As we all know by now Kris Boyd is the newest addition to the Portland Timbers Roster. He makes his way to the Timbers through a free transfer after terminating his contract with Turkish side Eskisehirspor because they had not paid him since his transfer to the club.
Before his short Time in Turkey he spent one season in England with two Championship teams, Nottingham Forest (John Spencer's Brother-in-Law's team) and Middlesbrough where he really failed to impress after the manager who brought him in was fired. Where Boyd really came onto the scene was in Glasgow in the Scottish Premier League playing for Rangers where he scored 101 goals in league competition. Kris not only scored goals at Ibrox he also scored 63 goals in league at middle of the table Kilmarnock. Killie is where he signed his first contract and started making ripples.
*Side Note: He is the only player in SPL history to be the leading scorer on two clubs in the same season as he was signed away from Killie mid season where he had 15 and scored 17 for Rangers.
With his travelogue out of the way let's focus on Kris as a player.
I found the stats here.
|CLUB||FROM||TO||FEE||LEAGUE||FA CUP||LGE CUP||OTHER|
|Eskisehirspor||04 Jul, 11||Signed||No appearance data available|
|Nottm Forest||08 Mar, 11||31 May, 11||Loan||7 (3)||6||0 (0)||0||0 (0)||0||1 (1)||0|
|Middlesbro||05 Jul, 10||04 Jul, 11||Free||18 (9)||6||1 (0)||0||0 (1)||0||0 (0)||0|
|Rangers||01 Jan, 06||05 Jul, 10||Signed||118 (25)||101||14 (6)||15||9 (2)||9||10 (6)||2|
|Kilmarnock||01 Aug, 00||01 Jan, 06||106 (47)||63||4 (4)||2||5 (1)||2||1 (0)||0|
|Totals||£0||249 (84)||176||19 (10)||17||14 (4)||11||12 (7)||2|
|Goals per Game||0.52||0.58||n/a||0.10|
Looking at the stats you can see Kris Boyd is the SPL's leading scorer with 164 goals which he accomplished between 2001 and 2010. Even after he left rangers he scored at a rate of .48 goals per game. Even if he kept that lower rate up he would score 16 goals this year. In reality Boyd will only need to score somewhere around 12 if others on the team, by others I really only mean the wing players, step it up and score more often. Looking at the stats is impressive and all but it really does not give you a sense of what kind of player he is.
For that we want to take a look at the types of goals he scores.
The biggest knock on Kris Boyd is he is not a Lionel Messi, nor is he a Wayne Rooney like striker who takes on a player and creates enough space to shoot and subsequently score. The perceived knock is that a lot of his goals come from Penalties or free kicks because he was the man to always step up to the spot for Rangers. However I found this montageof Boyd's goals for Rangers, it is missing his last season at Ibrox, which has 102 of his goals. Out of those 102 20 are from the penalty spot and only three are free kicks he took which would mean 22% of his goals come from set-pieces he takes.
For some other highlights check here, here for an amazing one and here for how he moves to get into a position to score. All of the goals I have seen have Kris standing either in the 18 yard box or near it, which is something Spencer and Gavin both stated they want out of their #9 striker.
Kris Boyd vs Kenny Cooper
The signing of Kris Boyd has the exact same feel as the Kenny Cooper signing. Remember that feeling? Portland signed soccer player who scored a ton in previous seasons, moved on to greener pastures but failed to recreate his prolific scoring rate. Now he comes to new team in hopes he can be the same prolific striker he once was.
For all the parallels the signings of Boyd and Cooper have they are two players who have similarities but a few huge differences. Cooper tended to drift wide as the target forward, especially at the beginning of the year where he was found being guarded by 2-3 defenders, one of them the sideline, and was easily dispossessed. Boyd on the other hand seems "lazy" and really only wants to sit in front of the goal and at the very least in the penalty area.
Cooper is a like a Thoroughbred while Boyd is a Carrion Bird. One runs around all day but usually in a circle while the other one sits and waits for any food to show up and when it does he makes it count. In the end Boyd is more of what Spencer wants in a striker but has less of the work rate Spencer wants. It will be interesting to see if the goals counter some of the lack of defending and other small stuff Cooper brought to the table.
Boyd has had some moments, well lets call them Rafa moments. When Rangers Captain Barry Ferguson was demoted and left off the team by then Manager Paul Le Guen, Boyd showed his support by scoring a goal and then holding up six fingers for Ferguson (Ferguson wore the number 6). See an article of the moment here.
The next Rafa moment came in 2008 when he felt slighted by then Scotland Manager George Burnley. Burnley elected to sub in a younger player, Chris Iwelumo, instead of Boyd. However after the game when asked why he went with Iwelumo instead of Boyd, Burnley had this to say:
"Kris has got to establish himself in the Rangers team, which he hasn't done," said Burley. "Chris (Iwelumo) came on because he's been playing regularly and has scored eight goals in six games for Wolves. You're always looking for players to prove themselves, and Boyd is not any different from anyone else in the squad."
Boyd's reaction was to say this to the Media:
"I left a message on George Burley's phone last night and he hasn't got back to me," said the 25-year-old Boyd.
"I will not be playing for George Burley again, but I hope to be back in a Scotland jersey again one day."
You can read more of the exchange here.
One other Rafa moment I found was this one. You can debate whether or not it was intentional.
However these are the only three instances I have found concerning a lack of "character" and really all three of them might not be as bad as this.
Kris Boyd is a welcome addition in the fact that he is a proven goal scorer every where he has gone. Of course you won't be scoring goals with a team that doesn't pay you nor do you want to. Not only does he score but he scores consistently and this is something Portland needs if it is not have the doldrums it had all through the middle of last season. He reminds me a lot of Chris Wondolowski, who Spencer coached on the Houston Reserves. Wondo really doesn't create his own shot but seems to just end up in the right place at the right time and scores if properly fed.
However all of this talk about Boyd scoring really depends on how more improved the Timbers Midfield is compared to last season. If they can continually spring Jorge Perlaza or another speedy Forward this would set up Boyd to score. Or if they could hit the crosses they were not hitting last year this too will ensure Boyd scores.
So if Boyd has the success we all think he can have it will be because not only is he an upgrade but the midfield played better.
Check out some of the other analysis on the Kris Boyd Signing: Such as Slide Rule Pass, our own commenters, including a well thought out one from Dan Brunell, in the announcement thread. Geoffery Arnold nabbed the comments from the FO and Coach Spenny.