On Saturday, the Portland Timbers lost 1-2 to Inter Miami. Miami just seemed to have a bit more quality with their passes and just more energy in general. Part of that changed with the substitutions of Bill Tuiloma, Santiago Moreno, and Sebastian Blanco. However, the Timbers ran out of time to get any points from the game.
Here’s my breakdown of how the Timbers’ players performed as they moved down into the 11th position in the Western Conference.
Aljaz Ivacic (GK) - 6.9
Ivacic had a solid well-rounded performance as he completed all of his passes and had an expected conceded goals rating higher than his actual conceded goals. As previously stated, Ivacic completed all of his passes, but he didn’t attempt a single long ball and recorded just 10 total passes, which contributed to his slightly below-average passing grade. However, Ivacic did a good job of goalkeeping against Inter Miami as he rated above-average for all three of the expected goals models that I use. Hopefully, he can continue to build off this goalkeeping performance and try to get himself a bit more involved in the buildup by stretching the field and making himself more of a passing outlet.
Josecarlos Van Rankin (RB) - 5.2
Apart from his dribbling, where Van Rankin ranked in just the 11th percentile, he actually had another well-rounded performance, and all of his other grades were around or above the 50th percentile. The Mexican did not attempt many pressures or recoveries (below the 40th percentile for both), but he made up for this through his large number of defensive duels (66th percentile) and by holding a high press and defensive duel percentage (~67th percentile). While Van Rankin was often involved in the buildup and possession for the Timbers last week, he was unable to maintain the trend this week as the Mexican ranked in the 12th percentile for his passes and the 21st percentile for his pass percentage. However, taking a deeper look into Van Rankin’s passes shows that he was attempting difficult passes for the most part and completing those difficult passes at a solid percentage. Some examples include his crossing (55th percentile), passes to the final third (65th percentile), passes to the penalty area (68th percentile), and his forward passes (60th percentile). For all of these statistics, Van Rankin was consistently above-average both in his total number of passes and his completion percentage. The level of Van Rankin’s passes is also expressed in his progressive distance per pass, which ranked in the 99th percentile among fullbacks.
Dario Zuparic (CB) - 4.8
While Zuparic was basically non-existent in the air (7th percentile) and had a below-average defensive performance (40th percentile), his passing and consequently his total actions were above-average (~65th percentile). Zuparic did not attempt many presses (39th percentile), but he did a good job of winning a majority of his presses, as he ranked in the 65th percentile for press percentage. While it was good to see Zuparic efficient in his pressing, his defensive duels weren’t impressive both from a capacity and an efficiency standpoint. The Croatian completed three of his six duels, and ranked below-average in his total amount of defensive duels (40th percentile) and well below-average in his defensive duel percentage (20th percentile). The overall passing from all of the Timbers center-backs were on point against Inter Miami, as Zuparic ranked in the 95th percentile for his total completion percentage. He also completed all of his three long passes and both of his passes to the final third, yet he ranked in just the third percentile for forward passes, but still maintained a solid passing rate in that area (87th percentile). That last statistic from Zuparic’s game is particularly interesting because it suggests that Zuparic didn’t progress the attack forward much and that his passing percentage is perhaps overinflated because of this. Hopefully, he will be a bit more progressive following the international break.
Larrys Mabiala (CB) - 5.0
Like Zuparic, Mabiala struggled to get himself involved defensively (27th percentile), however, his well-rounded and above-average performance across his aerial, passing, and carrying grades contributed to his average rating. Like Zuparic, Mabiala was below-average in his pressing (33rd percentile), but he also did not complete or succeed in a single one of his presses. Mabiala’s defensive struggles continued into his defensive duels, where the Congolese international completed just one of his three duels, and consequently his recoveries, as Mabiala ranked in just the 28th percentile. However, Mabiala was more involved in the passing and buildup for the Timbers, as he ranked in the 58th percentile for his total passes and the 79th percentile for his pass completion rate. Delving deeper into his passing statistics, I noticed that Mabiala completed four of his six long passes, six of his nine passes to the final third, and ranked above-average for his forward passes and completion rate. While it is great to see an all-around passing display from Mabiala, he needs to get better at defending, because his defensive duel and pressing actions suggest a lot of room for improvement after the international break.
Justin Rasmussen (LB) - 5.3
Yet again, Rasmussen struggled defensively in this match, ranking in just the 29th percentile, but he made up for his defensive issues with solid passing and playmaking grades. The rookie recorded the same number of presses as Van Rankin, however, he did not succeed in a single one of them, which is pretty poor for a defender. Additionally, Rasmussen ranked in just the 14th percentile for defensive duels and did not record a single recovery, which is nigh unbelievable for a fullback. In spite of this poor defensive performance, Rasmussen was slightly more involved in the possession and buildup for the Timbers compared to Van Rankin, as he ranked above the Mexican both in his total number of passes and pass percentage. Rasmussen completed all of his three long passes, one of his four crosses, while ranking around the 70th percentile for his passes to the final third and the 60th percentile for his passes to the penalty area. However, the rookie attempted just nine forward passes per 90 (16th percentile) and ranked in just the 59th percentile for his passing percentage in that category. As you can see, Rasmussen’s passing was kind of all over the place, as the rookie performed well in some categories and poor in others. However, the key contribution to the attack for Rasmussen were his two shot-creating actions, which ultimately resulted in his slightly above-average grade.
Yimmi Chara (CM) - 6.5
Like most of the Timbers, Yimmi had a below-average defensive performance (33rd percentile), however he completed a solid percentage of his passes on a decent amount of attempts to go with an average offensive performance. Yimmi just wasn’t involved much defensively, as he ranked below average for his total pressures, duels, and his recoveries. Additionally, the Colombian recorded another one of the highest total passes ratings in this Timbers side, as he ranked in the 56th percentile. Furthermore, Yimmi was fairly efficient with most of his passes and landed in the 83rd percentile for his total pass percentage, 74th percentile for his long pass percentage, 85th percentile for his final third pass percentage, and finally the 69th percentile for his forward pass percentage. To cap this passing display off, Yimmi recorded two shot assists along with two shot-creating actions and one goal-creating action, once again proving his value as both a playmaker and passer.
David Ayala (CDM) - 6.0
With the absence of Diego Chara because of yellow card accumulation, Ayala stepped into the defensive midfield role and I thought he did a decent job, although his defensive performance wasn’t that great. Ayala made up for this though, as he ranked above average in his remaining categories: total actions, passing, and offense. Ayala attempted an average amount of pressures; however, his press percentage was very poor, as the Argentine ranked in just the 25th percentile. Ayala’s poor defensive performance continued into his defensive duels, where he ranked around the 30th percentile. These statistics ultimately contributed to his low level of recoveries, as Ayala ranked in just the seventh percentile for that category. While his defensive performance wasn’t that great, Ayala was very efficient with his passing (91st percentile for total passes) and looked very smooth with a lot of his passes, even though he didn’t record a lot of attempts. Breaking his pass statistics down further, Ayala performed above-average in his long passes (~73rd percentile), passes to the final third (~58th percentile), and even though Ayala attempted very few forward passes (19th percentile) he completed a large percentage of them (79th percentile). In his time on the field, Ayala also recorded two shot-creating actions which added to his solid overall performance.
Cristhian Paredes (CM) - 3.7
Paredes had an all-around poor performance, which is again partially due to the fact that he wasn’t involved much in the game. The Paraguayan ranked below-average for all his major categories, which include his total actions (39th percentile), passing (38th percentile), defensive contribution (44th percentile), and offensive contribution (36th percentile). Paredes ranked in just the ninth percentile for his total actions and 16th percentile for his passes. I’m not sure why but I’m beginning to observe a trend with Paredes’ game grades, as the Paraguayan just isn’t involved much in the game. I believe this has happened enough times for it to be regarded as more than a fluke and should really be considered when analyzing games in the future because this low amount of actions and passes has a trickle-down effect. Some examples of this include Paredes’ low amount of defensive duels, forward passes, and carries. As you can see, this limited involvement from Paredes affects virtually all passes of his game and while Paredes was actually pretty decent in the final third with his carrying and passing, that alone isn’t enough to overcome most of his other statistics which are influenced by this trend.
Marvin Loria (RW) - 5.6
While Loria’s struggles in the dribbling department certainly contributed to his slightly below-average offensive grade (46th percentile), the Costa Rican made contributions to the game through his passing and playmaking, both of which were around the 70th percentile. Loria attempted just one dribble in the match and ranked in only the 23rd percentile for his progressive distance per carry grade. While the Costa Rican actually recorded a decent amount of progressive carries (62nd percentile), he often lost the ball, as he ranked in the bottom fourth percentile for miscarries. Even though Loria’s dribbling wasn’t great, he still contributed to the buildup and possession for the Timbers, as he landed in the 95th percentile for passes and the 78th percentile for his pass percentage. For his playmaking, Loria completed one of his four crosses, one of his three passes to the final third, six of his nine forward passes, and a solid four of his six passes to the penalty area. Apart from his passes to the final third, all of these statistics ranked above-average for wingers, and this ultimately culminated in two shot assists along with one shot-creating action, so overall this was a solid game from Loria and an improvement from his past couple of performances.
Nathan (ST) - 5.1
Apart from his aerials, where he ranked in the 62nd percentile, most of Nathan’s grades oscillated around the 50th percentile. The Brazilian ranked above-average in his shooting and dribbling grades but below-average in his passing and defensive grades. While it is good that Nathan landed three of his four shots on target, I would like to see him become a bit more clinical up front, as he ranked in just the 22nd percentile for his expected goals (0.32) vs his actual goals (0). Not much needs to be said about Nathan’s passing, as he didn’t really do too much and ranked slightly below-average in most of those categories. However, one area of his game that I noticed was Nathan’s carrying ability, as although the Brazilian completed two of his three dribbles, he recorded a progressive distance per carry grade in just the 14th percentile, which either means that Nathan isn’t really taking on defenders or he’s not finding the spaces between defenders where he can progress the ball forward with his feet. This has been a trend for him all season, so hopefully he can reverse this after the international break and start to perform a bit better with the ball at his feet.
Dairon Asprilla (LW) - 4.9
Apart from Asprilla’s passing which was pretty good (72nd percentile), he had a slightly poor all-around performance as he ranked below-average for his playmaking, dribbling, defending, and his general offensive grade. Asprilla wasn’t able to get on the ball as much as Loria, as Loria ranked in the 82nd percentile for targets, while Asprilla came in the 50th percentile. This didn’t stop him from completing a high percentage of his passes, as the Colombian landed in the 89th percentile for his total pass completion percentage. Delving deeper into Asprilla’s playmaking statistics tells a different story however, as the Colombian did not register a single pass into the final third, attempted just two passes to the penalty area (one of which he completed), and recorded just two forward passes in the match. For his dribbling, Asprilla struggled to control the ball as he typically has done this season, racking up five miscarries and completing just two of his six offensive duels. Asprilla’s dribbling wasn’t all bad as he stretched the attack through his progressive passes received (98th percentile) and progressive carries (55th percentile). I believe part of the reason Asprilla was able to do this was because of his low pressing and defensive involvement. The Colombian totaled just six presses in this match and did not complete a single one. The same can be said for Asprilla’s defensive duels, as he recorded just two in the match, succeeding in one.
Santiago Moreno (RW/LW) - 7.6
Moreno had a very solid all-around performance as he recorded one of the highest passing grades that I’ve seen from a winger, to go with average/above-average performances in his playmaking, dribbling, and defensive categories. The Colombian completed all of his thirteen passes during the match, including one cross (his assist), three forward passes, and one progressive pass. While this might not seem like a lot, Moreno also wasn’t on the field much (just under 30 minutes to be exact). So considering his output and time on the field, this is a great performance from him. In addition to this passing quality, Moreno often pressed opponents and recovered the ball (both above the 85th percentile), and the fact that he was still able to be a very efficient player offensively speaks to his high potential. Hopefully, Moreno can maintain at or close to this same level of a performance for the whole game, because consistency and balance have been the major issues for him all season.
Bill Tuiloma (CB) - 8.1
Like Zuparic, Tuiloma was inactive in the air and ranked slightly below-average defensively (~41st percentile). However, the Kiwi played a massive role in the buildup and was very efficient with his passing and carrying, not to mention the fact that he also scored a goal that got the Timbers back into the game. When Tuiloma was brought on, the Timbers were 2-0 down, so I think it’s fair to assume that his primary focus wasn’t exactly on defending. Still, Tuiloma ranked above Zuparic and Mabiala for most of the available defensive statistics (recoveries, pressures, defensive duels etc.). Now, moving onto his passing, Tuiloma completed all of his 19 passes in the match, including two long balls, four passes to the final third, and 11 forward passes. While this might not seem like a lot, this is very impressive from Tuiloma, because like Moreno, Tuiloma was only on the field for around 30 minutes. I’ve noticed that some fans have been suggesting a back three from the Timbers (Zuparic, Tuiloma, and Mabiala), and I think this would definitely be an interesting concept, at least until Claudio Bravo returns because Portland’s strength right now is definitely in their center-backs rather than their fullbacks and I think that would be an interesting look for Giovanni Savarese to tryout.
Sebastian Blanco (LW/CAM) - 6.3
While Blanco was nonexistent defensively, ranking in just the 14th percentile, he had good playmaking and dribbling grades, which contributed to his above-average offensive grade. Blanco actually attempted more passes than Moreno in this match, however his passing percentage was much worse (28th percentile). Nevertheless, Blanco still stamped his fingerprint on this game as he completed one of his two crosses, both of his dribbles, five of his eight passes to the final third, and three of his seven forward passes. While there are certainly some things to be excited about, like Blanco’s dribbles and passes to the final third, there are also some things left for him to work on, such as his passes to the penalty area. Thus, I will be interested to see any improvement or minor adjustments that Blanco adds to his game in the aftermath of the international break.
Pablo Bonilla () - 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.