Preseason notes: Timbers prepare for first test Saturday

Preseason Camp Notes – Day 4: March 4, 2010

PORTLAND, Ore. – Moving through the first week of preseason training, the Portland Timbers held a morning training session on Day 4 of camp Thursday. Nearly completed with Week 1, the coaches and players have seemed to settle into the preseason routine.
Thursday’s training session was highlighted by a series of competitive small-sided games, pitting five- and six-man teams against one another in various competitions. Still the first week of training camp, fitness also remained a focus of the Timbers coaching staff.
Waiting for the Timbers at the end of Week 1 is the team’s first test of the preseason – a training match against Oregon State University. The match will be the first competitive game of the Timbers’ preseason schedule, allowing coaches to see firsthand some of the team’s new additions in action and to establish chemistry on the field.

“It will be important to focus on the way we play Saturday,” said goalkeeper Steve Cronin. “The way we defend, the way we attack and the various games within the game. The score line isn’t as important as staying focused on moving forward with the way we want to play.”
In advance of the team’s training match on Saturday, the Timbers will conduct their final training session of Week 1 Friday on the Nike campus in Beaverton, Ore. Players and coaches will have Sunday off before starting Week 2 on Monday, March 8.
A friendly foe: On Saturday, midfielder Josh Cameron will face his alma mater in the Timbers training match against OSU. Not far removed from his days as member of the Beavers men’s soccer team, Cameron looks forward to facing his former teammates.
“It will be good seeing those guys again,” said Cameron. “I played with many of the guys still on the team, except for the recent freshman. We’ve talked a little trash, but it’s been all in good fun. It will be fun to head back there.”
Even Keel: Expected to arrive in Portland on Friday, defender Stephen Keel is the next signed player scheduled to report for training camp. He has been training with Major League Soccer’s Colorado Rapids during the offseason. With Keel, the Timbers will have 18 players in camp – 17 signed and one trialist.
After Keel, midfielder Johan Claesson and new goalkeeper Adin Brown are the next players scheduled to arrive in the Rose City, and will be in camp within the next few weeks. 

On the air: For those who can’t make it to the Timbers preseason match in Seattle, Wash., against Major League Soccer’s Sounders FC on Thursday, March 11, the game will be broadcast live on Freedom 970 AM – sister station to 95.5 The Game. Kickoff against Sounders FC is set for 6 p.m.