Despite what John Strong seemed to be insinuating, the Timbers did not have much success. Nerves and lack of chemistry aside the Timbers showed an extreme lack of athletic and technical ability.
The back four isn't as bad as this game may lead you to believe. I thought right back Purdy and center back, Eric Brunner, played well, at least defensively. Goldthwaite and Wallace, mostly on the left side of the field were terribly over matched and in particular, Goldthwaite had a nightmare. While Wallace didn't do much offensively (and as an offensively minded back, he should) his athleticism was enough to stave off a few attacking chances. He did not, however, work well with his partner on the left flank, Jeremy Hall, or his center back, Goldthwaite. Goldthwaite got burned twice with pace, once on a last ditch effort when he had the offensive player at a pretty favorable angle and was generally out of place. I'll give you one blatant mistake, but anymore and you're pulled (which he was), and he wasn't bringing anything else. When Horst came in, it at least provided some pace and his mistakes could be corrected because of his ability to move well, but he was still unimpressive sans for a couple of forays out of the back.
In the middle is where the biggest breakdowns occurred. The extreme lack of possession in the midfield really killed the flow. It was so bad early that the best balls were played from Adin Brown in goal to either Perlaza or Cooper up top. All three of the center midfielders were slow to the ball always turning a 50/50 into a 60/40. I am sure that Jack Jewsbury is a solid CM, but without a dynamic player along side him, he is just slow and lumbering.
Combined with our center midfield, our outside midfielders, Pore and Hall lacked the technical ability to take anyone on, or even dribble themselves out of trouble. The Timbers even had trouble making simple passes, Pore must've had his balls cut out (no pun intended) at least a half dozen times, where Hall would make a decent run, only to lose possession in a crowd.
Up top I thought Cooper and Perlaza did a solid job. Perlaza has lots of speed, and while his success was limited (going up against the speedster Marvell Wynn) he had poise on the ball, and had a good chance early in the game on a good run. Cooper is just on another level than any of the Timbers at this point. He plays hard with enthusiasm and has great ball skills, especially considering his large frame.
Overall, you can see the theme; a lack of dynamism and athleticism in the middle of the pitch. There is also a lack of technique all over the field. A few of these will be corrected when a couple players are back healthy. Both Sal Zizzo and Darlington Nagbe will provide pace and technical ability on the outside. Pore may be the odd man out as Zizzo, while he can play center mid, is deadly on the outside, and Nagbe is certain to get a look on the outside in place of Hall. I think Hall is better suited sliding in as a rangy ball winner, a Ricardo Clark-type in the middle of the field allowing Jewsbury a little more freedom. Of course, there is still the matter of the rumored DP or big CM that the timbers have been trying to sign.
I would also like to see "Futty" Danso in the center back spot next to Brunner, but he'll have to earn it over David Horst, also, getting Marcelin into the midfield as a holding center can add to the athleticism and physicality for the team. Continued use of Al Hassan as a late sub is encouraged as well, as he showed a willingness with the ball at his feet that no midfielders had shown to that point.
The Timbers should get a better idea of how the can play when the take on Toronto FC as opposed the the MLS Cup holders, next weekend. Let's hope they get some fire in their eyes.