On Sunday, the Portland Timbers drew 2-2 to Nashville SC, despite being down 2-0 past the 60th minute. Around the 64th minute however, Jaroslaw Niezgoda drew a penalty and just five minutes later, converted the next major chance to level up the scoring for the Timbers.
Here’s my breakdown of how the Timbers’ players performed as they remained in 10th place in the Western Conference.
David Bingham (GK) - 4.2
Bingham didn’t have the best overall performance as he ranked below the 40th percentile for his passing and saving grades. While his pass completion rate of 82% ranked him in just the 28th percentile, Bingham completed a solid amount of long passes with a decent amount of attempts too. Additionally, Bingham saved a fair amount of shots, but he underperformed in his expected conceded goals, leaving some areas of improvement for future games.
Josecarlos Van Rankin (RB) - 5.2
While Van Rankin had a poor defensive performance, he displayed solid passing and had somewhat of a role in the attack and buildup for the Timbers. Van Rankin just didn’t record many defensive actions, as he ranked below the 25th percentile for his recoveries, defensive duels, and pressures. However, the Mexican still influenced the game through his sharp passing, ranking in the 94th percentile for pass percentage, and completed his lone long ball and four forward passes. Additionally, Van Rankin completed a solid amount of passes to the final third and penalty area, as he ranked around the 60th percentile for passes into the penalty area and 55th percentile for passes to the final third.
Zac McGraw (CB) - 4.0
McGraw did not have a great defensive performance against Nashville, but his aerial and passing performance prevented him from receiving a very low score. While McGraw ranked about average in his recoveries, he was very inefficient with his duels and pressures, coming in the second percentile for defensive duel percentage and pressure percentage. Now part of this struggle could be due to the shiftiness of the Nashville attackers (like Hany Muhktar and Randall Leal), but McGraw still should have performed much better in this category. Additionally, he frequently fouled his opponents and picked up a yellow card. It wasn’t all bad for the American, as he was flawless in the air, completing all of his aerial duels, and he displayed some precise passing out of the back. Some examples of this include his passing percentage (90th percentile), long ball percentage (73rd percentile), and forward pass percentage (94th percentile).
Larrys Mabiala (CB) - 4.2
Mabiala had a very similar performance to McGraw, as he recorded a lower defensive grade but also committed less fouls. Mabiala ranked below the 20th percentile for his major defensive actions including his recoveries, defensive duels, and pressures. Like McGraw, Mabiala somewhat made up for this by being efficient in the air (he won three of his four aerial duels) and being precise with his passing. The Congolese international ranked in the 94th percentile for his pass percentage, 47th percentile for his long passing percentage, and 92nd percentile for his forward pass percentage. However, he attempted very few passes in this match (as did McGraw), which was a large factor in his total passing rating in the 58th percentile.
Claudio Bravo (LB) - 6.9
Bravo had a very similar game to Van Rankin, as he ranked above-average for his passing and playmaking but below-average defensively. Like most of the Timbers backline, Bravo did not record many defensive duels or pressures, however the Argentine still frequently recovered the ball (68th percentile for recoveries). Bravo’s passing was not nearly as efficient as Van Rankin’s (71st percentile for pass percentage, 16th percentile for long pass percentage, and 60th percentile for forward pass percentage), but he attempted many more passes than Van Rankin, which contributed to similar overall passing grades between the two. While Bravo attempted just one pass to the penalty area, his production in the final third was fairly decent (~70th percentile). The major area that set Bravo apart from Van Rankin in this match was his number of shot assists (2) and shot creating actions (3), compared to Van Rankin recording just one shot creating action. If Bravo can improve on his defensive performance and maintain his offensive and passing production, there is no reason why he can’t become one of the most productive players for the Timbers this season.
Yimmi Chara (CDM) - 7.3
While Yimmi had an underwhelming offensive and defensive performance, he ranked well above-average in his passing and total actions grades. Defensively, Yimmi ranked in just the 41st percentile for his recoveries and around the 20th percentile for his pressures. While the Colombian completed both of his defensive duels, this is not nearly enough to elevate his defensive performance to above-average. However, Yimmi had a sneaky good passing performance as he recorded a high volume of passes and completed a large percentage of them. This trend can be viewed from Yimmi’s total passes all the way to his passes into the final third, as the Colombian ranked around the 80th percentile for all of his key passing statistics.
David Ayala (CDM) - 7.4
Ayala had a similar game to Yimmi, as he too did not have a great defensive showing but provided a solid passing and offensive performance to this Timbers team. Ayala ranked around the 30th percentile for most of his defensive statistics, including his recoveries, defensive duels, and pressures. But, as previously stated, Ayala maintained good passing numbers, completing over 90% of his total passes and passes to the final third, all of his long passes, and around 85% of his forward passes, ranking him above-average for players in his position.
Sebastian Blanco (CAM) - 6.5
Apart from his precise and efficient passing, Blanco was pretty much nonexistent in this game. Although his passing ranked in the 83rd percentile for players in his position, Blanco barely eclipsed the 50th percentile in his playmaking grade and ranked well below-average in his offensive (28th percentile), pressing (27th percentile), and dribbling (46th percentile) grades.
Santiago Moreno (Winger) - 5.9
Like Blanco, Santiago Moreno was absent for much of this match as his passing numbers were the only category to significantly rank above the 50th percentile. Much of his grades oscillated around the 50th percentile (offensive, playmaking, and dribbling), but they were unable to eclipse that mark because Moreno just didn’t have many attempts in those categories. Additionally, Moreno struggled to apply pressure to opposing players, as he ranked in just the 32nd percentile for his defense.
Jaroslaw Niezgoda (ST) - 7.0
Up until the 60th minute, Niezgoda had virtually no involvement in the game and I almost forgot he was on the field. However, shortly after that, we were reminded why the Timbers signed the Polish striker. Despite ranking below-average for every category except for his dribbling and aerials, Niezgoda completely turned the game on its head by winning a penalty and executing a calmly placed finish on a perfectly weighted ball from Eryk Williamson. As we all saw, the quality is there from Niezgoda, but he is very inconsistent with these kinds of performances because he doesn’t receive the ball much or make a large effort to get into open spaces and separate himself from his markers. If those two things can consistently happen, then Niezgoda will score plenty of goals. But I haven’t seen anything yet from watching these Timbers games or analyzing the data that tells me something will change anytime soon.
Dairon Asprilla (Winger) - 5.9
Although Asprilla converted a penalty which provided the Timbers with the momentum to get something out of this game, he consistently ranked below average for his major categories. Specifically, Asprilla landed in the 49th percentile for total actions, 48th percentile for offensive actions, 38th percentile for passing, 36th percentile for playmaking, 50th percentile for dribbling, and around the 47th percentile for his defensive actions. As you can see, most of Asprilla’s grades were slightly below-average, but his limited opportunities and his quality on the ball prevented him from having a great game, which is something we haven’t seen much from Asprilla this season.
Eryk Williamson (CDM) - 7.5
As per usual, Williamson was pretty much nonexistent defensively (16th percentile); however, he more than made up for this by providing the game-tying assist on a perfectly placed ball to Niezgoda and recording solid passing and offensive numbers (73rd percentile for passing and 65th percentile for offensive).
Marvin Loria () - N/A
Felipe Mora () - N/A
Dario Zuparic () - N/A
George Fochive () - 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.
A Note From the Author:
As you may have noticed, the player grades have been slimmed down a little bit this week. This is something that I hope to do for the foreseeable future in favor of more graphs and charts which might make things slightly easier to read.
However, for those of you who enjoy the extended analysis and like to debate it in the comment section, I encourage you to continue commenting and I will definitely be sure to do my best to respond because I enjoy those back-and-forths.
On a side note, some of the graphs and charts that I would like to make are radar charts (which you have seen in this article) and some are gifs that contain line charts for each position group (attackers, midfielders, and defenders). If there’s any other graphics that you think would be interesting or informative please let me know as I am always looking for new ideas!