PORTLAND, OR - AUGUST 5: The Portland Timbers starting eleven pose before MLS match against FC Dallas at Jeld-Wen Field on August 5, 2012 in Portland, Oregon. (Photo by Steve Dipaola/Getty Images)
Last Sunday was yet another game at home and, while we didn't get the result we all wanted, looking back it was a sad occasion for more than just the draw. It was Troy Perkins' last game as a Portland Timber. Of course, we didn't know it at the time, but with the recent trade, it's almost hard to remember the game at all.
But a game did indeed happen and, as is our duty, we must rate the players for how well they did during the game. Even Perkins, though he's no longer a Timber.
Troy Perkins: 6
While not a perfect game for the former-Timber, Perkins managed to come through on a number of saves that kept the Timbers in the game entirely. The lone goal was hardly his fault.
Will's rating: 6 - Perkins came up big on several occasions, keeping the Timbers in the game until the Zack Loyd red card (and for a little bit after that too). We saw several big saves from Perkins on Sunday plus some halfway decent distribution nets him a halfway decent rating.
Containing Brek Shea is a difficult task. No doubt about it, but he's not unstoppable. Kimura, however, seemed to think he was as Shea constantly and consistently got around the right back.
Ryan's rating: 4 - He arguably had the toughest defensive assignment in the game and did well to keep Brek Shea mostly under control and you really can't fault Kimura for the goal as the ball was perfect and Shea is a beast.
A decent night for Mosqo though he's still not quite on the same level as he was prior to his suspension. He did well to stay back and defend rather than pushing forward. Without him David Ferreira would have made the game far more challenging.
Will's rating: 6 - Where David Horst got forward and joined the attack, Mosco was much more defensive minded on Saturday. Mosquera anchored the Timbers defense and did so effectively for most of the game. However, there were several instances where he lost his man even if Dallas did not score on those occasions, so I find it hard to rate him over Horst this time.
David Horst: 3
Serious negative points for Horst tonight due to not marking Scott Sealy in the lead up to the goal. in fact, if you rewatch the match, Sealy gets about 3 paces ahead of Horst before Horst even breaks into a sprint. Bottom line, he was ball watching.
Will's rating: 6 - I always enjoy a center back that can get forward effectively, whether in the run of play or on free kicks, and Horst showed that he can do so against Dallas. On paper, Horst was the weaker link of the Timbers' central defenders by virtue of losing Scott Sealy on the Dallas goal but otherwise his play was solid.
Steven Smith: 4
An otherwise forgettable night for an invisible Smith. I keep telling myself that he'll get better when the temperatures return to normal. I hope that's true.
Ryan's rating: 4 - Was rather invisible and don't remember a lot from him which means he did ok defensively but did get into the attack at all. Doing ok defensively is good and it looks like going forward is a thing of the past with the new formation so I will take what Smith gave the team last game.
Potential... I'm sick of saying this about Nagbe. Fact is, right now, he's a mediocre player. While he didn't pass back as much against Dallas, it remained an issue. As somebody who bills himself as a forward, and who's team bills him as a CAM, I'm having trouble seeing how he fits into either position right now.
Will's rating: 5 - The regular knock on Nagbe recently has been his hesitation in going forward and playing the ball down the pitch rather than back to his defenders, but against Dallas he was slightly less hesitant. Taking one heck of a shot and driving forward several times, Nagbe took a game to remind us that he knows how to score (even though he didn't) and he has the tools to run the attack (even if it wasn't particularly effective). You can slowly see the potential that John Spencer talked about, and that Gavin Wilkinson now find himself talking about as well, gradually shining through and being converted to something worthwhile on the field. If only that had happened in time for this season to be less of a fiasco...
A solid game for the Cap'n and a return to the type of goalscoring we all became so familiar with last season. Seriously, Jewsbury was defending when needed, including a brilliant save that many of us thought he had let slip by. The goal was just the cherry on top of a solid performance.
Will's rating: 7 - With his one strike on goal, Jack ended the Timbers' scoreless streak and put them on track to take their first point in almost a month. Despite his goal, Jack's main contributions to the game were in helping the Timbers to control the field, particularly once Loyd had been sent off, as he passed effectively and cleaned up any loose balls from his defensive midfield position.
Diego Chara: 6
The little bruiser did what we all expect him to these days: muscle the midfield, antagonize players, earn a yellow card. Pretty much a standard night for Chara. He played well, but didn't do anything amazing either.
Ryan's rating: 7 - When people who have not watched a lot of the Timbers watch a game one of the first things they notice is Chara and how much ground he covers. In a sense he is a lot like Alonso for Seattle and In the fact that he too doesn't create a lot of direct chances but he influences the game in ways that doesn't show up in the stats.
He was bound to have a lull, and Richards certainly seemed a bit more hesitant and sluggish than we've come to expect. In some instances he seemed almost too hesitant to go forward, but he had no problems tracking all the way back to defend. If that's the case, I'm not sure why he was playing in a forward position.
Ryan's rating: 3 - This was a game to learn from for Richards. He had trouble going forward and too often the ball got stuck in the spokes but he tracked back on numerous occasions to win balls back and this is something young players sometimes do not do.
My Man of the Match, as usual. Franck Songo'o is truly turning into the creative forward/withdrawn striker we have all been dreaming of. I made a bet prior to this match that he would score a goal (and was nearly laughed off Twitter for it), but by the end of the game the man had some quality chances on goal.
Will's rating: 7 - It is great that the Franck Songo'o that we all saw in the preseason, terrorizing teams from the wing, is back and playing at Jeld-Wen. Songo'o's willingness to take players on, and his ability to do so, is going to earn cards and some nights that is going to be a difference maker for this team. The Timbers never looked like they were really in the game until they went a man up and were able to keep some pressure on Dallas. In each of the team's recent games Songo'o has brought something different to the table. Whether it was his one on one ability, his crosses, or his ability to cut inside and shoot, Songo'o has been the fulcrum of the team's attack recently and the Timbers' already woeful offense would be downright depressing without him there.
Kris Boyd: 3
Aside from the almost goal off a free kick, which was quite nice indeed, Boyd was pretty much non existent in the game. We all knew heat would be an issue for him and it showed as he struggled to get anywhere on the field fast.
Will's rating: 2 - Did you know that Boyd was rated the fourth best player in the league last week in the Castrol index, which measures the effectiveness of a player's movement? Well, he isn't getting ranked quite so high this week. Something was off with Boyd for his whole time and as a result it looked like the Timbers were the team playing a man down for the first half of the match.
Bright Dike: 5
Came on in the second half, got a couple chances, muscled his way through Dallas' back line. All in all a standard night for Dike and generally what we've come to expect.
Will's rating: 5 - Dike came on and did what we expect him to do: kick the ball really hard at the goal while running around or through people. He didn't score but he did look like he had something to contribute out there as he played with energy and determination. The contrast of his game to the playing style of Kris Boyd is notable.
Danny Mwanga: 5
Coming on at the same time as Dike, he seemed to work well with Dike. Still, there seemed to be some sort of disconnect between him and finishing.
Ryan's rating: 4 - The combination of Dike and Mwanage up front gave Portland a lot of presence in the final third but it is hard to judge a player against tired legs and I would like to see Dike and Mwanga get a start together at some point.
Brought on when the Timbers went a man up, it seemed like he was given free reign to go where he wanted when he wanted and it seemed to pay off. While he was only on for a little over 10 minutes, Alhassan was an absolute terror for a tired Dallas team
Will rating: 7 - Despite only being on the pitch for a little under twenty minutes, Kalif had a huge influence on the game. Clearly given a mandate to find the ball and make something happen, Kalif embraced the free attacking role he was given and popped up all over the pitch, creating several chances for the team in his limited run out. The "Kalif as an attacking midfielder" camp should be pleased with what they saw, although it remains to be seen how he looks when the Timbers' opponents are not down a man.
So there you have it. Player ratings for last Sunday's match. In all honesty it wasn't a terrible match, just a disappointing result. The back line players, however, still need to figure out how to keep the keeper from being left completely exposed. Doesn't matter if it's Troy Perkins or Donovan Ricketts...
Thoughts? What are your player ratings?