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Player Grades: Portland Timbers 1-3 Toronto FC

While the Timbers were able to temporarily equalize in the 79th minute, Toronto’s attack was too strong and scored two late goals to ruin the Timbers hope of points on the road.

MLS: Portland Timbers at Toronto FC Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

On Saturday, the Portland Timbers lost 1-3 against Toronto FC in a game where the Timbers struggled to create chances and looked overwhelmed defensively against an albeit, great attacking team.

Here’s my breakdown of how the Timbers’ players performed as they remained in the 8th position in the Western Conference, outside of the playoffs.

Aljaz Ivacic (GK) - 5.5

Ivacic had another solid game both passing and goalkeeping wise, as he ranked in the 57th percentile for his passing and 49th percentile for his goalkeeping grade. The Slovenian completed 12 of 13 passes, including four of five long passes. I’m still working on my possession-adjusted passing statistics and Ivacic’s grade here will likely be boosted as a result of this. Additionally, Ivacic had a solid game in goal as he saved 9 of 12 shots from Toronto and ranked around or slightly below the 50th percentile for his expected conceded goals grades.

Josecarlos Van Rankin (RB) - 5.2

Apart from his first goal in MLS, Van Rankin struggled for most of this match. The Mexican ranked in the 58th percentile for his passing, 27th percentile for his playmaking, 35th percentile for his defending, and the 39th percentile for his playmaking. As you can see, apart from his passing Van Rankin ranked well below-average for his major categories, as Toronto found ways to exploit both fullbacks in this match.

Dario Zuparic (CB) - 6.3

Zuparic had a solid all-around performance as he ranked above-average for all of his major categories, apart from his carrying (40th percentile). Specifically, the Croatian landed in the 58th percentile for his total actions and passing, 66th percentile for his aerials, and 59th percentile for his defending grade, capping off a well-rounded performance in spite of Toronto’s domination of possession and goal-scoring opportunities.

Bill Tuiloma (CB) - 4.8

Tuiloma had a very inconsistent performance against Toronto, as he had a strong role in the buildup through his passing (72nd percentile) and carrying (66th percentile), but really struggled to get in the game defensively, ranking in just the 13th percentile.

Claudio Bravo (LB) - 7.1

I have a feeling that this grade is going to be hotly debated in the comment section below so I’m going to start off with the statement that I would disagree with Bravo’s defensive grade, then go into why he received the rating that he received, and then explain some of the modifications that I’m going to make in the future to the defending side of things.

So, I think most of us would agree with Bravo’s grades apart from his defending: he ranked in the 58th percentile for his total actions, 52nd percentile for his passing, 41st percentile for his playmaking, and 76th percentile for his dribbling. I tried to highlight the grading system’s reasoning for Bravo’s strong defensive grade in the player radar and you can see that he recorded strong performances in his recoveries, defensive duels, defensive duel percentage, pressing, and pressing percentage. The key issue here is that while Bravo records so many pressures and duels and maintains a decent enough percentage to receive good grades, I have failed to account for the times where he loses defensive duels (often in key areas) or pressures opponents too often when he should back off. Therefore, I am going to add an adjustment starting this week that dings defenders for losing a decent amount of defensive duels and pressures. I believe this will definitely improve the grading system for defenders and combat this issue, so I’m excited to get to work on that!

Diego Chara (CDM) - 6.1

Like Zuparic, Diego had a solid all-around performance, but didn’t really stand out in any specific categories. The Colombian ranked in the 66th percentile for his total actions, 54th percentile for his passing, 59th percentile for his defense, and 56th percentile for his offensive grade.

David Ayala (CDM) - 4.9

Ayala also had a similar performance to Diego Chara, except to a lower scale. While he struggled to hold a high total actions grade (41st percentile), Ayala produced solid passing (48th percentile), defending (55th percentile), and offensive (51st percentile) grades.

Sebastian Blanco (CAM) - 5.5

Apart from his assist and playmaking grade (55th percentile), Blanco had a poor overall performance. He ranked in the 38th percentile for his total actions, 27th percentile for his passing, 38th percentile for his dribbling, 25th percentile for his pressing, and the 34th percentile for his offensive grade. I believe this grade lines up very well with my personal eye test of Blanco’s game, as he struggled to maintain control on the ball and couldn’t consistently complete most of his passes.

Yimmi Chara (Winger) - 6.6

Yimmi received the highest grade of the Timbers front line against Toronto as he ranked above-average in all of his major categories, apart from his playmaking, which landed in the 26th percentile. While this certainly isn’t a great sign for a player who is asked to create opportunities for his teammates, Yimmi’s performances across his other major categories accumulated in a great total actions grade in the 84th percentile. Additionally, Yimmi had some solid contributions in the final third, as he recorded one shot and goal creating action and landed his lone shot on target.

Jaroslaw Niezgoda (ST) - 3.3

Niezgoda’s performance against Toronto was ver similar to some of his early season performances: he received basically no service, which was partially his fault and partially the fault of other key attacking players (Yimmi, Moreno, and Blanco to be specific). Niezgoda actually recorded less than 20 total actions in this match, which is terrible for any player. And because of this lack of involvement, it becomes very hard to accurately rate a player. So, I will spare you the time and speculation, and hope that this is the last time Niezgoda produces a performance like this.

Santiago Moreno (Winger) - 4.5

After a couple of uplifting and inspiring performances, Moreno struggled offensively against Toronto. The Colombian actually posted decent passing and pressing grades above the 50th percentile, but was unable to create shooting opportunities for himself and his teammates, as he ranked in the 28th percentile for his playmaking and the 37th percentile for both his dribbling and offensive grades. Hopefully, Moreno can get back on track against SKC to keep the Timbers in playoff contention.


Eryk Williamson (CDM) - 6.1

Despite not producing much in terms of his offensive grade (22nd percentile), Williamson came on and was one of the brighter spots for the Timbers in a rough game on the road. In his other major categories, Williamson landed in the 55th percentile for his total actions, 45th percentile for his passing, and 68th percentile for his defending. Additionally, the American recorded one block and through ball in just 30 minutes of playing time, capping off a solid performance as a substitute. Therefore, I would be surprised to see Williamson on the bench against Sporting KC this week, in a must-win game for the Timbers.

Dairon Asprilla () - N/A

Nathan Fogaca () - N/A

Larrys Mabiala () - 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.