SANDY, UT - JULY 7: Goalie Troy Perkins #1 of the Portland Timbers watches a ball go in the net during a game against Real Salt Lake in the second half of an MLS soccer game July 7, 2012 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. Real Salt Lake beat the Portland Timbers 3-0. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
With John Spencer out being the big news of the day, let's keep the player ratings brief.
The Timbers put in another abysmal road showing in Salt Lake on Saturday and there were few bright spots to be found. With that in mind, why don't we just jump right in.
The Timbers consistently become less than the sum of their parts on the road
Going with the 4-3-3 was not a terrible idea, but Spennie was really let down by his selection of central midfielders and hampered by the lack of a game fit Franck Songo'o and Kalif Alhassan. Still, he picks the team. Can't argue too much with the subs, given how the game played out.
Troy Perkins: 5
Perkins made two good saves, one of which kept the Timbers in the game for a good thirty minutes more than they should have been. Perkins has been steady as a rock this year, a trend that continued on Saturday, and you would be hard pressed to blame any of the goals on his performance.
Ryan's rating: 5 - Made saves to keep the score only at 3 but his distribution regressed when Portland needed it to be better.
Steven Smith: 2
Smith was off his game and unable to link up with the "attack" in the 4-3-3 that John Spencer ran out.
Futty Danso: 3
Futty got beaten in a straight up and down jumping contest by Saborio for RSL's first goal but was otherwise solid, making several good open field tackles that stood out to me.
David Horst: 4
Horst was the Timbers best defender, saving at least two goals after other defenders were beaten thanks to some well timed challenges. Horst helped to organize the defense at times, although that communication is sometimes a one way street, as when he was telling Steven Smith to mark up on Alvaro Saborio for the second RSL goal or when he was trying to get Troy Perkins to come and collect a ball while holding off a defender. This is not a good thing.
Ryan's rating: 6 - Without him covering for the defensive mistakes of others it would have been a major Beatdown.
Kimura looked badly out of place in the early going, but turned things around quickly and was looking very solid by the end of the game. He didn't have a great night, but in the end it wasn't really his fault.
This was a bad night for Jack. As a leader on this team he need to be able to get his fellow midfielders organized, he needs to put in the extra bit of effort, and he needs to produce. None of that happened. The midfield was a shambles and played a huge role in each of the RSL goals, there were numerous instances where the ball was played for Jack but he just wasn't making the obvious run, and he lost his man on the header that lead to Chara's red card. Overall a very bad day at the office.
Lovel Palmer: 2
He wasn't the worst defensive midfielder on the pitch for the Timbers. His shots went very high and he didn't contribute a whole lot, but (despite looking he was about to) he never really caused any major screw ups. He just didn't do anything particularly well either.
Diego Chara: 2
Diego was off on Saturday. His tackles were relatively poor and he showed the poor judgement that he has been accused of at times this season. It would have been really nice to have Chara on the pitch against LA. Add all that to the total ineffectiveness of the Timbers' midfield and you have Diego's worst game this season.
Ryan's rating: 5 - Once again seemed like he was one of the only people to actually show up. The red was not his fault as he was just trying to Save a goal.
Eric Alexander: 3
Somewhat hampered by the formation, Alexander was not put in a position to succeed on Saturday. With a couple of nice runs, one of the Timbers only shots, and some good link up play it is obvious what Alexander brings to the table, but when asked to push forward in a 4-3-3 he seemed like he was even more prone to disappearing than normal.
Danny Mwanga: 3
Mwanga hustled and fought and was totally ineffective all alone against Jamison Olave and Nat Borchers. The one time that Mwanga had a golden opportunity to score, during the Timbers three on two break away, he stopped his run just as Diego Chara fed him a ball across the box that was just begging for a tap-in. He might not have made it, but he didn't try either.
Nagbe looked good at times. Unfortunately, he wasn't good enough to actually get he Timbers offense going. Nagbe's role as the fulcrum of the attack took another baby step forward in this game but, unfortunately it came when everyone else's game took a step back and as a result he was never able to seize control of the game.
Ryan's rating: 4 - Worked so hard he had nothing left in the tank but we still have not seen the dominate Nagbe we all want to see.
I don't remember anything from any of these guys other than Fucito looking ineffective, Boyd looking pissed, and Mosco's terrible first tough after coming in. The Timbers were so far out of the game that even with half an hour left, none of the Timbers subs had a chance to influence the game.
Thoughts? Comments? What are your player rankings for the Timbers on Tuesday?