On Saturday, the Timbers won 2-1 in a come-from-behind victory against rivals the Seattle Sounders. This was a crucial bounce-back game for the Timbers, considering the playoff implications, Cascadia Cup, and their last loss against a poor SKC team last week.
Here’s my breakdown of how the Timbers’ players performed as they temporarily moved into the crucial 7th position in the Western Conference (but now sit in eighth).
Aljaz Ivacic (GK) - 3.6
Ivacic had a pretty solid game from a passing perspective as he completed 88% of his total passes and 67% of his long passes on decent volume (he ranked in the 56th percentile for his total passes and 47th percentile for his long passes). As for the goalkeeping side, apart from maybe coming out to claim that cross, Ivacic couldn’t do much about Seattle’s goal. From there, Ivacic only needed to make one save in the match, as Seattle struggled to create opportunities. I’m going to add a saves/saves with reflexes adjustment for next week’s game so hopefully that will boost the goalkeeping grade, because I’ve noticed the last few games that I think my current grading system is underselling Ivacic’s goalkeeping performances.
Timbers backline trends:
Bill Tuiloma (RB/CB) - 5.7
Tuiloma had a pretty solid all-around performance as he ranked at or above the 60th percentile for three of his five categories: total actions, passing, and dribbling. Defensively, Tuiloma was average as he literally ranked in the 50th percentile, but his playmaking was slightly below average, which isn’t surprising considering he is a natural center back.
Dario Zuparic (CB) - 3.7
So as you may have noticed already, both of the center backs for the Timbers have low grades, despite conceding one goal. I think this is a byproduct of the fact that Seattle could not generate many chances through the middle because of their poor passing and inability to play out from the back. So this may have affected Zuparic and McGraw’s aerial and defensive grades; however, Zuparic still struggled to pass (33rd percentile) and carry the ball forward (25th percentile).
Zac McGraw (CB) - 3.5
Ironically, after that whole spiel about both CB’s aerial and defensive grades being influenced by Seattle’s poor performance, McGraw’s best categories were in fact in his aerials (71st percentile) and defending (53rd percentile). Like Zuparic, McGraw struggled to carry the ball forward (16th percentile) and pass (24th percentile). This culminated in a below-average total actions grade and had a considerable effect on his overall grade, also considering his two fouls and yellow card.
Claudio Bravo (LB) - 2.1
Bravo had a poor overall performance as he ranked above-average in only his playmaking grade (52nd percentile). His next best category was his dribbling (42nd percentile), but Bravo really struggled in key categories, such as his defending (29th percentile), passing (28th percentile), and total actions (26th percentile). Additionally, the most recent adjustment that I made to my system (we’ll call it the Bravo Adjustment because he’s the one I mostly made it for) had a large effect on Bravo’s grades as the Argentine was unsuccessful in nine of his defensive duels and a whopping 18 pressures.
Timbers midfield trends:
Diego Chara (CM) - 5.5
After a poor performance last week, Diego had a more consistent and all-around performance this week against the Sounders. The Colombian ranked above the 50th percentile for all of his major categories, except for his offensive grade (40th percentile). Specifically, Chara ranked in the 59th percentile for his total actions, 55th percentile for his passing, and the 63rd percentile for his defensive duels.
Eryk Williamson (CM) - 4.8
As a whole, Williamson’s performance wasn’t that great. However, he did draw a penalty and delivered a beautiful ball from a free-kick, both directly resulting in goals for the Timbers which consequently significantly boosted his grade. But, those two actions weren’t enough to lift Williamson above average as he struggled to perform in all of his major categories, ranking in the 40th percentile for his total actions, 34th percentile for his passing, 28th percentile for his defense, and only the 36th percentile for his offensive grade.
Timbers frontline trends:
Sebastian Blanco (CAM) - 8.2
Blanco had a similar game to last week as he had an average overall performance, but his contributions in the final third really boosted his grade. Specifically, Blanco scored a goal, landed one of four shots on target, suffered three fouls and recorded three progressive runs, one carry into the penalty area, and one goal-creating action. As you can see, on the offensive side of things, Blanco certainly filled the statline.
Santiago Moreno (RW/RWB) - 5.9
Moreno had a very inconsistent performance as he ranked highly in his total actions (74th percentile), passing (83rd percentile), and defending/pressing (72nd percentile), but he struggled in his playmaking (45th percentile) and offensive grade (39th percentile).
Dairon Asprilla (ST) - 7.8
After his impressive performance last week, Asprilla was given the nod this week to become the Timbers lone starting striker in a massive game against the Sounders. And while he had a pretty average game for the most part, Asprilla delivered for the Timbers with a converted penalty and another good assist.
Yimmi Chara (LW) - 6.0
While Moreno had a more uneven performance, Yimmi was a bit more consistent. The Colombian ranked in the 70th percentile for his total actions, 51st percentile for his offensive grade, 69th percentile for his passing, 49th percentile for his playmaking, 58th percentile for his dribbling, and the 37th percentile for his defensive grade. As you can see, apart from his defensive grade, Yimmi actually had a solid all-around performance for the Timbers, something which he has struggled to consistently produce this season.
Jaroslaw Niezgoda () - N/A
Cristhian Paredes () - N/A
Marvin Loria () - 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.