Another road game, another loss. I'm coming up empty with why and how the Portland Timbers are having a worse season this year than last. On paper, the Timbers should be better in every aspect. They've been paying longer as a team, they have higher quality players, and more depth all around and yet... there's just no consistency.
Wednesday's game against Chivas USA was no better. In going up against the team with the worst home record, the Timbers wasted little time in showing that they could help their fellow Western Conference team break their scoring drought and turn their season around. I know we're a helpful lot up here in Portland, but I think right now I really just want the Timbers to be a little more selfish.
Here are your player ratings:
Troy Perkins: 4
Ugh, that was a bad "save" from Perkins that immediately lead to the goal. I've watched it a couple times and I see no reason why he couldn't catch that one. He gets an extra point, however, for some better distribution.
Andy's rating: 3 - It's probably not totally fair to place the blame for the goal on Perkins, since so much else went wrong on that particular play, but one way or another, Perkins should have held onto that cross instead of parrying it.
Kosuke Kimura: 5
Plagued my minor slip ups, I'm still giving Kimura some time to adjust to the system. It's not easy transferring to a beleaguered team and then having your head coach shipped out one game in. That said, he needs to shape up against FC Dallas tomorrow night.
Will's rating: 3 - While Kimura managed to avoid the one disastrous moment on his flank that Smith suffered across the way, he had plenty of near slip-ups along the way.
Futty Danso: 4
Futty had an alright game, but he suffered from the same lack of energy that plagues the Timbers whenever they're on the road.
Ryan's rating: 4 - Just seemed like the entire backline was waiting for someone else to step up to a player and Futty was no different.
Hanyer Mosquera: 2
Completely left the goalscorer open. No marking whatsoever. Never really came up big either. Disappointing performance from Mosqo.
Ryan's rating: 4 - He seems to be lacking something, he paired so well with Brunner earlier in the year but hasn't not seemed comfortable with Horst or Futty.
Steven Smith: 3
Suffered pretty much all over the field and couldn't control Ryan Smith when he made the deep run which lead to the goal. His usual offensive attitude and crosses were missing as well.
Will's rating: 3 - Smith didn't get much in terms of defensive help in the first half and boy did it show. He was completely unable to deal with Ryan Smith through the first forty five minutes and, although he put in the work, ultimately had little to contribute to the attack.
Kalif Alhassan: 5
Usual Alhassan type of play, but with no connections anywhere on the field.
Andy's rating: 3 - Is it just me, or has he regressed a bit since Spenny left the team? Yes, he's had an assist and created some nice chances here and there, but it looks at times like he's forgotten he plays on a team.
Jack Jewsbury: 5
A better performance against Chivas USA than either the LA Galaxy, but still not as good as needed. Still, he frustrated Nick LaBrocca throughout and that earns him some bonus points.
Ryan's rating: 4 - he was not a defensive liability this game nor was he part of the offense either. He disappeared for a lot of the game and that can't happen if the Timbers want to actually score, let alone win on the road.
Darlington Nagbe: 4
A little lost against Chivas USA, he also allowed a great opportunity to slip through his fingers.
Will's rating: 4 - As the only player other than Boyd and "Own Goal" with multiple tallies to his name this season, it sure would have been nice if Nagbe could have put away the team's best chance, a chipped ball from Alexander that Nagbe headed wide. He didn't though. He also managed only about a third as many touches on the ball as almost every other player on the field, which is not great for someone nominally a CAM.
Diego Chara: 7
My Man of the Match, Chara was everywhere on the field. He pushed forward when needed (which wasn't very often) and he tracked back to help defend. He was sorely missed against the LA Galaxy and his presence helped the Timbers control the midfield against Chivas USA. Now if only every other Timbers player played as well on the road.
Will's rating: 5 - Chara succeeded this week in the ways he usually succeeds: making tackles and clogging up the center of the pitch. He didn't bring much to the table offensively other than allowing Jack to go forward and Chivas had no intention of attacking through the center so Diego had little impact overall.
Eric Alexander: 6
Solid performance from Alexander as he looks to be regaining some of the form we saw earlier this season. Love that he is taking chances on goal.
Will's rating: 6 - When allowed to move around the pitch Alexander had shown, both this year and in several games last season, that he can be very effective at pulling the strings of the Timbers attack. In the twenty five minutes that he played in the second half Alexander had two shots, equaling anyone else on the team, and created several opportunities for his teammates along the way.
Kris Boyd: 4
No brace from Boyd against Chivas USA. No goal either. So naturally I'm a little disappointed. That said, he did take some chances and his service wasn't great.
Will's rating: 5 - Boyd didn't quite make the most of his chances, but they were half chances at best as he was once again left out on an island. The only play I can really find fault with was Boyd's attempt to play the ball over a defender and get a shot off rather than simply laying the ball off to Jewsbury who was unmarked at the top of the box.
Sal Zizzo: 3
Earlier this season Zizzo was our super sub. He would come on and just wear down an otherwise exhausted team. it was a great thing to watch. Lately, however, he just hasn't been the same and Chivas found a way to mute him.
Will's rating: 5 - Running around a lot has always been a big part of Sal's game and this time it was somewhat effective. He had two shots on goal and several key passes in his short time on the pitch.
Franck Songo'o: 5
Came on for Nagbe and had a more more coordinated effort on the attack. Unfortunately, he just never broke through. I get the feeling that his latest injury came at an inopportune time, right when he was starting to get in the zone.
Andy's rating: 5 - Songo'o's entry into the game brought about some of the Timbers' best offensive production. I think (hope) he's earned back his spot in the starting lineup.
Danny Mwanga: N/A
Came in late in the second half. Made little impact, but then didn't really have the chance to either.
So there you have it. Another overall disappointing road performance. I should have these player ratings just templated for future use.