U-23s Notebook: Preparations for upcoming PDL campaign in full swing

Team conducts final combine over the weekend

2013 U-23s March Combine

Photo Credit: 
Portland Timbers

The Portland Timbers U-23s held their second and final tryout over the weekend at Portland’s Lincoln High School, allowing the team’s coaching staff to look at players and continue their preparations for the upcoming 2013 Premier Development League (PDL) campaign.

Over the course of the team’s two combines in March, 120 players put their talents on display for head coach Jim Rilatt and his coaching staff. While a majority of the participating players were local, many traveled to the Rose City from all over the United States. Following the combines, Rilatt, entering his fifth season as head coach, noted the anticipation of the upcoming season.

“It was very exciting to be back on the field and watch all of the players at both combines perform,” said Rilatt. “As we continue the roster building process for the season, it was good for us to watch players at the combine and try to project forward and determine how they might mix with the roster players we are targeting.”

With the season-opening match right around the corner on May 16, the team’s focus now turns to finalizing the roster and the start of preseason. The next step for the players who stood out at the Timbers U-23s combines is to be thrown into the mix with the team’s roster players.

“We will invite back some of the players from both of the combines to begin preseason training,” said Rilatt. “This is so we can look more closely at their game and help those selected to prepare to work with and against the players we have already joining us this season.”

The Timbers U-23s open the 2013 PDL season Thursday, May 16, as they play host to the Seattle Sounders FC U-23 as part of the team’s Providence Health & Fitness Days at JELD-WEN Field. Kickoff is set for 11 a.m. (Pacific).