PORTLAND, OR - AUGUST 20: Diego Chara #21 and Kalif Alhassan #11 of the Portland Timbers celebrate after Chara scored a goal during the first half of the game against Vancouver FC at Jeld-Wen Field on August 20, 2011 in Portland, Oregon. The Timbers won the game 2-1.(Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
Another pre-season game, and another result that we really don't want to see. There was a slight difference between last night's game and Monday's game, however, in that last night the Timbers were forced to come back from down a goal. That's not to say they were worse than Monday (when they actually scored twice...) but it's an interesting distinction.
Of course, the other big difference was the make up of the team. Thursday night saw mostly reserve players with a few first teamers dotting the formation here and there. Over all though, it would be difficult to appropriately compare the two games due to the differences in the squads.
Unfortunately, what we saw last night wasn't really all that great. In fact, for large portions of the latter part of the first half and first part of the second half we saw a Chivas USA largely dominating the field, especially the midfield where the Timbers had almost no control. It was very frustrating, to say the least.
So, without further ado, let's tackle the individual player ratings:
Jake Gleeson: 5
Unfortunately, Jake Gleeson did not have a terrific night last night. I wouldn't say it was terrible, but given the way the Timbers were performing on the field he was expected to come up big and stop the balls coming at him. As we all know, he eventually let one slide by him. Worse yet was that it wasn't a particularly unstoppable ball either.
Lovel Palmer: 6
Personally, I thought the entire right side of the field had a terrific night. In fact, in the first 20 or so minutes of the game it was a constant stream of action bouncing from Palmer to Braun and up to Rincon. The trio had great chemistry and, while Palmer didn't score, he definitely made his presence felt there.
Eric Brunner: 4
It was an off night for Brunner. Not terrible, but given his recent bone bruising, I suppose it was expected that he would need to rework his way back into the system a bit. Here's hoping we see him revived for Sunday night's match.
Jean-Baptiste's age is showing and I don't mean that in a frail and slowing down manner, but rather in his inexperience. Last night we saw plenty of reasons why he is still very much a project player for the Timbers. That said, he did have moments of good defending which shows some definite future potential.
Chris Taylor: 7
I was continually impressed with Taylor's movements in the left back position and am now very happy we didn't see him depart in the off season. While he wasn't perfect and is still developing, I enjoyed watching him play in the left back position and, more often than not, he seemed to have a clear idea of where he was going and what he was doing.
Fantastic night for Freddie. I thought he was one of the Timbers best players last night. It's unfortunate that the right-mid position is so full right now as I would like to see more of him during the season.
Not a bad night for Jack, aside from the general form of the team. I considered giving him a lower score, but once he was taken out it was very clear that he was what largely lead the control in the midfield. Without him Chivas dominated the midfield.
Largely non-existent. I didn't see much of him last night and was generally disappointed with his lack of control in the midfield. For playing a full 90, at times it really seemed like Jewsbury, and later Chara, was on his own in the midfield.
A really poor showing for Richards and I don't relish giving him such a low score. Unfortunately, he seemed quite lost at times and his tough and skill on the ball left a lot to be desired. If there's anything we can take away from this, however, it's the fact that Richards has largely played as a forward which means his performance last night shouldn't be indicative of his career.
Bright Dike: 5
Lots of early maneuvers which lead to almost goals for the Timbers, but he ultimately came up flat in the end when the final whistle blew.
Sebastian Rincon: 6
Lots of speed and some very ballsy moves from Rincon last night that was only ruined by his lack of goals. While some might want him to have a higher score, since he's a forward, I'm judging him a lot on his goals scored. Still, for how young he is and what he was able to accomplish, I'd say this could be a player that has a future in Timbers green.
Joe Bendik: 7
Bendik came up big last night and really proved his worth to the team with some impressive saves. The fact that he kept Chivas USA scoreless throughout a dominating second half was very impressive. I'd say the Timbers have a quality third (or maybe second) keeper.
Ryan Kawulok: 9
No big surprises here, but huge congratulations to Kawulok for helping to tie up the game as well as getting his first ever MLS goal. The only was this could have been more perfect for Ryan is if he had been signed the very same day... which he was. Aside from his goal, he manned his position amiably for the remainder of the match.
Diego Chara: 5
Chara without Jewsbury is a painful thing to watch. At this point I would say it's pretty easy to say the two rely on each other quite a bit. Unfortunately, under a Chara-led midfield there was little, if any control, something that Jewsbury seems to provide much of.
Another great night for Kalif. While he was subbed on late in the game, his corner kick turned goal was pretty phenomenal. Aside from that he did all his usual Kalif-y things we expect and generally caused lots of problems for Chivas' backline.
Jorge Perlaza: N/A
Perlaza received a huge amount of applause when he came on in the 75th minute, but at that point it was too much for him to turn it around. As such, I've decided not to grade him at all.
So what do you guys think? Agree? Disagree? Sound off in the comments.
P.S. This was my first time doing player ratings so I stressed quite a bit on these.