Preseason Camp Notes – Day 9:
PORTLAND, Ore.– As the Portland Timbers reach the midway point of Week 2 of preseason camp, head coach Gavin Wilkinson has focused on fitness this week at training. On Wednesday, signed Timbers players and trialists participated in a competitive training session that included fitness-based drills and possession exercises.
Earlier this week, each player in camp participated in the beep test – a drill that tests an individual’s endurance.
The Timbers currently have eight trialists participating in preseason activities.
Picking up the pace: With only two weeks of preseason training under their belts, Timbers players have already begun to draw comparisons on this season’s training camp to the preparation for the 2007 season.
“This year, the level of competition is much higher, and there is more competition at each position,” said second-year midfielder Kiki Lara. “At the same time, there are a good handful of players who already know each other and their playing styles, so it’s been easier in that sense.
“The attitude around camp is a little more comfortable than last year since we were all new. Now, we know most of the guys both on and off the field. The team chemistry on this team has been good since early on in 2007, and that hasn’t changed.
“Last week was a bit frustrating for me, but I feel good. It’s taken me a few days to get my legs under me again, adjust to the new turf and start playing at a high level after a long break. This week has been more comfortable.”
On the agenda: The Timbers wrap up the second week of preseason camp with a scrimmage on Thursday and then training through the rest of the week. Players will have the day off on Sunday before starting the third week of camp on March 24. Week 3 of the Timbers training camp features preseason games against the San Jose Earthquakes on March 28 and Gonzaga University on March 30.