Timbers Preseason Notebook: Day 3 in California

Team practices in 11v11, prepares for the Fusion

Peter Lowry - Ventura 2.3.11

Photo Credit: 
Photo by Jeff Farrar

Day three in Ventura brought the first full field 11v11 intra-squad scrimmages for the Timbers as they began to open things up a bit. John Spencer and the coaching staff split the squad into two groups and played 20 minute games trying out different formations. One group played in a 4-4-2 and the other team played in a 4-3-3.

In the breaks between the matches, Spencer spoke to the players about more what he was looking for and heard feedback from the players as well.

“It was a good session,” said Spencer.

Clearly a push is being placed on developing and assessing qualities within the players but also with a focus on deepening a greater overall team fitness.

The emphasis on fitness is being carried over into the preparations and thinking behind Friday’s game against the Premier Development League Ventura County Fusion. The Timbers will feature a split squad approach with two unique full lineups of eleven players each playing a half for the full 45 minutes.

“It’s obviously going to be a big game for Fusion and if we don’t approach the game in a proper manner or proper mentality, we’re going to be in for a tough night. They’re going to come to play,” said Spencer.

While the game against the Fusion is in the preseason, it’s also the first time this new collection of MLS Timbers will be taking on a team and make no mistake, the Timbers are playing to win. It’s a foundation that Spencer is laying down early.

Said Spencer, “We’ve got to go out and go from Day 1, the first game we play—doesn’t matter who they put up in front of us, what our position is, what level we’re at—we’re going to try and win the game.”

-Colombian forward Jorge Perlaza trained with the team today. For a full updated list of players in camp, visit the roster page.
-Players had the afternoon off before tomorrow morning’s walkthrough followed by the evening game against the Fusion.
-In-game updates for the Timbers v. Fusion match will be available at www.twitter.com/TimbersFC and www.facebook.com/portlandtimbers.