Diego Chara continued his role as the Portland Timbers' enforcer in the center of the field. In his third year with the team, Chara lead the team in both fouls and tackles, earning his reputation as one of the most feared defensive midfielders in Major League Soccer.
2012 Rank: 3
Chara may have dropped down in our off-season rankings, but that does not mean that his quality of play dropped off. The 2013 season saw Chara set a personal best for minutes played and appearances while maintaining a passing accuracy of 85.9% (according to WhoScored.com), the highest on the team and the seventh highest in MLS.
His individual performances were consistently impactful, but it was the speed with which Chara was able to form a partnership at the center of the pitch with Will Johnson that kept him as one of the Timbers' most valuable contributors this season. Although he did not have the scoring touch of Johnson, Chara did dish three assists this season including game winners against the Houston Dynamo and Sporting Kansas City in two important wins over Eastern Conference opponents while allowing his midfield partner to get forward into the attack and have a career year of his own.
There does not seem to be much fear that Chara will take a step back next year. Chara is in the prime of his career and is playing in a system that takes full advantage of his strengths. If he can bag a goal or two in 2014, the year has every possibility of being Chara's best since coming to MLS.