PORTLAND, OR - APRIL 07: Kris Boyd #9 of the Portland Timbers scores on a shot past goalkeeper Dan Kennedy #1 of the Chivas USA during the first half of the game at Jeld-Wen Field on April 7, 2012 in Portland, Oregon. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
New format for the weekly player ratings going forward from now on. Or rather, we'll see how it works anyway. Essentially it's a fairly small change, instead of just throwing out some ratings from just one of us we'll be adding a bit of extra commentary from the other Stumptown Footy writers as well as an additional player rating from said writer. Typically it'll be a bit that is different from my own to give a more rounded opinion. It's a little confusing when trying to explain it, but it should all make sense below.
So, with that said, let's check out the player ratings for Saturday nights game:
Troy Perkins: 5
While the Portland Timbers lost and that never bodes well for a keeper, I honestly can't fault Perkins too much on either goal. They were pretty much square on the heads (literally) of the Timbers defense. Perkins pretty much did what was expected.
Lovel Palmer: 2
Will's rating: Perkins: 4 - Not much for him to do. His only notable save was one that any keeper in the league should have made. Distribution was meh.
And I still think I'm being a little generous. I don't enjoy knocking a player, but there was something seriously off with Palmer Saturday night. I am quoted as saying a few days ago that I wasn't sure if Steve Purdy was better... I think I'm ready to concede that point now. Not a good game at all by Palmer.
Ryan's rating: Palmer: 3 - Got up offensively in the first half but did not hit the best crosses. In the second half he was a defensive liability.
Eric Brunner: 4
Brunner was stretched thin. It's as simple as that. Because Palmer couldn't play defensively during the second half, we often saw Eric Brunner straying to cover for him on the right side. While he still held his own, the simple fact was that he wasn't able to control the center and right side of the defensive backline and everybody suffered for it. It's unfortunate, but true.
Andy's rating: Brunner: 6 - Got beat on the first goal, but led the back line with all the confidence of a captain (hint hint).
AJB played about as well as a rookie defender could and that is to say: not bad. It will certainly be nice when Hanyer Mosquera, David Horst, or Futty Danso are able to help shore up the center back position though.
Andy's rating: AJB: 4 - Did well enough on defense, but looked shaky when the ball was played to him and Chivas clearly sensed it.
I was very impressed with Wallace's play both offensively and defensively for the first half. A number of time he was able to break up a Chivas defense while still contributing regularly up top. This is what we need from him day in, day out. A few issues and his half time sub kept him from the top tier.
Andy's Rating: Wallace: 4 - Actually had a decent game and combined well on the attack, but again, failed too many times to track back.
Eric Alexander: 6
Combined well with Wallace and made some good in roads. He's definitely shown he can play well at home, now we just need him to come alive on the road.
Ryan's rating: Alexander: 5 - Great in the first half but when he was combining with Wallace. Once he was switched to the same side with Palmer he could not get forward effectively.
Invisible strikes me as my primary complaint. I don't remember much of what Jewsbury was doing during the match and everything I do remember wasn't very good. I'll let Will sum it up though...
Will's rating: Jewsbury: 2 - Not really sure what he did out there yesterday. Not leadership.
Diego Chara: 5
Similar situation as Brunner, really, although he handled it a bit better. With Jewsbury fumbling around, Chara was forced to cover a huge amount of ground on the field and he managed it very well. That said, there's still something missing between Chara's form in the last third of last season and this season.
Andy's rating: Chara: 6 - He was all by his lonesome out there at times, and he still managed to put together his best performance of the season. Best player on the pitch, for all the good it did the team.
I thought Songo'o played very well when he was able to get some time on the ball. He's very technically gifted and has great vision. Unfortunately, he was noticeably gassed about 10 or so minutes into the second half and it hurt his performance.
Will's rating: Songo'o: 4 - Slowed the game down in a way that is not particularly comparable with the rest of the Timbers attack, particularly against a team that packs it in like Chivas. Lots of back passes.
I've said it before: Nagbe plays better as a midfielder than a striker. In fact he's scored far more goals as a midfielder than as a striker. I think Saturday's game proved it. He needs to be let loose to go and do whatever he needs to do otherwise he's too constrained. It was very noticeable Saturday that he could not find the space to maneuver like he usually does.
Will's rating: Nagbe: 3 - If he is a striker he needs to be able to deal with defenders. Could not figure out how to deal with the tight Chivas defense. Did not mesh well with Boyd. I can't remember him going at players or passing forward once in the game.
Kris Boyd: 5
Got the only Timbers goal of the night, although it was a fairly easy one. Still, I've seen a few MLS strikers biff similar goals like that in the past which goes to show the sort of mental ease that Boyd does have. That said, his headed strikes will be imperative going forward in the season and he really needs to work on his aim.
Ryan's rating: Boyd: 6 - Played like someone who knew what they were doing out there. Unfortunately no one else knew what they were doing.
Mike Chabala: 6
One of the only things that went "right" in the second half. Chabala took over right where Wallace left off and contributed confidently both defensively and offensively. Unfortunately, he was ultiamtely dragged down by the Timbers' complete meltdown in the second half.
Will's rating: Chabala: 3 - His clearances were to Chivas players and he was beaten, badly, on the second Chivas goal. Got forward pretty well.
I'm going to chalk up his performance Saturday night to "shaking off the injury." Suffice it to say Alhassan contributed nothing after he came on and fell far below of what I've come to expect from him this season.
Will's rating: Alhassan: 4 - By the time he came on, the Timbers looked bewildered. Likely given license to roam, Alhassan got on the ball and, unlike everyone else on the field, actually made some positive passes. Unfortunately, nothing came of them. Did not provide much help for Palmer dealing with Smith, although he delt with Smith adequately while Palmer was off the field.
Jorge Perlaza - N/A
Perlaza gets a pass for coming on late in the game.
What were your ratings? Agree? Disagree? Sounds off in the comments below!
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.