Preseason Notebook: Week 2 wraps up
VENTURA, Calif.— With their eighth training session in the past six days, the Portland Timbers wrapped up Week 2 of preseason under sunny skies in Southern California. Sunday’s training session continued several themes from the past week, with a focus on fitness.
After an extended warm-up, Sunday’s agenda consisted of passing and ball work followed by a series of stations. During station work, players rotated through fitness exercises and small-sided games. Midway through the session, an ocean breeze swept over the training field and cooled off the warmest training session so far during the team’s camp in Ventura; it was 72 degrees at the conclusion of training.
"Training this week went well,” said Timbers head coach John Spencer. “We've been working hard. I think the guys have enjoyed it. I think it's good to get away and try to isolate yourselves a little bit and get down to the nasty side of the game, which is running and all of the hard work. They've had some enjoyable moments too, so I think this week went well and the guys have enjoyed it."
Notes from Week 2:
· The Timbers played their first preseason match of 2011 this past week, facing hometown side the Ventura County Fusion. Midfielder/forward Darlington Nagbe scored the club’s goal in the 1-1 draw.
· Saturday’s training session ended with a team-wide, penalty-kick competition. Each player – even goalkeepers – took their attempt from the spot.
· With two-a-day training sessions most of the week, players and coaches had the afternoons off over the weekend and spent time checking out the beach and city of Ventura.
· On Sunday afternoon, the team gathered at a local restaurant to watch the Super Bowl.
· Forward Bright Dike, who injured his right Achilles tendon in Friday’s exhibition, returned to Portland on Sunday. He will be further evaluated by team doctors Monday.
A birthday away from home: Defender Steve Purdy celebrated his 26th birthday Saturday. From San Jose, Calif., Purdy was able to celebrate with his family and friends while the team was in his home state.
“This year, I was really lucky that we were in California and my family was able to come down; it is a four-hour drive down,” said Purdy. “They came and saw the game on Friday and the next day was my birthday, so I was able to spend the whole day with them. Since I’ve been a pro, I’ve always been in training camp so it’s always been the same thing – usually out of the country – so this time around, it was actually just perfect.”