Portland Timbers forced to practice indoors due to hazardous air quality


While the Timbers will not be playing in Portland until next week, the hazardous air quality has still impacted them. 

With Portland having the worst air pollution in the world Tuesday, the Timbers had moved practice indoors rather than their usual outdoor training facility.

"I think everyone on the team sees the difference [in the air quality,]" Diego Chara told reporters Tuesday afternoon. "When we try to breathe it's a little bit hard."

The largest difference between training outdoors and indoors is the surface. The Timbers underwent their training session on turf rather than on grass. Both of the team's next two games will be against San Jose on grass. 

"I think the first difference is the surface because we have to train on turf. We weren't able to play on our grass field in the training facility," added Chara. 

The differences didn't end there. The turf field indoors is much smaller than the field space the team normally has. 

"It is very different when you have to go outside your facility where you have everything, especially field size," explained head coach Giovanni Savarese. "In which you can train and do the things you need to do."

It has gotten better, however. Savarese explained that at first, the Timbers trained in a smaller facility but the one where Monday and Tuesday's practices took place gave them more space, but it's not ideal.

"The spaces are still small so there are challenges sometimes," added Savarese.


Savarese will not use the lack of grass field space as an excuse. 

"We need to make sure that we are dealing with any situation, adapt to it, and find the solutions. We will not find excuses in these moments.

"The guys have been great mentality wise to make sure that we do everything that we need to do and utilize the time that we have in this facility to take the best that we can in order to prepare as best as we can."

The Portland Timbers will face the San Jose Earthquakes Wednesday evening at 6:30 p.m. PT.