Portland Timbers vs. Philadelphia Union Player Ratings: Kalif Alhassan Edition

PORTLAND, OR - MARCH 12: Kris Boyd #9 of the Portland Timbers celebrates with Kalif Alhassan #11 of the Portland Timbers after scoring a goal during the second half of the game against the Philadelphia Union at JELD-WEN Field on March 12, 2012 in Portland, Oregon. The Timbers won the game 3-1. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

There's no doubt about it. Monday night was a huge game for the the Portland Timbers players, the front office and the fans. Despite Portland throwing buckets of rain at em, the Timbers still managed an impressive 3-1 victory over the Philadelphia Union. This not only means that the Timbers are off to great start to the season, but it also gives the guys the confidence heading into FC Dallas this weekend where, need I remind you, the Timbers were thoroughly thwomped last season 4-nil in one of the Timbers' worst games of the season.

But enough about the upcoming game, allow me now to give you our own player ratings for Monday night's game. And keep in mind that these are not only opinion based, but also based squarely on the game at hand. I take nothing else into consideration other than how well they played during those 90 minutes.

Also be sure to check out our scoring guide at the bottom to help justify some of our ratings.

Starting 11:

Troy Perkins: 6

Troy Perkins didn't have a bad game. In fact, his game was largely untested on Monday night as Philly often wasn't able to muster enough of an attack to really drive it home. That said, he made a great save as well as a few daring punches to get the ball out of the box. The only thing that really held him back from a higher rating was the free kick goal which sailed in right beside him. Even if it was deflected, on a stat sheet with only two shots on target by Philly, he was batting 50%.

Love Palmer: 6

Another solid night for Palmer. He was very active on the sides and went box to box all night long. While he wasn't on any of the stat sheets he certainly held his own throughout the night.

Eric Brunner: 8

I was hesitant to believe in the Timbers backline after we found out Hanyer Mosquera wasn't going to be able to play. Not that I didn't trust Brunner, but rather I didn't know whether he could reign in an inexperienced Andrew Jean-Baptiste. After a spectacular night of defending, I can say that I won't worry about Brunner's leadership abilities anymore.

Andrew Jean-Baptiste: 7

This score could have been much lower had he not redeemed himself from his not-quite-an-own-goal. Any defender would naturally get panned in the ratings for such a thing. However, after some solid defending throughout the second half and a goal scored in the 54th minute I believe he deserved to be elevated a bit.

Rodney Wallace: 8

Wallace had an a great night, to the point where I'm actually a little surprised we didn't see him show up on the goal sheet. His crosses were more often on target than off, and his attacking prowess was definitely shifted into overdrive for the game. I love Mike Chabala's vision when he's at left back, but I definitely missed Wallace's speed and knack for goal.

Kalif Alhassan: 9

Man of the match. No doubt about it. Kalif had a brilliant goal in the 76th minute which finished off the Philadelphia Union as well as an assist on Kris Boyd's own header. When he wasn't scoring or assisting in goals he was actively tearing Philadelphia a new hole in the backline as he gave their left side serious headaches all night. This was the Kalif we needed so badly last year. A perfect score was held back simply because there were still times when he needed to pick up his head and pass instead of trying to dribble all the way through.

Jack Jewsbury: 8

If there was a "second man of the match" award, it would go to good ol' Cap'n Jack as he also had a great night. Not only was he responsible for both two of the three assists of the night, but he was everywhere on the field. A true box-to-box midfielder he dropped back to help defend when needed and was there making important passes and crosses into Philly's box.

Diego Chara: 6

A relatively quiet night for Chara. He wasn't bad and on more than a few occasions he had some good runs with fellow Colombian Jorge Perlaza, but he ultimately failed to make anything out of them.

Eric Alexander: 7

While he only played for 66 minutes, Alexander was surprisingly relentless on the left side of the field. While perhaps not as much as Kalif, he was consistently creating problems for Philly's right side and got in some very impressive crosses. His performance against the Union brings into question, once again, just who will cement themselves in that first team position.

Kris Boyd: 8

He came, he played, he scored. There's not much else to ask of the man. We knew exactly who he was when he was signed: a goal scorer and little else. But score he did and, for that, we can't help but give him high marks. That said, despite his reputation, I did see him run back into the midfield a few times perhaps showing that his reputation for "laziness" isn't all that deserved. Huge night for him.

Jorge Perlaza: 5

As with Diego Chara, Perlaza just couldn't seem to get into the rhythm of things Monday night. While I won't say that he didn't contribute, I will say that he failed to live up to what's expected out of a striker. After going 90 minutes against Philly, Perlaza had zero shots on target and zero shots total. He has some great speed, but ultimately we're going to need something else out of him. Still a win is a win and he helped secure that by running the defense ragged. He just needs to get on the stats sheet... at least a little bit.

Subs

Darlington Nagbe: 6

A decent start of the season for Nagbe. He didn't get on the goal sheet which is what he really wants, but I was impressive with his decisive abilities after coming on for Alexander in the 66th minute.

James Marcelin: N/A

Marcelin played less than 10 minutes; therefore I've decided not to rate him tonight.

Scoring Guide

0: Absolutely atrocious.

1 - 3: Poor. Questionably first team, or bench player.

4 - 6: Fair. Quality player that played to expectations. Perhaps could have done more.

7 - 9: Great. On top of their game, even if everything doesn't always connect.

10: Perfect. Couldn't have been a better night and very few mistakes made.

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