There was nothing on paper that said the Portland Timbers couldn't walk into the Home Depot Center on Sunday and come back home with +3 points in their pockets against the LA Galaxy and, true enough, in the first half they showed that they could make meaningful chances in the run of play and control the ball. It was some quality play by a team that really could have come out in the second half and dictated the game.
And then the second half came and they did none of what we saw in the first half. It was almost like they received the opposite of a pump up speech because when they came back out they were slower, less accurate and not as hungry. From then on, LA dominated the game. Which isn't something you hear too often these days.
Here are this week's player ratings:
Troy Perkins: 2
Oh Troy. I was just as upset at the referee as you at first. A few replays later and I'm less so at him and more at you. Regardless of whether that was technically a foul, you stopped playing before the whistle blew. Not kosher and you're the singular reason (surprisingly, but LA sucks that much) that the Timbers didn't at least get a point.
Andy's rating: 2 - He made a magnificent save to open the match, but he stopped playing at a critical moment, and that's inexcusable.
Didn't do much on either side of the field. Perhaps made one or two solid defensive plays, but was mostly forgetable. Did nothing to add to the offense.
Will's rating: 3 - For the most part, Jack put in a solid shift with a couple glaring issues. He passed well and had several dangerous crosses into the box, but amidst all the furor surrounding the Galaxy goal no one has really mentioned that Jewsbury lost his man, letting Dunivant get in front of him to put away the game winning goal. Add to that losing possession in dangerous areas several times (although some poorly conceived passes from Kalif didn't help) and you have got a very dissapointing afternoon.
David Horst: 3
Consistently beat, out maneuvered and generally out played. Given his recent injury time, my only guess is that he's still very much in pre-season mode as he looked sloppy nearly everywhere.
Ryan's rating: 5 - did a great job of shutting down Landon Donovan on a couple of occasions and was one of the few players that was playing with a fire.
Man of the match for me. It's a little frightening to think what the defensive back line would have looked like had this man not been there. He just needs to keep his head a little bit better later during the game. Still, impressive defending from him considering he had to cover most of the defense.
Andy's rating: 5 - Definitely the Timbers' best defender, but he lost his cool late, and that will have repercussions.
Mike Chabala: 3
Where's the Chewy we all saw in the latter half of 2011? This is the guy we want! Is it the hair? Maybe it's time for a haircut... Regardless, my one piece of advice for him is to not go down for the slide so often. It's fine in a pinch, but often times, as is what happened, the defender will just skirt around you.
Will's rating: 4 - He didn't look good out there, he had some iffy passes, and he left his feet way too often, but he wasn't at fault for the Galaxy goal and he was involved in some good passing combinations further up the pitch.
Same old Alhassan. The kid has some great technical ball skills and he can be really effective at getting behind defense. We saw that in the first half. And then he disappeared for the second.
Ryan's rating: 4 - Too much side to side and not enough of going forward. Seemed tentative and didn't want to beat people off the dribble.
Diego Chara: 6
A close second for Man of the Match for me. Diego is our bruiser. He'll knock you over and smile about it later which we saw happen on more than a few occasions last Sunday. For that, I love him. He just needs to make sure those knocks aren't going to cost him a card.
Andy's rating: 5 - He's still a huge reason opposing teams struggle to get anything going in the middle of the pitch, but he was much less successful on the attack than we're used to.
Where was he? I swear I saw him in the line up, but I have no idea where he was all game. Perhaps some flashes in the first half, but otherwise entirely forgettable. It may be time to give Nagbe some bench time until he can sort out his mental issues.
Will's rating: 4 - He was everywhere in the first half, to the extent that he was getting in the way of Danny Mwanga and Diego Chara, and looked like he was going to provide some bit of magic. Unfortunately, a general unwillingness to play the ball to his forwards is not what the Timbers need in an attacking midfielder. With only three missed passes on the day, Nagbe showed he can distribute the ball well, but only two of his 39 passes were actually directed forward.
Decent showing from Songo'o on Sunday. Not perfect, but much more like the Songo'o we all expected to see when he was signed given his training performances. Perhaps it's just taken him a bit longer to gel with the team, but more like this please.
Ryan's rating: 4 - Best game as a Timber and probably the only one who wanted to hit a through ball.
Danny Mwanga: 5
Solid first outing for Danny. He definitely looked gassed in the second half, which is why I was surprised he stayed in, but you could see flairs of brilliance bubbling underneath. Oh and the partnership between him and Boyd already looks like it could be a thing of beauty.
Andy's rating: 4 - Looked good in his debut, up until he took that hit from Saunders. Then he kinda disappeared for an hour.
Kris Boyd: 4
A great partnership beginning with Mwnaga notwithstanding, Boyd had a pretty disappointing game. Yeah, he was active in the first half, but as our DP goal scorer, he's ultimately going to be judged on how much he contributes at that end and in this game... there was nothing.
Will's rating: 5 - Boydie didn't look great today, but he did take the limited opportunities he had well, forcing two good saves from Josh Saunders.
Sal Zizzo: 4
Our usual super sub was decidedly less super this outing. While he did his usual stuff, LA seemed to be able to snuff him out faster than most other teams.
Ryan's rating: 4 - Is still the only true winger the Timbers have and one of the only players to actually attack the end line and then cross it back.
Eric Alexander: 3
Is there an opposite of a super sub? Like a sub that comes in and sucks the life out of the players around him? Because that's what Eric did on Sunday. Harsh? Maybe. But it's only because I want to see the Eric we saw earlier this season.
Andy's rating: 3 - Eric, what exactly are you doing to convince your coach you deserve to be in the Starting XI?
Mike Fucito: 5
Not much time for Fucito to get going, as usual, but he adds so much heart at the offensive end. You need somebody who is going to just run straight at defenders and get em flustered? Fucito's your guy and I love him for that.
Will's rating: 3 - Ran around a lot but only managed three touches on the ball in twenty minutes of play. Sure, the midfield was struggling to link up with the forwards, but three touches? One every seven minutes? I am not sure how he was supposed to fit with Mwanga's style of play, but it didn't work out.
And there you have it. An overall poor ratings performance from the Timbers. Even our usual high mark stalwart, Perkins, took a considerable hit from the gang this week.
What do you think? What are your player ratings for the LA game?