any injuries.”
With Thompson returning for a second season, the Timbers have three of the four starting defenders from the 2007 season that helped Portland lead the USL First Division in shutouts (15) and fewest goals allowed (18).
As the Timbers prepare for the upcoming 2008 USL First Division season, second-year head coach Gavin Wilkinson had 16 signed players in camp this week along three remaining trialists. The only signed player missing from training camp is midfielder Arsene Oka. Signed March 7, Oka is expected to arrive in Portland in the next 7-10 days from the Ivory Coast.
Lights, Camera, Action: On Wednesday, the Timbers held photo day at PGE Park. Aided by the early spring sun, players had their mug shots taken for the 2008 editions of the program, Timbers Review, and the media guide. Feature shots were also taken of new forward Chris Brown for one of the program’s three features. Both the team’s media guide and the first issue of Timbers Review will be available on the Timbers season opener April 17 at PGE Park.
Upcoming Schedule: Portland will play a pair of small scrimmages over the weekend to round out Week 4. The fifth week of training camp begins Monday, April 7 at pge park and also includes a preseason match against the University of Portland Pilots on April 11 at the Clive Charles Soccer Complex at 7 p.m.