After an unfortunate 1-1 draw against Chivas USA last night, picking a Man of the Match is not easy. Nobody really had a chance to shine as the whole team struggled to get on the same page from the first minute on. Still, the Timbers did control the run of play against a Chivas side mostly content to park the bus and managed to pull back a goal after giving one up.
Here are our picks for the man of the match:
Ryan - Diego Valeri
Once again Valeri started on the bench and was subbed into the game in the second half and just like last game he changed the game. Valeri's passes and ability to unlock the defense provided quite a few scoring opportunities and even Portland's lone goal. Without his addition Portland would not have earned a point on the road.
Stacey - Diego Chara
It's hard to feel terribly enthusiastic about anyone's performance in a draw to Chivas, but Chara was a monster in the midfield while most of the rest of the team was in disarray. He forced Chivas to cough up the ball in the midfield and cleaned up after some terrible passing from his teammates. He also completed an impressive 61 passes, while failing to connect on only five.
Michael - Diego Chara
As noted, Chara's passing performance was first rate. Not only did he complete 92% of his passes, he only misplaced one in the second half. As Will Johnson sat more centrally and defensively, Chara was able to roam and be the most active and involved player on the pitch. That's where he's at his best and despite the result being very disappointing, it was one of Chara's best games of the year.
Will - Diego Chara
This is definitely another one of those game where I couldn't think of who to give this to, eventually setting on the more diminutive Diego as he had the fewest passes during the game that made me yell at my TV. As usual, Chara was everywhere and his simple linking passing at the center of the pitch held the Timbers together on a day when ill-advised and poorly executed passes were the rule rather than the exception.
There are our picks, but what are yours? Vote in the poll below and let us know why in the comments.