Sunday's game produced a physical, near violent game. You could almost see the moment when the San Jose Earthquakes were not going to be able to outplay the Portland Timbers or out-possess them. From that point on, fairly early in the first half, they decided to turn the game into a rugby match. Perhaps I'm exaggerating a bit, but it was certainly one of the most physical games I've seen so far this season.
Luckily, the Timbers still proved to be too much for them to handle and ultimately won their three points in deserving fashion. Here's how each player did individually:
Donovan Ricketts - 6
Andy: Another clean sheet from the keeper. Thanks to the team's defense he didn't have to perform any heroics, but that shouldn't take anything away from a solid, confident performance.
Jack Jewsbury - 7
Geoff: Solid night for Jewsbury. While he didn't have as great a night as he did the previous week when he was responsible for shutting down Brad Davis all night, he was still highly effective in the right back situation. I'll say it again, he's making his case for that position under Porterball nicely.
Futty Danso - 8
Stacey: The whole back line deserves high marks for shutting down the San Jose's goal-scoring trio. Futty looked calm and composed and won a ton of headers, which helped neutralize any potential threat from San Jose set pieces and crosses.
Mikael Silvestre - 9
Stacey: My MOTM, Silvestre led a very solid back line as well as having some great individual moments. His chest pass back to Ricketts was ballsy and a bit scary, but the perfect move to get the ball out of danger. He was also ready to cover for Ricketts the only time the keeper spilled the ball, shielding Alan Gordon off and rushing in to clear the ball if necessary.
Stacey: How many goals did the 2012 Golden Boot winner score Sunday night? 0? OK, good work Mikey. Bonus Harrington moment: in the 51st minute when a little pressure from the left back caused Sam Cronin to dribble the ball right out of bounds.
Will Johnson - 9
Geoff: The captain was everything he should have been on the night. He muscled his way around the midfield. He was arguing with the referee. He wasn't afraid to get into people's faces. And then, to top it all off, when he was called on to take a free kick in Diego Valeri's absence he nailed home the winning goal. There's very little he could have done to have had a better game.
Diego Chara - 6
Andy: The yellow card notwithstanding (looked pretty weakly given to me), Chara had another good defensive game at one end of the pitch, and when he was tasked with moving forward he gave the San Jose backline fits. But he, like all of his teammates, failed to turn their strong play into a good chance on goal.
Darlington Nagbe - 6
Stacey: I almost feel a sense of awe watching how Nagbe can turn it on and just blow past defenders, and it was great to see him looking for that killer pass to unlock San Jose's defense. He should have done better with that 27th minute shot that was right to Jon Busch.
Kalif Alhassan - 6
Geoff: A few attempts in the box, a few jazz hands here and there, some patented Alhassan "shrosses." All in all a decent night by Alhassan. He simply wasn't as effective as he has been in the past. I chalk that up to San Jose' ever increasing physical play which seemed to mute him a little bit.
Rodney Wallace - 6
Geoff: Wallace seemed to have suffered a similar fate as Alhassan. While he was able to get some runs in the box, he was left mostly muted when it got to the point where he would need to take a shot or cross it. He did have one impressive shot that was a near miss.
Ryan Johnson - 6
Andy: Ryan Johnson didn't have his best match, finding more difficulty than usual connecting with his teammates, but he still threw everything he had at the game, including, at times, his life and limb.
Ben Zemanski - 5
Geoff: Zemanski was an interesting substitution to make, I thought. It feels like Porter is still trying to figure out where he works best. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to make much of the game once he got in.
Frederic Piquionne - N/A
Geoff: Not enough time to judge Piquionne, but as usual he brought that late attacking edge to the game. Perhaps not as much as in a few past games, but given San Jose's intensity toward the end, that should be expected.
Ryan Miller - N/A
Geoff: He was in for only a minute or so. Nice to see his Portland beard coming in nicely, though!
What are your player ratings for the match against the San Jose Earthquakes?