On Saturday, the Portland Timbers drew 1-1 against Nashville SC in a game that didn’t have many direct chances. Despite coming off a game where they scored four goals, the Timbers could only muster three shots on target and struggled to create a lot of clear-cut chances as they registered just under one expected goal.
Here’s my breakdown of how the Timbers’ players performed as they moved down into the 8th position in the Western Conference, outside of the playoffs.
Aljaz Ivacic (GK) - 8.0
Ivacic had an all-around pretty good performance against Nashville, as he ranked in the 69th percentile for his passing and 73rd percentile for his goalkeeping. While Ivacic only attempted 14 passes, he completed all of them, including five long passes. Additionally, Ivacic also had two of his three post-shot expected goals grades around the 80th percentile, capping off a solid overall performance.
Josecarlos Van Rankin (RB) - 5.6
While Van Rankin had solid performances in both his passing (57th percentile) and playmaking (61st percentile), the Mexican did not rank highly in his defensive category (23rd percentile). These grades combined with Van Rankin’s dribbling grade in the 46th percentile culminated in a total actions grade in the 44th percentile. Additionally, Van Rankin’s contributions to the attack in the final third (he recorded one shot assist, one shot-creating action, and two progressive runs) elevated his grade above the 50th percentile.
Dario Zuparic (CB) - 6.4
Despite ranking below-average for his aerials (29th percentile) and carrying (46th percentile), Zuparic more than made up for it by posting good grades in both his passing (56th percentile) and defending (71st percentile). Zuparic’s strong performance in both of these categories resulted in an above-average total actions grade in the 64th percentile.
Larrys Mabiala (CB) - 5.5
While Mabiala was able to match Zuparic in both his passing and total actions (both ranked around the 65th percentile) and even surpass Zuparic in his aerial grade (82nd percentile), he was not able to match that level of performance for his defending, which ranked in just the 34th percentile.
Bill Tuiloma (CB) - 4.3
In his first start in over a month, Tuiloma was slightly below-average in some categories and below-average in others. Specifically, Tuiloma ranked in the 37th percentile for his total actions, 49th percentile for his passing and aerials, 40th percentile for his defending, and the 33rd percentile for his carrying grade. Hopefully, with more game time, Tuiloma can improve across the board and recover his form from the start of the year, where he was the Timbers’ best center back.
Marvin Loria (LB/LWB) - 5.4
Loria had a very interesting performance as he performed well above-average in his dribbling grade (82nd percentile), struggled in his defending (25th percentile), and ranked around average for the rest of his categories, those being his total actions, passing, and playmaking. With that said, and given that he was playing out of position for essentially the whole game, this is a solid performance from the Costa Rican. It’s interesting to see that the Timbers preferred to play him, and left two players who primarily play as a fullback on the bench (Bonilla and Rasmussen).
Yimmi Chara (CM) - 7.1
While Yimmi has had down performances over the last couple of games (by his standards), this did not deter him from having a good and well-rounded performance against Nashville. The Colombian ranked in the 64th percentile for his total actions, 62nd percentile for his passing, 43rd percentile for his defensive duels, and the 63rd percentile for his offensive grade. Additionally, Yimmi also recorded one shot, three shot assists, four progressive runs, and one shot-creating action from midfield which provided a large boost to his grade.
David Ayala (CM) - 4.2
Ayala’s performance was a bit all over the place but he had a mostly below-average game. The Argentine specifically struggled in his passing (28th percentile) and offensive (36th percentile) departments, but he somewhat made up for this with a solid defensive actions grade in the 53rd percentile. Ultimately, his defensive actions didn’t make up much of his total actions, which consequently produced another below-average grade in that category.
Sebastian Blanco (LAM) - 4.3
After a couple of great performances, Blanco did not have the anticipated impact on this game and was oddly quiet for much of the game. This is reflected in his grade as while the Argentine ranked above-average in his passing (62nd percentile) and playmaking (52nd percentile), he was below-average across his other statistics, which include his total actions, overall offensive grade, dribbling, and pressing. Moreover, Blanco did not record much in terms of actions in the final third, just one shot and two shot-creating actions.
Jaroslaw Niezgoda (ST) - 4.3
Niezgoda had a fairly below-average performance across the board and ranked above-average in just one category, that being his aerials (57th percentile). For his other categories, Niezgoda ranked in the 37th percentile for his total actions (still better than where he typically has ranked), 40th percentile for his shooting, 48th percentile for his passing, 43rd percentile for his pressing, and just the 12th percentile for his dribbling. While this may seem like a very poor performance, Niezgoda was still able to influence this game through his lone shot assist and goal-creating action.
Santiago Moreno (RAM) - 8.0
While Moreno did not have a crazy good well-rounded performance, he scored a goal and performed consistently around average for most of his grades. The highlight from Moreno’s grade is pretty clear as he ranked in the 90th percentile for his passing grade (43 out of 43 passes completed), which is almost unheard of for somebody to rank that high in a specific category. However, Moreno rounded this grade out with solid performances in other categories, including his total actions (69th percentile), playmaking (50th percentile), dribbling (52nd percentile), and pressing (60th percentile). Moreno now has six goal contributions in his last seven games, which really goes to show how far he is coming along and the improvement that he has made this season.
Nathan Fogaca () - 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 have under 20 total actions, compared to the rest of the team, who played most of the game.