PORTLAND, OR - MAY 26: The starting eleven of the Portland Timbers pose before the game against the Vancouver Whitecaps at Jeld-Wen Field on May 26, 2012 in Portland, Oregon. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
First, apologies for the slight delay in getting this week's player ratings up. I had originally planned on getting them live yesterday, but instead opted to take the day off since, well, most of you were probably doing the same. I decided to kick back and spend the day with a beer and some grilled vegetables...I hope your own Memorial Day was just as uneventful, and thus relaxing, as mine.
Anyway, enough of that, because as we enter the long break it's time to see how well our Portland Timbers boys did against Cascadian rival the Vancouver Whitecaps!
Troy Perkins: 7
No clean sheet this go around, unfortunately, but I feel like his distribution was far better than any other game so far this season. Could have been a 9 or so with a clean sheet.
Jack Jewsbury: 5
Andy's rating: 8 - Didn't get the cleansheet unfortunately, but his distribution was some of the best we've ever seen out of him.
Played very well up until the point where the goal was scored. My vantage point from 108 was a little off, but it looked like some of the blame for the goal could land on the cap'n's shoulders. Still like him at right back and had a great gae up until that point.
Ryan's rating: 4 - He dropped off of Mattocks on the goal and was 3 yards away from him instead of marking him.....
Eric Brunner: 5
Pulled from the game at the half, but up until that point he and Mosqo kept Vancouver's attacks relatively muted.
Andy's rating: 7 - Typical quality start for Brunner, unfortunately cut short by a knock to the head.
Same as with Brunner, but he got a full 90 in. It was surprising how well they were keeping Vancouver down until Mattocks came in and spoiled the party. By the end the amount of shots Vancouver had was far fewer than they should have been.
Ryan's rating: 5 - Needs to challenge the long ball that created the equalizer but other than that his anticipation is amazing.
Steven Smith: 6
Definitely improving as a player and a lot of that probably just has to do with experience and getting to know the team as a whole better. In a few months we could be looking at one of the best left backs the Timbers have ever had. For now though, it was a solid performance by Smith.
Andy's rating: 6 - I'm starting to really like this guy at left back. He's making the right stops and was just inches away from having some really good contributions on the attack. He and Boyd clearly have some kind of Scottish telepathy going. I didn't like seeing him take that dive, though, and I hope Spencer rips him a new one for it.
I really missed Alhassan while he was injured. He consistently tore through Vancouvers midfielders and defenders causing them to pull back from the attack on more than one occasion. Very solid return from him.
Ryan's rating: 6 - You could see the rust and his fitness level was not 100% but his offense was exactly what Portland needed.
Diego Chara: 8
Easily the man of the match. Playing as the CDM for the night, Chara managed to cover most of what Lovel Palmer did while still being the box to box, rough and tumble player we all know and love. This match could prove to be the foundation the Timbers have going forward with Chara leading the midfield like that.
Andy's rating: 9 - My man of the match. Chara looks way better as a full-time CDM than I thought he would. He's fast enough to break up the opposition offense before it creates any danger, and he's strong enough to be a third CB when we need to make a stop. Considering he was playing a role that two people had played in previous matches, he had a fan-bloody-tastic game.
Consistency is beginning to become a major issue for Nagbe. Not much more to say than that.
Ryan's rating: 5 - We saw more from Nagbe this game then the last 3 and it shows he is a CAM and not a striker...
Eric Alexander: 3
I don't remember much about Alexander from Saturday's game, but what I did remember wasn't good. A lethal combination brings Alexander down a few points.
Andy's rating: 4 - Demonstrated pretty well why Spencer hasn't been super impressed by him lately. Although he had a few good moments, very few of the chances the team created flowed through him.
Kris Boyd: 7
Got the goal in a very unusual manner. I'm still not 100% how it happened, but that doesn't matter. Boyd came in to get goals no matter what and that's exactly what we got. I can't see any other Timbers player being able to pull that one off.
Ryan's rating: 6 - We started to see better service to Boyd and if the ball is anywhere in the box he will be near it and able to score goals.
Okay, he didn't get a goal. I get it, that's what strikers need to do. But damn it all if he wasn't harassing Vancouver's defense all night and that's what I love about him.
Andy's rating: 6 - He still is the only player on the team who seems to understand what he has to do to keep the offense flowing. And it's worth pointing out that he was only called for offside once. But he still needs to work on his confidence in front of goal.
David Horst: 5
A solid second half performance and return to the field that was completely muddied by the goal at the end. Such a shame as I thought he performed very well for being so fresh from recovering.
Ryan's rating: 6 - Played well after coming in for Brunner and really did what he needed to do to try and cover for Jewsbury on the goal.
Sal Zizzo: 6
Not quite as impact-ful as he was against the Chicago Fire when he came on, but he still managed to get in some speedy runs and a few decent crosses.
Andy's rating: 5 - Since he replaced the guy who had been the most dynamic player on the pitch, he gets docked for the comparison. The qualities he brings to the pitch weren't as useful against Vancouver as they were against Chicago.
Mike Fucito: N/A
Not in long enough to get ranked, but I loved his aggression so late in the game.
What do you guys think? Agree, disagree? Let's hear em in the comments!