The Portland Timbers managed to earn a point on the road from league leaders FC Dallas. In most instances this would surely be a big win considering the Timbers' former road performances, and FC Dallas' placement on the standings. And yet, because of a single penalty kick, the whole thing just kind of feels like a let down. Don't get me wrong, a point is better than nothing, but it could have been so much more.
Here are the individual player ratings:
Ryan: Ricketts is on fire. His presence in the back helped cover for the loss of Silvestre and gave confidence to the whole team. And when a team has confidence in the keeper behind them it allows them to play with less anxiety about mistakes and therefore they make less mistakes. His save on Cooper in the 87th minute will be another candidate for SOTW.
Geoff: Dallas seemingly had no problem racing up and down the left side of the field. While Harrington seemed to work out well playing as a right back against Kansas City, I think I'm ready to see him back on the left side.
Futty Danso: 7
Geoff: A solid game for Futty. Last night was just one more example of his proving that he deserves a spot on this team and why we should all rest a little easier despite Mikael Silvestre being out.
Andy: FC Dallas knew exactly what they needed to do to get into AJB's head, and it worked. Up until this point AJB had overcome his inexperience with physical dominance and mental confidence. He seemed to lose all his gifts for much of the match against Dallas.
Ryan: Anytime you go against one of the best offensive teams in the league on the road you need to be ready defensively. Jack was ready and was able to shut Kenny Cooper down and not allow him any space to maneuver or create shots.
Will Johnson: 3
Geoff: Arguably Will's worst game for the Timbers so far this season. The Timbers' midfield just wasn't clicking like they used to and it was largely due to Will's mental absence. Conversely it was probably because of this that Chara had such a great game.
Diego Valeri: 5
Andy: I just want to point out how crucial the chemistry between Valeri and Ryan Johnson has been in recent matches. Never has that been more apparent than when Johnson was left out of the starting lineup -- it definitely impacted Valeri's effectiveness offensively.
Diego Chara: 8
Andy: The Timbers don't have many players who can almost single-handedly carry the team when they're having a bad day. Chara's one of those few.
Ryan: Nagbe looked to have fallen into a little bit of a slump in the first minutes of the game and failed to capitalize on dangerous chances. However his goal on the road against Dallas was exactly what Portland needed and showed how much skill he has. He also tracked back well late in the game to help preserve the draw.
Geoff: All in all not a bad start for Piquionne. I'm not necessarily sure if he was better or worse than Ryan Johnson on average, but he certainly brought a different feel to the front. Had Dallas' keeper not gotten a couple fingers on Piquionne's shot in the first half, this game and score could be remarkably different.
Geoff: Not really sure what Alhassan contributed to on the left. He was noticeably absent for large parts of the game. He did have a couple decent, actual crosses (no shrosses) but nothing really came of them anyway. Needless to say, it was nice to have Wallace subbed back in.
Geoff: I'm not sure why Caleb Porter decided to keep Wallace on the bench, but clearly we can now see what the Timbers' lose by not having him in the starting eleven. Wallace is quickly becoming one of the best left wingers in MLS.
Ben Zemanski: 5
Geoff: I'm still not really sure what to make of Zemanski. He replaced one of the Timbers' few creative elements on the field and acted more as a holding midfielder. Which is probably what they needed at the time, but just didn't seem to add much and the Timbers' midfield continued to be less than what we've grown accustom to.
Ryan Johnson: 5
Geoff: Clearly 10 minutes isn't enough time to do much so we're going a little easy on Ryan tonight.
What are your player ratings for Wednesday's game? How well do you think each individual player performed?