PORTLAND, OR - JULY 03: The Portland Timbers pose for a photo before the game against the San Jose Earthquakes on July 3, 2012 at Jeld-Wen Field in Portland, Oregon. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
High, low. Up, down. Hot, cold. If there's one thing I can say about this current Portland Timbers squad it's that they're certainly not consistent with their results. It boggles my mind how a team can come out as fired up against their primary rival, the Seattle Sounders, and win then go on the road to the Colorado Rapids and essentially play like a dead fish, and then come home to play a game against the San Jose Earthquakes and be on fire once again. I feel like the Timbers are making me just a bit more bi-polar than I'd prefer.
Also, one could make the argument that the Timbers Army makes that much of an impact. But the reality of the situation is that, if that's true, that's a very bad thing for the team. The Timbers need road wins and the Timbers Army can't be there for those, at least not in force. Therefor I'm hoping it's something else entirely.
Here are you player ratings against the San Jose Earthquakes.
Troy Perkins: 6
Perkins had a serviceable night. He came up big when needed and generally kept his cool throughout the game. The singular goal and some shoddy distribution keep him from being rated any higher than 6, however.
Will's rating:6 - Perkins commanded the box and was assured in plucking numerous San Jose crosses out of the air as well as comfortably saving two San Jose shots. His distribution was not great, but it wasn't disastrous either.
Much better performance from Cap'n Jack tonight as he notched his first goal of the season. Great to see him get that sort of spark for finishing after last season. That said, his crosses weren't great.
Ryan's rating: 5 - Defensively he played great but offensively his crosses could have been better. Great effort on his goal.
David Horst: 8
Pretty close to Man of the Match for me. Horst came into tonight's game seeking to prove that last Saturday was the exception not the rule for him. He was sharper, more "on the ball" literally, and all around a far better center back than last weekend's performance. This is the Horst we need game in, game out.
Will's rating: 7 - Dealing with Chris Wondolowski is no easy task, but Horst was up for it, limiting the league's leading scorer to just one shot. He also showed some serious guts in coming back from an early shot to the head that had Timbers fans worrying about yet another concussion on the season. Luckily Horst jumped back in and was immediately taking on three San Jose players at once.
Futty Danso: 7
A solid night for Horst's center back partner. Futty came up with his own great saves and was generally at the level we always expect the centerbacks to be. Better yet, the mild scuffle notwithstanding, he effectively muted Steven Lenhart when he came on late in the second half, a striker who's notorious for agitating center back defenders.
Andy's rating: 7 - Put up with an awful lot from Steven Lenhart towards the end, but maintained his composure and won the war between them, shutting him down for the last 15 minutes of the game.
Steven Smith: 5
Got in some decent crosses and almost pulled off another Smith-Boyd low cross link up similar to what we saw against the Seattle Sounders. Defensively, however, Smith struggled a bit with Shea Salinas.
Ryan's rating: 4 - He really had a tough time defending Shea Salinas, luckily it never hurt the Timbers.
Man of the match for me and his score probably would have been higher were it not for the injury. Fact is: Songo'o has been one of the Timbers' best players on the pitch for a few games now and it showed last Tuesday when his crosses met their mark and he played with the kind of vision and technical skill we expect out of a Barca youth-trained player. His assist to Mwanga was absolutely perfect.
Will's rating: 8 - Took players on. Was exciting. Almost scored. Set up a fantastic goal. Gave San Jose headaches all night. Contributed on defense. Had a few bad, bad giveaways. If this Franck Songo'o can show up every week I will be a happy man.
Lovel Palmer: 6
Not a bad night for Palmer, to be honest. I was pleasantly surprised. He dropped back to defend when needed and generally didn't screw up with any botched strikes or red cards as he did against Seattle. Oh and the one serious shot he did take went right on target from distance. Would have been a great golazo.
Andy's rating: 4 - Palmer did was was required of him on defense, and he resisted the temptation to launch a 40-yard shot onto the roof of the MAC. But he failed on numerous occasions to provide that vital connection between the defense and the midfield. Still, he gave hope to fans despairing about Chara's absence. That'll do, Palmer. That'll do.
I was also a bit more impressed than usual by Nagbee. I've grown so used to him passing the ball back when he gets it in the final third, I was almost taken aback when he managed to connect with a couple runners on Tuesday. Nothing came of it, but baby steps. Bottom line, a CAM should be passing forward and that's what Nagbe was doing.
Andy's rating: 5 - Nagbe's showing continuing signs of improvement, especially in the defensive aspect of his game. He had the benefit of facing Khari Stephenson instead of Sam Cronin as the Quakes' defensive midfielder, and he took advantage of increased opportunities. And it was very encouraging to see him take a shot without taking a touch, although next time I want to see it end up closer to the goal. It's been fun to see him make those minor improvements to his game as the weeks progress -- it has been a long time since we have seen him play worse than he had in his previous match.
Eric Alexander: 6
Serviceable night for Alexander. He worked hard. Made runs when needed. Didn't fully connect with the offense, but his place on the field wasn't disastrous either.
Will's rating: 6 - Although he seemed just a little bit off in his service and understanding with other players in the attack, Alexander put in the work and with some more time as a starter could easily be a force to be reckoned with in the midfield.
Danny Mwanga: 7
Great night for Mwanga. He got his first Portland Timbers goal, which is always nice being that he's a hometown guy. Beyond that, he was a continued threat on the counter and constantly made sure that San Jose's defenders were busy. I'd like to see him with just a bit more control in the final third though.
Andy's rating: 7 - He's a finisher, and he's got speed. That move he made past Steven Beitashour to get to Songo'o's cross was brilliantly timed, and the threat he posed on the counterattack kept that extra Quakes player or two out of the attacking third. His ability to keep chasing down all those clearances from the defense late in the game kept the rest of the team from getting sloppy. Sometimes the best defense is a good offense, and that's exactly what he brought.
Kris Boyd: 5
A fairly frustrating night for Boyd who was putting the work in, but not seeing the results. He was far more active than usual in and around the field and you could tell, by the 96th minute, he was gassed entirely. A botched header will, unfortunately, hold him back some.
Ryan's rating: 7 - Did not score but his runs and his passing helped create the first goal. In the last 10 minutes of the game he worked his butt of to try and close down players and really gave SJ defenders a tough time.
Sal Zizzo: 4
A tough week for Zizzo. First he started in a humdrum of a game last Saturday where he was largely invisible and then he was forced to come on for Songo'o on Tuesday where he was forced to take over Songo'o's magnificent performance. All in all, not the super sub we are used to.
Will's rating: 4 - After the amazing showing that Franck Songo'o put on before coming out injured, Sal had some large shoes to fill. Unfortunately, Zizzo was not up to the task and never quite got into the game, despite running all over the field and providing ample defensive pressure.
Mike Chabala: 5
Chewie was also forced to come on for an injured Timbers player, but his performance was much better than what we've seen recently out of him. While not perfect, he managed to hold his own defensively and close out the game well enough.
Ryan's rating: 4 - Did his job defensively but had a couple of give aways right to San Jose.
Freddie Braun: N/A
Freddie didn't get enough time to get a full ranking, but as Will put it he "did some stuff."
Thoughts? Comments? What are your player rankings for the Timbers on Tuesday?