PORTLAND, OR - JULY 14: Kris Boyd #9 of the Portland Timbers celebrates a goal against the Los Angeles Galaxy on July 14, 2012 at Jeld-Wen Field in Portland, Oregon. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Sorry for the delay in the player ratings. Given that this week is so incredibly busy, what with another game tomorrow, and all the news that surfaced yesterday, we're running a little behind schedule. Additionally, as with normal busy-week schedule expect today's player ratings to be a tad abbreviated as we attempt to fit in a lot of stuff into not enough time.
Last Saturday saw the Portland Timbers take on the LA Galaxy in Gavin Wilkinson's first ever match as a head coach in MLS. What started out gloriously quickly faded into oblivion for the Timbers however and, while the game was certainly entertaining, it was still heartbreaking to lose, once again, to LA. That stole all 9 points from the Timbers this season... no excuse for that.
Let's see how the players did.
Troy Perkins: 3
Perkins didn't have a stellar night, obviously. And while the Timbers midfield and defense pretty much just walked LA in, there were a few goals which weren't entirely out of his realm either. Very unfortunate.
Andy's rating: 7 - First, the bad: he built a terrible wall against Beckham's free kick. And yes, five goals were scored against him (the last Timbers goalkeeper to do that was Josh Saunders). But the list of good things he did is long. To name a few, he won a key one-on-one battle with LD, he threw an absolutely superb ball to Nagbe, and he came out and intercepted a number of aerial crosses in his goal box.
I like Kimura and he really likes Portland. It was visible from the onset of the match that he digs the Timbers Army. Still, while he successfully scored a goal with some quick thinking, he also didn't track back enough to defend. I'm hesitant to even give him a 5, but since it was his first game at the Jelly, we can let it slide a bit.
Ryan's rating: 4 - Should have been higher because of his goal but giving up the goal and having trouble with the rest of the back line knocked him down a few points. I love his effort.
David Horst: 2
Hot, cold, hot, cold. Saturday's game was definitely cold for Horst as he struggled all night with keeping LA's designated players in check. No excuses for that.
Andy's rating: 2 - On a day when communication was supposed to be key, Horst showed us why Brunner is by far our top choice at CB. Somebody had to step up and be vocal in organizing an offside trap, and that must either be Horst or Mosco. They didn't do it. Meanwhile Landon Donovan had him eating out of his hand. It was an energetic, but not a terribly smart, performance.
Mosqo is still regaining his performance after a three game suspension so perhaps he can be forgiven a little, but his form was way off against LA and the communication with Horst was non-existent.
Ryan's rating: 4 - I will have to rewatch the Keane goals multiple times to see who actually was at fault but it looked like Horst and Mosco did not communicate at all.
Steven Smith: 4
Better than the other defenders, in my opinion, as he was more consistent with the attack and with tracking back to defend, but ultimately wasn't good enough either.
Andy's rating: 3 - Smith combined well with Alexander on the left flank and made important contributions to the attack, but his final balls were uncharacteristically poor. And dang it, when you're far up the field you have a responsibility to get back to your position as quickly as possible. You can't dog it just because Jack's covering your back, because that means Jack's out of position too.
Lovel Palmer: 1
Pretty much just allowed Beckham and LA's entire offense to waltz through the Timbers' midfield. Completely useless in every part of the field and contributed very little, if anything. Seriously, Palmer needs to shape up.
Ryan's rating: 2 - Looked so lost out there. His only role right now should be getting splinters and maybe coming in to get a Red at the end of a game.
Better than Palmer, but still not good enough. Jewsbury consistently gave Beckham enough space to do whatever he wanted with it. He fixed that later on in the game, but by then Beckham already scored a brace. Too little, too late.
Ryan's rating: 6 - I really thought this was his best game of the season but the pairing of Palmer and Jewsbury is the worst CM pairing the Timbers have. Despite this did not see the vocal leadership the Timbers are lacking at this point and someone else needs to step up and start holding people accountable.
Finally a player who deserves a little praise. Nagbe orchestrated some great offensive measures for the Timbers and, while he didn't get on the score board tonight, he certainly made LA aware of his presence. Very sharp performance from Nagbe.
Andy's rating: 5 - Nagbe made some progress on the offensive side of the ball, making runs behind the Galaxy defense, playing the ball into dangerous areas for his teammates to pounce on, and most importantly getting himself into good position. Two things he needs to work on: finishing and remembering he has to play defense as well.
Eric Alexander: 5
Linked up very well with Smith in the beginning of the game and ultimately commanded the center midfield in good fashion as well. Solid game for Alexander.
Will's rating: 6 - Alexander had some good runs from the outside and combined well with Smith early on, but it was after his move into the center of the pitch later in the game that his game really came alive. Despite having run himself ragged while on the wing, Alexander pulled the strings as a CM for the final twenty minutes of the match more effectively than we have seen from anyone this season.
Did exactly what the Timbers pay Alhassan for. He terrorized LA's shaky defense for about 70 minutes and continued to worm his way around defenders all night. He even got on the scoreboard with an assist in the 3rd minute of the game. Went down at an inopportune time though.
Will's rating: 4 - I was pretty surprised at the warm reception that Kalif received after the game. His early cross to Boyd to open the game's scoring kicks his score up a notch or two, but the most enduring image from Saturday was Kalif on the ground with the Galaxy launching yet another counter attack and tearing the Timbers' defense to shreds.
Kris Boyd: 8
My man of the match and the one player who I felt played the entire 90 minutes without any reservations, notions of defeat, or failure. This man came out with something to prove and, by scoring a brace, he seriously laid any doubt people might have had about him after Spencer's departure to rest.
Andy's rating: 7 - Gotta like the brace. He made a terrific run and a great finish of Alhassan's cross, nearly set up Nagbe for a score, and created the other two goals with his set-piece prowess.
First time in a regular season match for a while for Richards and he played well. I'm not sure if if was actually him, or the fact that he was far, far better than his replacement by comparison, but I enjoyed Richards out there for the second half. Really helped to lock things up.
Will's rating: 5 - Richards came on in the second half and provided a consistent threat out of the midfield. His runs toward the back post caused several goal scoring opportunities and earned numerous corners that allowed the Timbers to keep the pressure on for much of the second half. Overall a good showing for his first significant minutes in MLS.
Danny Mwanga: 4
Not much from Mwanga which is a tad disappointing after he opened his Timbers scoring record at home just a week prior. Didn't play bad, necessarily, but wasn't the savior the Timbers sought.
Ryan's rating: 4 - Danny failed to take advantage of a few opportunities to take a player on but over all he had very little opportunity to influence the game.
Sal Zizzo: N/A
Zizzo wasn't in long enough to get graded, but I will say that, for a player whose face was passed out to damn near every fan in the stadium, I was expecting him to come on a little earlier.
So there you have the player ratings. Agree? Disagree? For a couple of the players me and my cohorts differed wildly in our opinion. What do you think?