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Player Grades: Portland Timbers 1-0 Minnesota United

The Timbers gained another crucial three points in a game with big implications for the Western Conference playoff picture.

MLS: Minnesota United FC at Portland Timbers Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

On Saturday, the Portland Timbers won 1-0 in a crucial game for the Western Conference playoff picture behind a headed goal from Dairon Asprilla and a great goalkeeping performance from Aljaz Ivacic.

Here’s my breakdown of how the Timbers’ players performed as they moved up into the 6th position in the Western Conference, above the playoff line.

Aljaz Ivacic (GK) - 9.0

Although Ivacic’s passing performance wasn’t that great as he only completed 75% of his total passes and 57% of his long passes, he had a spectacular goalkeeping performance, which ranked him in the 91st percentile. He made five saves and his expected conceded goals were around 1.4, indicating that Ivacic should’ve given up 1-2 goals. So considering that he gave up none, this is quite the impressive performance from him.

Santiago Moreno (RWB/CAM) 7.3

Considering that he played half of his game as a wingback and the other half as an attacking midfielder (two very different positions), it’s pretty hard to rate Moreno’s game from a statistics perspective. Apart from his dribbling (61st percentile), his overall ratings are fairly poor, as he ranked in the 43rd percentile for his total actions, 40th percentile for his passing, 29th percentile for his playmaking, and the 12th percentile for his defensive grade. I rated Moreno as a wingback for this game, so his defensive and passer ratings would have likely gone up as an attacking midfielder. While these grades are indicative of Moreno’s first half performance, his second half performance can be viewed through his production in the final third as Moreno recorded an assist, three shot assists, two progressive runs, one carry into the penalty area, two shot-creating actions, and one-goal creating action. As you can see, Moreno certainly filled up the stats board in the final third, which had a large effect on his overall grade.

Bill Tuiloma (CB) - 7.0

Tuiloma had a good game in some categories and struggled a bit in others. Specifically, he performed well in his defensive (67th percentile) and carrying (70th percentile), but was slightly-below average in his aerials (40th percentile) and total actions (42nd percentile). Additionally, Tuiloma’s passing was solid (52nd percentile) and he recorded a good amount (3) of blocks in the match, which capped off a pretty decent performance from him.

Dario Zuparic (CB) - 7.1

Zuparic had a solid performance as he mopped up things for the Timbers defensively (79th percentile) and had solid/below-average grades across the rest of the board. Namely, Zuparic ranked in the 51st percentile for his total actions, 53rd percentile for his passing, 40th percentile for his aerials, and the 30th percentile for his carrying. While most of his actions weren’t that great, Zuparic’s defensive ability certainly played a role in keeping Minnesota off the board and getting a crucial three points at home.

Zac McGraw (CB) - 6.7

Similar to Tuiloma, McGraw excelled in some categories and performed poorly or around average in others. He really only struggled in his carrying grade (30th percentile), but McGraw already isn’t known to be the kind of center back who carries the ball forward and influences the attack. Instead, he is a solid defensive center back (50th percentile) who wins balls in the air almost all the time (86th percentile) and is wise and efficient with his total actions (71st percentile), not needing to be too fancy with the ball at his feet or facing opposing attackers.

Claudio Bravo (LB) - 6.1

Like Moreno, Bravo’s overall ratings weren’t anything special as he ranked in the 71st percentile for his passing, 46th percentile for his total actions, 41st percentile for his playmaking, 40th percentile for his defending, and the 48th percentile for his dribbling. However, like Moreno (but to a slightly lesser extent), Bravo’s actions in the final third boosted his grade. The Argentinian recorded one shot assist, three progressive runs, and one shot-creating action. This production in the final third combined with Bravo’s role in the Timbers clean sheet, led to his above-average rating.

Diego Chara (CDM) - 5.8

Diego’s performance across the board once again wasn’t that great as he ranked well-below average in his defensive grade, slightly below-average in his passing grade and barely ranked above-average in his offensive and total actions grades. Just thinking back to his earlier performances this season, Diego was consistently averaging around a 7 for each game and now he is barely registering above 5. I’m not exactly sure why there’s this decrease in Diego’s output over the second half of the season, but I would guess that it’s probably down to Diego getting older and playing a lot of minutes in such a demanding role for the Timbers. Hopefully, the Timbers make the playoffs and Diego proves me wrong there, but I’m not liking the downward trend of Diego’s performances this season.

Eryk Williamson (CM) - 5.1

Williamson had a similar game to Diego as he didn’t have that great of a performance, ranking in only the 47th percentile for his total actions, 44th percentile for his passing, 32nd percentile for his defense, and the 56th percentile for his offensive grade. Williamson also didn’t really create many significant opportunities for the Timbers in the final third, so he received just a minor boost from that standpoint.

Yimmi Chara (CM) - 4.3

Apart from his defending, which was poor as he ranked in only the fifth percentile, Yimmi was slightly below-average across the board. He ranked in the 50th percentile for his total actions, 47th percentile for his passing, and 45th percentile for his playmaking. Yimmi did have a two shots and played a role in the buildup towards the Timbers’ lone goal of the match. However, his slightly below-average overall performance coupled with his very poor defensive grade really hurt Yimmi’s chances of receiving an average rating.

Dairon Asprilla (ST) - 7.3

Like Moreno, Asprilla was difficult to rate for this game, as he played striker and right wing-back which are also two very different positions. Therefore, for this game, I rated Asprilla as a striker. Asprilla’s performance across the board was actually fairly solid and consistent. The Colombian ranked in the 63rd percentile for his total actions, 43rd percentile for his shooting, 59th percentile for his passing, 56th percentile for his dribbling, 61st percentile for his aerials, and the 56th percentile for his pressing. Asprilla’s performance was consistently above-average across multiple categories and coupled with his role in the final third (one goal, one shot assist, three progressive runs, and one carry into the penalty area), Asprilla is clearly deserving of this high rating.

Sebastian Blanco (CF) - 4.7

While Asprilla’s performance was consistent and above-average, Blanco’s certainly was not. While he ranked in the 71st percentile for his passing, Blanco really struggled to record high shooting, aerial, and pressing grades. Additionally, his total actions (49th percentile) and dribbling (39th percentile) grades were nothing to get excited about either.


Jaroslaw Niezgoda () - N/A

Marvin Loria () - N/A

Cristhian Paredes () - 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.