Timbers fans saw a lot of sights many thought they might never see on Monday night. John Spencer played something other than a 4-4-2 to start the match, Jack Jewsbury got into a shoving match with a San Jose player who thought he could get away with something, and Kalif Alhassan scored a goal in a two-tone Timbers kit.
But the fans also saw a lot of things they've seen many times before. They watched team start strong out of the gate, only to slowly trail off afterward. They scored a goal immediately after a set-piece. They had a difficult time playing the ball out of the backfield and linking up with the attackers. And as usual Troy Perkins bailed out his teammates with five saves, at least a couple of which he should never have had to make.
Do not despair, though; let us not forget that the squad on the field Monday was missing a number of key pieces. Eric Brunner, Futty Danso and Rodney Wallace were all absent, requiring Spenny to trot out a back line featuring three young newcomers. Kris Boyd and Franck Songo'o also missed the match, two players fans hope will transform the team and take it to new heights.
But enough about the fellas who weren't there -- we're here to talk about the guys who did play. Player ratings -- preseason ratings with plenty of room for growth -- after the jump.
Troy Perkins: 7
As mentioned above, Perkins came through in a big way once again. Two of his saves could easily have been save of the week winners if only mlssoccer.com put as much energy into the preseason as the Timbers Army do.
I actually thought he had a decent match, aside from his own goal. He held his own on the back line, and, thrust into a leadership role he had been unaccustomed to prior to Monday, he responded well. But the own goal, yeah, too bad.
I have been excited about how much confidence Andrew Jean-Baptiste has shown so far, but looked very much like a rookie last night. Which of course is totally fine. He showed some quality at times, but he needs some more time to get comfortable.
Mike Chabala: 2
So far this preseason Chabala has looked nothing like the player who last year rescued the LB position, and that goes far beyond his new hair style. He looks slower, and his tentative touches on the ball have repeatedly led to near disaster.
Ryan Kawulok: 5
Anybody else notice that Kawulok has a kit with a number and his name? I have to assume that means we'll hear an announcement on his signing soon. He had a couple of lapses, but he got forward well and contributed to the attack, and overall I thought he was one of the better defenders on the night.
Kalif Alhassan: 6
Yeah, he had the goal, one of his trademark curlers to the far post from just outside the penalty area, and he created a lot of offensive chances in the first half, but man, he hit the wall hard late in the second half.
Jack Jewsbury: 5
Gave a couple of deserving San Jose players a piece of his mind in the first half and pounded a hard shot at Jon Busch in the second, but when he was relied upon as the attacking midfielder his performance fell short of what was required.
We've seen better from you, James. Tentative on the ball, it looked like his nerves were getting to him a little bit. Here's hoping he gets his mojo back next time.
Eric Alexander: 4
Speaking of having seen better play from a guy ... apart from a couple of moments of strength in holding possession, he was a non-entity for much of his time on the pitch and was the first starter to be replaced.
Diego Chara: 5
Chara was another player who played two entirely different halves. In the first he was electric at times, serving Perlaza with perfectly placed through balls past the defense; in the second he looked rather useless at times, as the San Jose attack had their way with the Timbers left side.
More great runs forward on the aforementioned service from Chara gave the Quake defense fits, but he was never able to put anything on the end of his possessions.
Nagbe put on a show of his skill and quieted critics who complain that he's taken off the ball too easily, but dang if he didn't take that extra touch in front of goal.
Bright Dike: 5
Dike moved very well off the ball, and the coordination between the midfield and the strikers seemed to improve when he entered the match. And I don't know how he got to that header, even if he didn't get much on it. He could still use some improvement with his footwork.
Lovel Palmer: 5
Palmer gets a lot of credit for shoring up the back line in the late stages of the match and for covering for the very tuckered out Kalif Alhassan on the right side of the field.
Does anybody deserve less credit than I gave? More?