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Portland Timbers vs Montreal Impact Player Ratings: Sigh Edition

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I was at work during the Timbers match up against Montreal this weekend and after hearing all the reactions to the game, I was not looking forward to it. Finally, two days later, I hunkered down and began to watch.

It wasn't the worst performance ever. The pitch caused some issues, as did the ref. In the end though, the Timbers just did not do enough to win, which is to say, the Timbers did not do anything to win.

Well, here are some player ratings.

The Starters

Troy Perkins: 6

Before coming out due to injury in the 67', Perkins looked comfortable with each save he made and had some of the better distribution of the season so far. On the play he was injured, Perkins showed bravery and some good speed of of his line to get to the ball before the lightning quick Sanna Nyassi.

Andy's rating: 6

I think we've been spoiled around here by having such a good keeper, but we saw just how much we need him. Nothing against Bendik, but he's no Perkins.

Steve Purdy: incomplete

In his short time on the pitch before his 20' substitution, Purdy looked to be a step behind the play before his injury and two steps behind after it.

Ryan's rating: incomplete

The injury really hurt the Timbers, Braun is not ready for 70+ minutes as an outside back.

Eric Brunner: 4

After some good work organizing early on, Brunner fell off badly as the game went on. Although Brunner did not have a banner day, his offenses were not too egregious either with several scary moments coming after some weak back passes to the Timbers' keepers in an otherwise quiet night. There was one well taken header on a corner, but it was while Brunner should have been playing defense and luckily Joe Bendik was in place to make the stop.

Andy's rating: 5

Can't pin the loss on him. He had a tough job.

Hanyer Mosquera: 4

Mosquera has put in several good shifts in recent weeks against strong opposition, but this week he was somewhat lacking. In his short time in Major League Soccer Mosquera has become known as a powerful, physical defender, but against Montreal he was out muscled by both Bernardo Corradi and Sanna Nyassi, each time leading to an excellent scoring opportunity for Montreal. Mosquera was also outrun by Nyassi on the play leading to Perkins' injury, a moment that greatly changed the momentum of the game.

Andy's rating: 4

Looked like he didn't know where he was supposed to be at times, and often left a man unmarked.

Steven Smith: 4

Smith played a number of long balls over the top as he settled in to the game but once he settled in to the game, he showed off the skill that prompted John Spencer to bring him on board. In the defense, Smith looked good when facing the man with the ball, making a number of tackles, but it was off the ball that he struggled as some good runs to spring the offside trap beat him time and again. Of course, Smith's involvement in both Montreal goals cannot be ignored. On the first, Smith was called for dubious handball after hustling back and making a great block. On the second, Smith didn't hustle back and his man was left wide open to slam home the game killing goal.

Andy's rating: 3

Simply didn't do enough on the goal and seemed not to be quite match fit yet.

Darlington Nagbe: 5

Despite disappearing for long stretches of the game, whether playing out wide or in the center, Nagbe showed a few flashes of creativity when the Timbers desperately needed them. Unfortunately, Nagbe's teammates were unable to capitalize on his play and it all went for naught. Particularly heartbreaking was his long run and pass to a wide open Jack Jewsbury, who Nagbe combined with nicely several times on the night, in the box only to have his side-footed shot go right into the hands of Donovan Ricketts. Worth noting is that Nagbe's penchant for getting muscled off the ball continued this game as he gave up the ball in several vulnerable areas.

Ryan's rating: 4

Needs to demand the ball or go find it more if the Timbers are to be dangerous offensively.

Jack Jewsbury: 5

Captain Jack had a very quiet first half playing far up the field, not even toughing the ball until a tackle in the 25'. In the second half, Jewsbury was much more involved in the run of play; tracking back, combining well with his teammates, and getting off some weak shots (but shots none the less). Although the team overall was lacking and Captain Jack was not able to lift them up, he did play more like the dynamic player he was last year than he has in any other match so far this season.

Ryan's rating: 3

Had the best opportunity for a goal and hit an easy ball to an out of position keeper and he cannot be the offensive link that Chara/Nagbe can.

Lovel Palmer: 2

After playing some decent defense against Sporting Kansas City, Palmer self destructed in a big way against Montreal. Slotting in to the defensive midfielder position, Palmer did not win balls on the ground, did not win balls in the air, did not make interceptions, did not track runners, had bad touches, had bad passes, took bad shots, and ball watched on both Montreal goals.

Andy's rating: 3

Didn't know what he was supposed to do. That's not necessarily his fault.

Diego Chara: 4

On Saturday, Chara did what he does every game: he won the ball and he got fouled. As a central midfielder, that works, but on a team like the Timbers that depend on service from the wings to drive the attack, you need more than that from a wide player. Chara did create some chances, particularly in combination with with his countryman Jorge Perlaza, but he never seemed to get in synch with the rest of the team.

Andy's rating: 5

Again, he played a big role in most of the biggest chances the team had.

Ryan's rating: 3

He is wasted on the wings, especially against a team that has no good wings.....

Jorge Perlaza: 3

Perlaza has been called offside a number of times in his career with the Timbers, but few were as needless or lazy as the five times he was called off on Saturday. When he was not offside, Perlaza's touch was deserting him as well, killing off many of the Timbers' early attacks. Despite all of that, by the end of the first half Perlaza was starting to get into the game and made several good runs to receive the ball.

Andy's rating: 2

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me four times, GTFO.

Kris Boyd: 5

Once again thrust into the role of target man, Boyd got stuck in to a physical battle against the central defenders of Montreal. Although he won a number of headers, his teammates runs were rarely timed well and little came from Boyd's industry. In the second half Boyd continued to fight for the ball, but it seemed that his clashes with Shavar Thomas took their toll and he was much less effective, making fewer runs and winning fewer headers for his teammates.

Andy's rating: 4

It was cool that you got into the defensive performance against Kansas. You shouldn't have had to against Montreal.


Freddie Braun: 5

In his second MLS appearance, Braun showed that he has what it takes to compete at this level. At times he took too long on the ball, but overall Braun was one of the Timbers most effective passers, distributing the ball well from his post at rightback. Although he struggled at times on defense, Braun's runs forward were miles ahead of those made by his competition in the position.

Ryan's rating: 4

Played hard and did what he could but he is not an outside back and go burned a couple of times.

Joe Bendik: 5

It is never easy to come on midway through a game, but Bendik did well in his first appearance for theTimbers. Although he could have done better on the second Vancouver goal, the spontanious combustion of most of the Timbers defense did him no favors. Bendik did manage several good stops and showed good distribution on the day.

Andy's rating: 4

Can't dock you from coming in off a knee surgery and taking a PK in your first MLS match. I wish your debut had gone differently.

Frank Songo'o: 4

In his half an hour shift, Songo'o steadily improved. Early on he showed off his dribbling skills several times only to waste any opportunity he created with a poor pass and a turnover. As the game progressed he began to link up nicely with his teammates, getting off a good shot that tested Donovan Ricketts toward the end of the match. Defensively, Songo'o got back well, but appeared to be taking it easy on the first Montreal goal when he might have broken up the play if he get back faster.

Ryan's rating: 3

Who is this guy? What is going on? He is a great "practice player" or can he play well in a game that matters? I hope an injury is bothering him.

Everything Else

Overall Team Grade: 2

The Timbers were somehow less than the sum of their parts. From Merritt Paulson on down the Timbers have insisted that the talent is there, and they are right, but this team is just not playing together. Blame the players or blame the tactics, something is not working here.

John Spencer: 3

Although he was hamstrung by injuries, Spencer made few tactical changes from the game against Sporting Kansas City. The one big change he did make, taking out Mike Chabala, removed one of the team's emotional leaders from the pitch.

Andy's rating: 1

"I'm not one for over-coaching. I'm not one for changing formations just for the sake of it." How about just coaching? How about changing formations to suit your opponent? How about doing your job?