On Saturday, the Portland Timbers lost 0-2 against the Philadelphia Union, with one of the goals coming from a long throw-in and another coming from a cross where the Union’s striker was left virtually unmarked. Despite these two errors, the Timbers actually performed pretty well and generated a lot of chances or half-chances- they just didn’t capitalize or finish those opportunities.
Here’s my breakdown of how the Timbers’ players performed as they remained in the 10th position in the Western Conference.
Aljaz Ivacic (GK) - 2.5
Ivacic had an all-around poor performance as he ranked below the 20th percentile for his goalkeeping grade and around the 35th percentile for his passing grade. Despite completing a decent percentage of passes (56th percentile), Ivacic again wasn’t involved much in the buildup as he ranked in the sixth percentile for total passes and just the 10th percentile for total long passes. Ivacic’s goalkeeping also wasn’t that great as he ranked below the 50th percentile for all of his goalkeeping grades, with some of the measurements ranking him in the bottom 30th or even bottom 20th percentile. I really think he needs to be more active outside the box and help his defenders out more by going for crosses or closing down the shot angle of opponents, especially with how much the current fullbacks have struggled this season with allowing crosses. Regardless, hopefully he can regain the form that he had before he got injured because at that time, he was actually playing very well.
Jose Van Rankin (RB) - 7.4
This was arguably Van Rankin’s best game of the season thus far, as the Mexican played a major role in the buildup and final product of the Timbers attack and he did a good job of being efficient on the defensive end of things. Van Rankin was involved a lot more from a passing perspective in this game, as he ranked in the 98th percentile for passes per 90 despite ranking in the bottom half for most of the season. Even with this added number of passes, Van Rankin still held high percentages for his passing numbers as he completed 85% of his total passes (80th percentile), all of his four long passes, both of his passes to the penalty area, and 75% of his forward passes (66th percentile). A lot of Van Rankin’s passes were in the final third or forward passes which is another good sign to see. Also, Van Rankin did a good job of advancing the attack forward as he ranked in the 95th percentile for progressive passes and the 99th percentile for progressive passes received. Defensively, despite not attempting many pressures or defensive duels, Van Rankin ranked in the 99th percentile for press percentage and completed all of his defensive duels. This efficiency also contributed to a large number of recoveries for the Mexican, as he ranked in the 80th percentile for that statistic as well.
Dario Zuparic (CB) - 4.6
As a whole, Zuparic’s grades are very similar to Tuiloma, except he is slightly worse most of the time. In this game, Zuparic was slightly above-average in his passing, defensive, and even above-average in his aerial grades, but he performed in just the 20th percentile for his carrying grade, which explains why his grade dipped below the average mark. Zuparic rarely attempted passes in this match (eighth percentile), but he still displayed some accurate passing. The Croatian ranked in the 75th percentile for total passes, completing both of his long passes, his long pass to the final third, and eight of his nine forward passes in the match. Like most of the Timbers back line, Zuparic did not attempt many pressures; however, when he did, he completed a lot of them, ranking in the 76th percentile. It was somewhat the opposite for the Croatian’s defensive duels, as he ranked above-average for his total duels attempted but well below-average for his completion rate of the duels. All in all, this culminated in a solid recoveries rating in the 60th percentile, so Zuparic did a decent job of defending.
Bill Tuiloma (CB) - 5.7
Tuiloma ranked above-average in his passing and defensive grades; however, smaller categories like his carrying and aerial grades prevented him from receiving an even better overall performance rating. While he didn’t receive many passes (as he ranked in just the 34th percentile), Tuiloma did a great job of being efficient with his opportunities, as he ranked in the 88th percentile for pass percentage, completed both of his long passes and passes to the final third, and succeeded in 94% of his forward passes (95th percentile). Like Van Rankin, Tuiloma didn’t attempt many pressures, but when he did, he was very successful relative to other center backs, as the New Zealander ranked in the 83rd percentile. Tuiloma didn’t do a great job with his defensive duels as he hovered around the 30th percentile, but he made up for that by ranking above-average in his recoveries (66th percentile).
Justin Rasmussen (LB) - 3.6
Rasmussen was slightly below-average across the board, however his frequent losing of the ball in his own half played a large role in his low grade. Rasmussen lost the ball a whopping seven times in his own half, despite ranking below-average (42nd percentile) for his total actions in the match. The rookie was around the average for his pressures and press percentage, but his low defensive duel numbers contributed to a recoveries rating in just the 32nd percentile. Despite attempting a fairly high number of passes (75th percentile), Rasmussen completed just 70% (22nd percentile). The American did a good job of passing to the penalty area, as he completed three of five such passes, yet he attempted just two passes to the final third. He completed 63% of his forward passes (41st percentile) and completed just one of his four long passes.
Eryk Williamson (CM) - N/A
Williamson played just 14 minutes before getting injured, which is not enough time to evaluate his performance. Hopefully, he has a quick recovery and we can see him on the field soon, because he was just beginning to build momentum with two assists in his last three games.
Diego Chara (CDM) - 7.3
In this game, Diego was surprisingly below-average defensively, but he made up for that with great passing (76th percentile) and a pretty good offensive grade (60th percentile). Chara’s five shot-creating actions were the most he’s had all season and displays how well rounded he is as a midfielder. Diego was slightly above-average for his pressing and press percentage, however his defensive duels and his defensive duel percentage were abysmal. Chara completed just 17% of his defensive duels, which ranked him in the sixth percentile. Even with this struggle, Chara still ranked in the 85th percentile for his recoveries, so his defensive grade definitely wasn’t all bad. However, Chara’s defense pales in comparison to his passing, as the Colombian completed an insane 98% of his passes on a decent amount of attempts too (49th percentile). Notably, Chara completed all of his three long passes, nine passes to the final third, seven progressive passes and 95% of his forward passes.
Cristhian Paredes (CM) - 4.3
It was another typical performance from Paredes as he did a good job defensively (63rd percentile), but he struggled to get himself consistently involved in the buildup. Again, Paredes didn’t receive many touches again, as he ranked below the 25th percentile for total actions, but he also did not execute many of his total actions, ranking in just the eighth percentile. Going back to his defensive performance, Paredes attempted a lot of pressures (97th percentile) but his completion rate was around the average mark. Likewise, he did a good job of attempting defensive duels (85th percentile), but this time his completion rate was even lower (30th percentile). Because Paredes attempted so many pressures and defensive duels, he ranked fairly high in his recoveries as well (83rd percentile). While his defensive production was pretty good, Paredes struggled in his passing as he completed just 79% of his total passes (32nd percentile) and attempted just one pass to the final third and three long passes. In specific areas of passing (such as long balls or forward passes), Paredes actually performed pretty well— he just didn’t attempt many in the match.
Yimmi Chara (CM/CAM/RW) - 7.2
Yimmi had an all-around solid performance as he ranked around or above average for each major category, but his passing especially stood out in this game. The Colombian completed 91% of his total passes (80th percentile) on a large sample size (80th percentile). Due to this accurate passing on such a large amount of attempts, Yimmi had a large effect on this game. Specifically, Yimmi completed all of his three long passes, nine passes to the final third, and 94% of his forward passes. The Colombian also received a massive amount of progressive passes in the match. It was emblematic of the fact that even though the Timbers didn’t get the result that they wanted, they still did a better job of linking up in their forward players. Defensively, Yimmi didn’t attempt many pressures. However, his completion rate was very good as he ranked in the 96th percentile for midfielders. Ultimately, Yimmi’s lack of production from his defensive duels and limited number of pressures led to his recovery numbers being fairly low for his position (27th percentile), but as previously stated, there are some positives to take away from his defensive performance. Lastly, Yimmi did another solid job of getting shots off (two in the match with one on target) and creating shots for his teammates (two shot assists and three shot-creating actions), so hopefully Yimmi can finally build some consistency with his performances against Inter Miami.
Nathan (ST) - 5.8
While Nathan didn’t get on the scoreboard again, he did achieve another above-average rating, which is something Timbers strikers this season have really struggled to do and Nathan has now done this on back-to-back games. The Brazilian ranked above-average for everything but his shooting (which is obviously the most important trait for a striker). But, it is a good thing to see Nathan contributing in other categories, such as his passing (66th percentile), aerial duels (71st percentile), and his pressing (57th percentile). He completed 81% of his passes on a decent amount of attempts (46th percentile) and racked up two progressive passes (55th percentile). Additionally, Nathan won two of his four aerial duels, which is a pretty good aerial duel rate for a striker (~80th percentile). On another note, while Nathan didn’t apply much pressure in this match (15th percentile), he completed a large majority of his presses (96th percentile). Furthermore, the striker won two of his three defensive duels, which is another pretty good defensive rate (76th percentile). Now while two shots and none on target are poor from a starting striker, I think it is promising to see Nathan contributing in other aspects of this game— something Timbers strikers have been relatively unable to do this season.
Sebastian Blanco (LW) - 6.9
Apart from his defensive grade (which was actually better than it usually is), Blanco had a very well-rounded performance as he ranked above the 60th percentile for every major category and the Argentine excelled in his passing, playmaking, and dribbling. Blanco did a good job of finding space from his defender, as he frequently received the ball in this match (97th percentile for targets). His overall passing wasn’t awesome (55th percentile), but Blanco performed very well in specific areas. The Argentine completed all eight of his passes to the final third, three of his five passes to the penalty area, and 83% of his forward passes, all of which are above the 70th percentile, with most of these statistics hovering around the 80th-90th percentile. For arguably the first time this season, Blanco was also dangerous with his dribbling, as he recorded 11 progressive carries (95th percentile), drew four fouls (90th percentile), and completed five of his nine dribbles (~70th percentile). As you can see, this was a good offensive performance from Blanco. The Timbers just needed to find that final bit of quality to score goals, but things for Blanco are trending in the right direction.
Santiago Moreno (RW) - 5.8
Moreno had a decent performance, however, he was a bit inconsistent with some of his grades, which prevented him from achieving a rating like Blanco or Yimmi. The Colombian displayed good passing and playmaking with a high defensive work rate, but he was slightly below-average in his dribbling and his offensive grade was also below-average, proving once again that Moreno needs to work on his final product. Like Blanco, Moreno often received the ball (89th percentile for targets), and the young Colombian was even better than Blanco in certain areas of his passing. As a whole, Moreno completed a higher percentage of his passes (72nd percentile), passes to the penalty area (75th percentile), and forward passes (86th percentile), although Blanco ranked slightly higher in his attempted passes into some of those areas. Similar to most of the Timbers team, Moreno didn’t attempt many pressures or defensive duels , but he succeeded at them at a decently high rate (62nd percentile for pressures, and Moreno won his lone defensive duel). Because of his success rate, Moreno often recovered the ball, as he ranked in the 80th percentile for recoveries for wingers. Because of this defensive work, I believe that Moreno’s dribbling in this match was adversely affected, as the Colombian completed just one of his four dribbles, ranked in just the seventh percentile for progressive distance per carry, and did not attempt a single carry into the final third or penalty area. I really believe there is a negative trend with Moreno’s defensive work rate and his dribbling success rate, so hopefully he can do a bit of both in future games as he receives more game time and experience.
Larrys Mabiala (CB) - 3.6
Mabiala wasn’t required to do much defensive work in this game, as evident through his defensive grade ranking in the third percentile; however, he did impact the game through his ball progression and passing. Mabiala was pretty much non-existent defensively, as he didn’t even attempt a pressure or defensive duel in the match. In the end, this resulted in a very low number of recoveries, as Mabiala ranked in just the second percentile. Instead, it appears that Mabiala was brought on to create opportunities through his passing as he ranked in the 40th percentile for his total passes, much higher than any of his defensive statistics. Mabiala had a decent passing performance, as he completed 87% of his passes (65th percentile), ranking slightly below-average for his long and forward passing, but well above-average for his passes to the final third and his completion rate in that area (~80th percentile).
Marvin Loria (LW/LWB) - 5.8
Loria had a very inconsistent performance as he performed very well in his passing and playmaking, ranking above the 80th percentile for both, but he struggled defensively and with his dribbling offensive grade (meaning his final product or offensive duels). Being brought on in the 66th minute two goals down, I have a feeling Loria’s purpose on the field was to try to create opportunities going forward and to somewhat forget about the defending. Like the other wingers for the Timbers, Loria often received the ball and he performed really well with his passing. The Costa Rican completed 87% of his total passes (88th percentile), including both of his crosses. He also completed one of his two passes to the final third, two of his three passes to the penalty area, and 71% of his forward passes. While this might not seem like a lot of passes into dangerous areas, for Loria’s time on the field (~40 minutes), this is some pretty good production. Apart from his passing and playmaking, Loria was unable to influence the game in any other fashion, whether it be defensively, through his dribbling, or producing that final ball and creating shots for himself or his teammates.
David Ayala () - N/A
Zac McGraw () - N/A
These players aren’t graded because I currently do not have a grading system that will fairly evaluate players, who played under 30 minutes compared to the rest of the team, who played most of the game. This is something that I want to improve upon in the future.