PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers' inaugural season in MLS passed another important milestone on Monday when the team held its first practice.
It was little more than a conditioning session, but its conclusion was met by a swarm of media at the Adidas America campus here in the Rose City. The team will train together daily at the Adidas facility this week.
For Ryan Pore, who played for the second-division Timbers last year and was one of the MLS franchise’s first signings, the day was greeted with excitement.
“There’s been a lot of anticipation for this day,” said Pore, who stayed in Portland over the past few months and soaked up every new announcement. “To have it finally here is exciting. It’s kind of a dream come true.”
Pore is one of a handful of last year’s Timbers under contract. He has paid close attention to the transition underway between what the Timbers were and what they are about to become.
[inline_node:327084]“We all knew Portland would be a great place for an MLS team,” Pore said. “I was fortunate to be one of the first signings and it’s been important for me to keep up on what moves we’re making. I’ve been going with the flow.”
Pore stopped by a viewing party on the morning of the MLS SuperDraft to hang out and watch the first round with bloggers and fans.
On Monday, more former Timbers resurfaced as trialists who are competing for remaining roster spots. Tony McManus, Josh Cameron, Steve Purdy, Adin Brown, Doug DeMartin, Quavas Kirk and Freddie Braun are all in camp to try and earn a spot.
The Timbers have 21 players under contract but anticipate more announcements of new player signings this week.
One new face in the city that drew a crowd of television cameras and microphones was No. 2 overall draft pick Darlington Nagbe. The former Akron University star and Hermann Award winner addressed the youth of the players and the chemistry experiment now in progress.
“There are a lot of young guys on the team that have the same mind set,” Nagbe said. “Everyone wants to come in a try their hardest to contribute. We want to show Portland that we’re not an expansion team. We can play.”
Tuesday’s and Thursday’s practices are closed to media. On Wednesday and Friday, the cameras and microphones will return to chart the team’s progress.