Timbers enter fourth week of preseason training

PORTLAND, Ore. – Following a two-day break over the weekend, the Portland Timbers have begun their fourth week of preseason training camp at PGE Park. With a series of two-a-days Tuesday, the Timbers continued their preparation for the 2009 USL First Division season.
Following the team’s preseason exhibition Friday against the University of Portland, the players had a weekend off before hitting the field Monday to begin Week 4 of preseason. With their final two-a-day session of preseason Tuesday, the Timbers focused on fitness, developing a sense of patterns of play and also finishing.
“The past few weeks of training camp have been hard weeks,” said goalkeeper Steve Cronin. “We are establishing a good level of fitness and everyone is staying relatively healthy through it all.”
As with the first three weeks of preseason training camp, not only are the Timbers preparing for the start of the USL First Division season, the team is also preparing for another preseason fixture this week. On Friday afternoon, the Timbers face the Vancouver Whitecaps in an informal training game in Burnaby, B.C.
“It’s been beneficial to have each week of preseason be a game week,” said Cronin. “It has allowed us to not only prepare for the season by playing in live games, but has also allowed us to continue to develop continuity on the field. We’re continuing to build upon each game and each one helps us solve the problems we face from the opposing teams together as a unit.”
Week 4 agenda: Head coach Gavin Wilkinson will conduct a training session on Wednesday at PGE Park. The Timbers then head north Thursday morning and will train that evening in Vancouver, B.C., in advance of their scrimmage on Friday.
And then there were two: After the announcement last week regarding the additions of goalkeeper Brian Visser and midfielder Mutanda Kwesele to the organization, the Timbers now have just two trialists remaining in their preseason camp – defenders Takuro Nishimura and Mamadou Danso. Both Nishimura, who has been in training camp since early March, and Danso played in the Timbers preseason exhibition against the University of Portland.
New Alternate kits unveiled: The Timbers raised the curtain on the team’s new alternate black uniforms late last week in their preseason exhibition against the Pilots. Veteran midfielder Tom Poltl shared his thoughts on the new look.
“The black kits look sharp and certainly give us a different dimension other than our traditional green and white jerseys,” said Poltl. “I think it’s the sharpest looking alternate kit that we’ve had in the past three years.”
As in previous seasons, the Timbers will wear their black alternate uniforms for exhibition matches, special events and the occasional away match. Since 2007, the Timbers alternate uniform colors include golden yellow (2007) and “Rose City” red (2008).