Notebook: Preseason workouts underway ...

PORTLAND, Ore. – With the official start of preseason now just days away, dozens of players have already begun informal workouts at PGE Park under the guidance of head coach Gavin Wilkinson and his staff in preparation of the upcoming season.
 
Informal workouts began Monday with a two-hour training session at PGE Park, and will go through the end of the week. In total, 26 players - mostly trialists - have participated in each of the first two workout sessions. Workouts have included a series of stretches, possession drills, technical work, small-sided games and scrimmages. The first two workouts also marked the first training sessions for new assistant coach and director of soccer development, Amos Magee, with the club.
 
A handful of signed players have already reported for preseason training. On Monday, defender Scot Thompson and midfielders Tom Poltl, Kiki Lara and Josh Cameron participated in workouts. Checking in Tuesday was defender Cameron Dunn, midfielder Tony McManus and forward Jason McLaughlin. A majority of signed players are expected to report when preseason training officially opens on March 9.
 
Over the course of the week, 20 trialists will rotate through the daily workouts hoping to secure one of the final spots on the Timbers’ 2009 roster. The trialists have a variety of backgrounds – former college standouts, international players or have Major League Soccer experience.
 
Trialists invited to attend workouts this week:
Johnny Alcaraz
Brett Axelrod
Nik Besagno
Ryan Cordeiro
John Cunliffe
Aziz Dieng
Sterling Flunder
Eric Franco
Luis Galvan
Junior Garcia
Michael Gavin
Mutanda Kwesele
Daniel Leach
Wilfrid Loizeau
Tim Merritt
Thomas Ryan
Zac Scaffidi
Erasmo Solorzano
Al Valencia
Brian Visser
 
The Timbers have a quick turn around between the first day of preseason and their first preseason match; just five days separate the official start of training camp and when they face Major League Soccer’s San Jose Earthquakes on March 14 in Santa Clara, Calif.
 
Portland begins the 2009 USL First Division season April 25 on the road against the defending-champion Vancouver Whitecaps.