Coventry City gets in workout

English club tunes up for Saturday's match vs. Portland Timbers
by: David Plechl, Matt Heath (center) and his fellow Coventry City players practice at Tualitin Hills Recreation Center Friday. The English team takes on the Portland Timbers at PGE Park Saturday.

Coventry City, which plays in the second tier of English soccer, had its first workout on American soil Friday morning.

The Sky Blues, who will play the Portland Timbers at 7 p.m. Saturday, went through their paces in Tualatin in the first of three scheduled practices. The third workout will be Saturday morning at PGE Park. The team arrived from England late Thursday night and is using the sessions to stretch its legs and attempt to get a feel for PGE Park's artificial turf.

This is the start of the preseason for Coventry. The club, which finished eighth in the Coca-Cola Championship League last season, will play one other game in the United States before returning home. That match is Tuesday night in Provo, Utah, against Brigham Young University. The BYU squad is 9-3-1 and leading the Northwest Division of the Premier Development League this summer. BYU is expecting a sellout crowd of 3,100.

The Timbers drew 15,376 for their 0-0 tie with English club Sunderland last July 23.

Portland is 5-6-5 in United Soccer Leagues First Division play this season.

Coventry has signed some new players this summer, notably Colin Cameron, a 33-year-old midfielder and Scottish international who comes from the Wolverhampton Wanderers. He scored 23 goals in five seasons with Wolverhampton.