On Sunday, the Portland Timbers drew 1-1 against the Vancouver Whitecaps, despite going down a goal early. Against a low defensive block for much of the game, the Timbers showed the necessary skill and determination to grind out a point.
Here’s my breakdown of how the Timbers’ players performed as they moved up into the eighth position in the Western Conference.
Aljaz Ivacic (GK) - 6.7
Ivacic had a decent passing performance as he completed a high percentage of his passes (91% of his total passes and 75% of his long passes) but he attempted very few passes as he ranked below the 20th percentile for his total pass and long pass grade. As for his goalkeeping, Ivacic ranked fairly high in the 76th percentile, which culminated in his above-average player grade. Hopefully, he can continue to produce well-rounded and efficient performances, starting in his next game against San Jose. \
Timbers backline trends:
Jose Van Rankin (RB) - 4.2
Van Rankin had an average performance across the board, but his constant fouls and losses in his own half had a large effect on his overall player grade. The Mexican ranked slightly above the 50th percentile for all of his major categories, including his passing (54th percentile), playmaking (54th percentile), defending (51st percentile), and dribbling (also 54th percentile). However, as previously stated, Van Rankin accumulated six losses of possession in his own half and four fouls, which also resulted in a yellow card and certainly harmed his overall grade.
Dario Zuparic (CB) - 5.5
Apart from his carrying grade and yellow card, Zuparic had a solid all-around performance. The Croatian ranked above the 50th percentile for each of his major grades: passing, aerial, and defense. Ultimately, these three grades contributed to a well above-average total actions grade in the 74th percentile, which provides evidence of Zuparic’s well-balanced performance.
Larrys Mabiala (CB) - 7.6
Apart from his defensive grade, which was in the 51st percentile, Mabiala had a very good game. In fact, the Congolese international ranked above the 80th percentile for the rest of his major grades, including his passing, aerials, and carrying. If he can continue to produce these numbers and become slightly more active defensively, then the Timbers should have no problems getting positive results out of future games.
Claudio Bravo (LB) - 7.8
Bravo had a solid all-around performance as he ranked at or above the 65th percentile for all of his major grades. Passing-wise, Bravo was very solid, ranking in the 65th percentile for his passing and 67th percentile for his playmaking. Defensively, the Argentine was even better, as he landed in the 79th percentile for his defensive grade. To cap off this performance, Bravo recorded five progressive runs and two shot-creating actions, which contributed to his above-average dribbling grade.
Diego Chara (CDM) - 8.2
While Diego didn’t look much like himself in his first game back from injury, this performance reminded everyone of why he should have been an MLS All-Star this season. He ranked above the 65th percentile for all of his major categories, and in most instances ranked even higher. Specifically, Chara ranked in the 67th percentile for his offensive grade, 73rd percentile for his defensive grade, 76th percentile for his passing grade, and polished his performance off with a total actions grade in the 81st percentile.
Cristhian Paredes (CDM) - 4.1
Paredes was very inactive for much of this game, as indicated through his total actions grade in the 19th percentile; but he was still able to somewhat affect the game even with such little involvement. Some examples of this are Paredes’ defensive grade, which ranked in the 53rd percentile and the Paraguayan’s shot on target and shot assist. However, Paredes’ low involvement in the match certainly affected his performance as his passing (19th percentile) and offensive (38th percentile) grades were very poor among players in his position.
Timbers frontline trends:
Sebastian Blanco (CAM) - 6.5
Blanco had a bit of a shaky performance as he performed well in some categories and poorly in other categories. Specifically, Blanco had solid grades in his pressing (60th percentile), playmaking (58th percentile), and his offensive grade (61st percentile), but underperformed in his passing (35th percentile) and total actions (46th percentile). In future games, I would like to see Blanco become a bit more efficient with his passing because that will not only bring up his overall passing grade but also his total actions grade.
Santiago Moreno (Winger) - 7.4
The wingers for the Timbers all had very well-rounded performances and Santiago Moreno was no exception. The Colombian ranked above-average for all of his major categories, but he specifically ranked well in his overall offensive grade (75th percentile), passing (63rd percentile), and defensive grade (69th percentile). Moreno’s dribbling and playmaking grades were closer to the average mark (54th-58th percentile), nonetheless they still rounded out a very solid overall performance from the Colombian.
Jaroslaw Niezgoda (ST) - 2.9
Niezgoda barely received the ball in this match (30th percentile for his total actions), but even when he did get on the ball, the Polish striker wasn’t very productive. This can be observed through his well below-average shooting, passing, and dribbling grades, all of which ranked below the 25th percentile. As you probably have noticed, this season is going to be very hit and miss with Niezgoda, as when he doesn’t receive the ball or fails to score with the one or two chances that he receives, he is rendered pretty much ineffective for the match.
Yimmi Chara (Winger) - 7.8
Yimmi had arguably the best game out of all of the Timbers wingers as the Colombian landed above the 50th percentile for all of his major categories. However, Yimmi stood out in his passing (89th percentile) and playmaking (73rd percentile), which resulted in solid offensive and total actions grades (both at or above the 90th percentile).
Marvin Loria (Winger) - 7.3
Loria came on around the 63rd minute and had a decent effect on the game through his passing/playmaking and dribbling, which ranked above the 75th percentile among wingers. Additionally, Loria had a very well-rounded performance apart from his defensive grade, which makes sense considering his total actions grade came in the 77th percentile.
Felipe Mora () - N/A
Bill Tuiloma () - N/A
Zac McGraw () - N/A
David Ayala () - N/A
These players aren’t graded because I currently do not have a grading system that will fairly evaluate players who have under 20 total actions, compared to the rest of the team, who played most of the game.