Camp Report: Final prep work under way ...

Midfielder Tony McManus checks in with updates from Weeks 4 and 5 of the Timbers preseason training camp. The progress of the team and preseason match recaps are all topics of discussion in his latest Camp Report.
Tony’s latest Camp Report:
Hello Everyone, I know it has been a long time since our last encounter so here I am to update you all on the progress of the team over the last few weeks …

So since we last visited, we played two games and are preparing to play our I-5 rival on Monday. Training has been going well, bodies are starting to recover a bit better after the training sessions – which have been scaled back to once a day and an occasional two-a-day mixed in. The team is starting to learn each others habits and learning to play with one another and as a result play has improved and morale is up.

We traveled to Vancouver on Thursday night and what turned out to be a long stop at the border we arrived in Vancouver and immediately left for a short training session to loosen our legs after the long drive. After a nice training session we headed back to the hotel for dinner and a good nights sleep. We woke up in the morning and had a nice breakfast then rested up for the upcoming game. The game against Vancouver is a big game because it is a team from our own league, the defending champs, and our first true opponent of the season.
The game went well in the first half and both teams had a fair amount of good scoring opportunities. We did a good job of keeping possession and creating for each other, but once again ended another half without scoring a goal which was a bit of a disappointment. After a good halftime talk and a couple adjustments we went back out and played a little better than the first half. Possession and goal scoring opportunities were definitely in our favor through the second half, but late in the game the rhythm was interrupted and unfortunately we gave up a goal around the 75th minute. However that didn't discourage the team and we really showed some mettle and determination by fighting and scrapping our way back into the game with a great goal created by Tak Nishimura and finished off by Johan Claesson.
This was important not only because it was the first goal we scored through the preseason, but it showed that we aren't going to cave in and give up no matter what situation arises and that is the most important thing that we learned from this particular game. After the game ended we came back to Portland.

After some much needed rest we resumed training through the week in preparation for our game against OSU which was our last collegiate game of preseason and last opportunity to experiment with the lineup and formations and whatnot. We arrived in Corvallis and it was a cool evening, but the team was prepared well and came out set to get our first victory of preseason. In the end we got what we set out for. It looked as if we may end up with another scoreless draw … but dug deep and second half-sub Taka Suzuki scored a goal late in the game to make it 1-0 to end it.
This game was a positive because not every game can be pretty, but it is the result in the end that truly means something and we got the “W” so there is a lot less to be concerned and worried about and am happy that we got the result we set out for. Now all focus is on Seattle and beating them and proving that the I-5 rivalry is still in effect …
Posted by: Tony McManus