The Portland Timbers earned what might have been their best 3 points of the season so far. On the cusp of slipping even further away from the league leaders and having to battle for one of the bottom playoff positions, they managed to raise themselves back up to where both Real Salt Lake and FC Dallas are sitting as well as provide ample distance between the rapidly rising Seattle Sounders and ever present LA Galaxy. A loss by the Colorado Rapids to the San Jose Earthquakes didn't hurt either.
So how well did everybody do in the match? Let's find out:
Donovan Ricketts - 9
Ryan: He read plays perfectly, came out on a couple of corners to punch the ball clear and looked like a general directing his troops. When Portland needed him to make a stop he came up with the save and all of that meant Portland captured the three points.
Ryan: I thought this was a solid game for Harrington. He defended the speedy wings well and helped unlock FC Dallas' defense with timely runs. His crosses have improved and they looked dangerous.
Pa Modou Kah - 6
Geoff: Solid night for Kah. Despite FC Dallas being able to get off almost 20 shot total, 7 being on target, Kah seemed to be able to close down his targets when things got crucial. While we always expect more from our centerbacks, Kah did an admirable job against a very strong team. Still a little too much long balling, however.
Futty Danso - 7
Stacey: It was both disappointing and concerning to see Futty go off in the second half, not only because we have had enough center back injuries for one season, but also because Futty was having a solid day on the back line and looked dangerous on set pieces too.
Jack Jewsbury - 5
Geoff: Unlike Harrington, Jewsbury seemed to struggle with his position often than not. Ferreira, in particular, seemed to identify Jewsbury's position specifically as one of the weak links.
Will Johnson - 7
Geoff: Solid night for Will Johnson. Aside from a particularly bad series of events which almost allowed Dallas to score, the captain was pretty much on his game throughout. He almost earned himself another tally on his stat sheet with an impressive shot on target.
Diego Valeri - 7
Ryan: He was maestro. His passing helped unlock a solid defense and his two efforts on frame forced Fernandez to make SOTW candidate saves.
Diego Chara - 6
Geoff: As with Will Johnson, Chara also had a solid night. However, he really needs to work on his finishing. I know he doesn't find himself in these positions often, but twice he had great opportunities to score and he just wasn't able to convert.
Kalif Alhassan - 7
Stacey: Alhassan mostly resisted the urge to get too fancy with his game and the Timbers' attack was better for it. Already credited with the assist on Nagbe's goal, he almost got a second with his beautiful ball to Valeri in the 68th minute. Plus, he took a powerful shot on goal! Of course, he also curled it high and wide at least once. Baby steps.
Darlington Nagbe - 9
Stacey: Nagbe was playing with some fire in his game on Saturday, finding holes in Dallas' defense and keeping the attack flowing. Amazingly, his goal was the only shot he took all game, hugely surprising given how active he was.
Ryan: At times he just looked a step slow but he was still a force in the air and won quite a few of the long balls. I would love to see him open his goal scoring account but I will take the assists he has been dishing as a bonus.
Geoff: I would hazard that this was one of AJB's best games played yet. He was confident, cool and generally able to keep Dallas' chances as minimized as possible. One particular save by the youngster was probably the difference maker in the match.
Ryan Johnson - 5
Geoff: Ryan Johnson ran and ran... and ran. Not much else was done by the striker, unfortunately. I think RJ can be a really strong striker against certain teams, but with Dallas' backline he just wasn't as effective.
Ben Zemanski - N/A
Geoff: Zemanski only got a few minutes on the field and, as such, couldn't be properly rated.
What did you think about the Timbers' performance against Dallas? How would you rank them?