The Portland Timbers somehow managed to keep their streak alive against the likes of a Vancouver Whitecaps side that was easy on the dives, and a referee who was more than willing to embrace that side of the game. For their part, the Timbers didn't seem like their normal selves. Ryan Johnson stated after the match that the miscommunication with regards to uniform color hampered the Timbers well known ability to pass and possess. Whether or not that's true, I can't say, but there was certainly something off about them on Saturday.
Here are the individual player ratings:
Will: Ricketts made the saves he was supposed to make, of which there were two, and didn't make the saves that no one is supposed to make, of which there were also two. His distribution, at least in terms of passing percentage, was above average.
Andy: Played a solid match at right back. With a comparatively easier defense task of dealing with the Oregonian youngster Erik Hurtado, Jack was able to get forward a bit and contribute more than his counterpart on the opposite side.
Will: AJB delt well with the tricks of Camillo Sanvezzo, never giving him the chance to hit the dirt and draw a card, something the more experienced Futty Danso and Will Johnson each could not avoid. AJB also passed well out of the back, completing 29 of 37 passes, although a number of those passes were more speculative than I would have preferred.
Futty Danso: 5
Andy: Futty had a solid game, helped by the fact that the Whitecaps didn't really get into the area much during the run of play -- he positioned himself well against Vancouver's attackers while AJB dealt with the crosses that came in. And only one person at BC Place thought that was a red card.
Geoff: Not a stellar night for Harrington, something I'm getting a bit tired of expressing. Against Vancouver he seemed to struggle against their speedy wings. By the end of the game he looked absolutely gassed.
Will Johnson: 6
Andy: The captain had a tough job once Nagbe left the field, trying to fill his shoes on the attack while still getting involved defensively, and overall he did quite well at it. He made a bad decision to leave Gershon Koffie uncovered while he tried to dispossess Camilo Sanvezzo, though, and that tempers my enthusiasm about his goal and assist.
Diego Valeri: 4
Will: Who is this imposter and what did he do with the Timbers midfield maestro? Vancouver had Valeri off his game all evening, which had repercussions across the field for the Timbers, particularly with the injury to Darlington Nagbe, and saw the team resorting to an unfortunate number of long balls hoofed down the field.
Diego Chara: 7
Andy: Chara effectively shut down the middle of the defensive half of the field. Vancouver had nothing going in the center of the pitch, and that's in spite of Nigel Reo-Coker's presence -- he too was pushed to the wings and rendered insignificant. Nice job, Diego.
Darlington Nagbe: 6
Andy: Nagbe was a vital key in the attack until he went down with an ankle injury. As much as he relies on Valeri to pull defenders away and help orchestrate the attack, Valeri relies on Nagbe as well.
Ryan Johnson: 5
Geoff: Ryan Johnson does a lot up top that doesn't necessarily revolve around scoring goals, but in themselves leads others to score. However, he wasn't as present as he usual against Vancouver. Again whether that's because of the kit colors or not I can't say, but he did mention it being an issue.
Will: It was another solid performance from Wallace in Vancouver as he played good defense high up the pitch, got into dangerous spots, and was generally a pain in the Whitecaps' collective behinds. Unfortunately, the little bit of magic that has seen him knock in three goals already this season was absent on Saturday and each of his three shots, as well as the painful loose ball scramble along the goal line early on, was blocked away by the Whitecaps defense.
Andy: Maybe it's a chemistry thing, but it just seems like Alhassan doesn't know what he's supposed to do or where he's supposed to be to combine with his teammates.
Geoff: Piquionne also seemed off his usual game when he entered in the second half. Not sure what he was trying to do, but he was bouncing all over the field.
Geoff: Scored the game equalizer. In that, El Trencito was absolutely crucial to the game as a whole, despite only being in for a fraction of the time. There's no discounting now the talent that El Trencito has, but whether he can continue to perform in that manner game in, game out is another question. Still, he came up big against the Whitecaps. Hopefully it throws him back into the midst of starting XI contention.
How well do you think each player did individually?