While the first half of the Colorado Rapids vs. Portland Timbers game was an unimpressive display that was painfully reminiscent of a 2011/2012 Timbers road side, they managed to do what they've have never done before: earn a point in Colorado. While eventually it will be necessary for the Timbers to actually win a road game, grabbing a point from the Rapids in their one and only game there this year should be good news to most Timbers fans.
But while the team did manage to earn a point due to some second half heroics, not all players fared as well. Here's are the individual player ratings:
Donovan Ricketts - 6
Will: Ricketts was big in goal for the Timbers on Saturday. He came up with several big savers that kept the Timbers in the game and was not really at fault for either goal. The sequence leading up to the Rapids' first tally certainly started thanks to a poor clearance from Ricketts, but there were plenty of mistakes made both before and after his kick went out of bounds that contributed to the goal as well.
Ben Zemanski - 4
Ryan: He looked lost playing and was consistently beat by Cascio on the outside. His crosses were not as crisp as they could of been but that was more than likely due to the very stiff cross wind.
Ryan: He looked lost at times and his passing out of the back looked shaky and more than likely this is due to the fact that Colorado was pressing and the wind did not allow for accurate long balls out of the back. David Horst and AJB need to get some chemistry together because they looked like they were worlds apart.
David Horst - 5
Will: Horst didn't exactly lay claim to the starting spot in his return to active duty, but he shook off the rust quickly enough and did not really put a foot wrong for much of the game. Later on in the match, even as he was clearly suffering from his early return to action, Horst had several excellent interceptions and tackles. In his time on the pitch Horst also performed one miracle for the Timbers: he drew the penalty kick that pulled the Timbers even, earning the team's first ever point in Colorado.
Stacey: Perhaps the only player beside Will Johnson who I felt actually had a pretty good game, Harrington continued to be consistent on defense and energetic on the attack. In the second half he made a great overlapping run that pulled a Rapids defender off Ryan Johnson and gave him space to send the ball into the box for the other Johnson to put it in the back of the net.
Diego Chara - 4
Will: Chara was back to his usual highly active, highly visible self as he ran all over the field to win the ball back for the Timbers. Chara did have several nearly disastrous missed tackles in the Timbers end throughout the game, but his excellent high pressure also lead to some of the team's best opportunities (of which there were not all that many) on the night. Of course, he did give up the soft penalty to Tony Cascio that put the Timbers 2-0 down which has to count against him.
Jack Jewsbury - 3
Geoff: Jewsbury didn't seem to contribute much on the field against Colorado. While he is being billed as a central defensive midfielder, the Timbers' defense during the game left something to be desire, as noted by the constant peppering of the Timbers' net. Additionally, having him in that role seemed to significantly hamper the Timbers offense. Jewsbury might work well against some teams, but certainly not against Colorado.
Diego Valeri - 3
Stacey: Valeri was a non-factor for the Timbers offense and he had no good excuse for it. You can't really blame the opponent's exceptional defense, like in the Montreal game or the constant presence of Osvaldo Alonso which certainly affected his play in Seattle. This time it's all on him. He made some sloppy passes and got pushed around too easily. He looked like the sort of player Chara would have a field day stealing the ball away from time after time if they played on opposite teams.
Will Johnson - 7
Geoff: A slow start all around for the team, but the captain was never really letting up in either holding and controlling the ball or pushing it forward. In the end he earned the Timbers one outstanding goal followed by a penalty kick goal, which also happens to have ended the Timbers year+ long PK drought.
Darlington Nagbe - 3
Ryan: Nagbe looked a step slow and just a little wary of shooting it with his left which could lead one to believe his ankle was not 100%. Nagbe needs to shoot more often in front of goal and pass less.
Ryan Johnson - 5
Ryan: Johnson hit a great cross to find Will Johnson for the first goal but was not able to contribute much else offensively. Once Jewsbury was added to the line-up it has changed Ryan's role to that of a target striker and it may not be the best role for Ryan or for the team. Once Piquionne was added as a second striker Ryan looked a lot more comfortable and was able to influence the game more than as a lone striker.
Stacey: It sure was nice to see someone out there winning the aerial battles and playing strong when challenged by defenders. He wasn't exactly a game changer, but I'm interested to see more.
Rodney Wallace - 6
Geoff: Wallace is a hard player to pin down, but in this game he was a huge upgrade over Jewsbury. While he wasn't able to net his own goal as he did against the Seattle Sounders, he was instrumental in keeping the Timbers attack going forward up until the final whistle.
Kalif Alhassa - N/A
Geoff: Not much to say about Kalif this go around as he only played for a few minutes.
What do you think of the Timbers' player ratings? How would you rate them?