The Portland Timbers have been going quietly about their business in Case Grande, Arizona, with twice a day training sessions the main feature of their fifth week of the MLS preseason. Thirty players are in Timbers camp, including midfielder Roberto Merino Ramirez, a trialist who joined up with the team last week in Arizona. Also included in that number are forwards Jorge Perlaza and Brian Umony, who rejoined the team after training with them in California. The Timbers also put pen to paper with two players this week, signing two Portland U-23 players, midfielder Freddie Braun and goalkeeper Jake Gleeson.
On Wednesday, the Timbers face the Montreal Impact, currently in the North American Soccer League but set to join MLS in 2012. Thursday and Friday it's back to training, and then on Saturday Portland goes up against Sporting Kansas City before traveling back to Oregon.
On Saturday, February 19, Portland played the Houston Dynamo in a match that must've made them wish they were back home, despite the threat of snow. Sand swirled and wind gusted around the players before the game was finally called off in the 80th minute, the score at 0-0.