Preseason Notebook: Back Home
PORTLAND, Ore. — It has been a busy week for the Portland Timbers. With the end of the third week of preseason training camp drawing near, the Timbers conducted their first training session back in the Rose City on Friday since returning from the team’s preseason camp in Ventura, Calif. The Timbers have been away since Jan. 31.
“It’s good to be back,” said goalkeeper Adin Brown. “It has been good to cook my own meals and just relax on the couch. It was good to get back and get our legs under us and have a few nice days to relax before getting back at it.”
Over the past week, the Timbers faced their first MLS competition of the preseason, traveled up the West Coast and have continued to put in their daily training sessions. With the games, trainings and the travel, the experience in Southern California was beneficial on many levels and helped continue developing chemistry among the group.
“This is our third week together and we are still getting to know one another,” said Brown. “It’s been really good, especially in the LA game. We really came out and proved that we have a lot of character on this team. It was just our second game together and we played against one of the best teams in the league last year and we held our own. Obviously, there is a lot to work on still, but it is important that we’re all together and learning from each other each day.”
Players and coaches had the day off Thursday after traveling back into town on Wednesday. They will end the week with training on Saturday before taking Sunday off.
Cooper joins the team: After a formal introduction Thursday, forward Kenny Cooper hit the training field on Friday for the first time with the Timbers and was able to meet his new coaches and teammates.
“It feels good to get back on the field and formally meet my teammates,” Cooper said following training. “It’s nice to see some old friends and nice to meet some new faces. I was excited to get out here. I’ve been off the field for about a month, but I’ve been running and making sure that I’m coming in fit. I do feel good, but it is certainly nice to get back on the field. I’m a soccer player, so that’s where I’m happiest.”
While Cooper, like many others on the roster, is new to Portland, he does have some familiarity with his new teammates. Cooper played with goalkeeper Troy Perkins (U.S. National Team), defender Steve Purdy (FC Dallas) and forward Eddie Johnson (Manchester United) previously in his career.