mls timbers

Timbers, MLS begin road back to business

Individual workouts are active at training facilities
Staff Report

The MLS season is still on hold with no return date in sight, but players were given the go-ahead by league officials to start working out on company land and they did Thursday.

With their training facility separated into zones, several Portland Timbers started workouts to return to game-day condition, and they were more than happy to get that return nod.

“It felt almost therapeutic to be back out there on the field ...,” Timbers forward Jeremy Ebobisse said, speaking to the media from his home via a Zoom video conference. "To get out there and see some of the other faces, as well, even if it’s from a distance. The bond felt closer today.”

“[T]o be in such safe conditions was really, really important to my mental health."

Players took rotating shifts on the Timbers’ field, with the pitch divided into personalized quadrants to endure social distancing. For sanitation purposes, players were responsible for maintaining their own equipment and gear, with daily wellness quizzes as well as temperature checks ensuring anyone exhibiting symptoms of the novel coronavirus did not have access to the grounds.

“We have been waiting for a long time to be able to come back to the facility, to be able to train,” Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese said. “One thing that we definitely miss is having the players here, training in our field – being here, around, doing our job.”

“It’s amazing to be here …,” captain Diego Valeri said. “Obviously, it’s nice to start working out again on a field, with different kinds of spaces, even with social distances, watching our teammates training, too.”

Portland split its first two matches - both played at Providence Park, when the season was put on indefinite hold due to the COVID-19 outbreak.


Timbers energize the Rose City

It's a 3-2 loss to LAFC, but Portland shows off to the world
Staff report

After three months and 12 games on the road, the Portland Timbers finally played in front of home fans and didn't disappoint other than on the scoreboard.

With mid-season signee Brian Ferenandez scoring his fourth goal of the season, the Timbers pushed Los Angeles FC all the way to a sideline rumble during second-half added time before dropping a 3-2 decision before 25,218 fans at remodeled Providence Park.

Fernandez scored on a bicycle kick in the 84th minute in front of the Timbers Army as the team rallied from a two-goal deficit for the second time. Cristhian Paredes scored Portland's first goal in the first minute of the second half to cut a 2-0 deficit in half. LA then scored in minute 54 to advance to 3-1.

Carlos Vela opened the scoring in the sixth minute, taking an errant pass from Timbers goalkeeper Jeff Attinella and firing it past him for his league-leading 16th goal of the season. LA added a goal by Diego Rossi in the 34th minute.

The match was the second victory for LAFC between the teams, although the first one finished off 4-1 in March in LA. With Fernandez leading the effort, the Timbers appeared as a different team, especially playing from behind.

Portland has 11 days off before its next contest at Seattle in the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup. The Timbers play at home again June 22 against Houston.


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