On Saturday, the Portland Timbers won 2-1 in a key victory on the road against an excellent Austin FC team. Both of the Timbers goals came through their center backs, Bill Tuiloma and Zac McGraw, whose decisive goal was the first in his young Timbers career.
Here’s my breakdown of how the Timbers’ players performed as they remained in the crucial 7th position in the Western Conference, above the playoff line.
Aljaz Ivacic (GK) - 3.8
Ivacic’s passing performance was below-average as he completed 73% of his total passes and 57% of his long passes. While most of Ivacic’s passes were long balls (with not many overall attempts), his efficiency wasn’t that great as indicated by his 72% passing accuracy. As for his goalkeeping, Ivacic ranked in the 35th percentile, so not much better than his passing. Once again, I think this statistics-based grading system might have been a bit harsh on Ivacic’s goalkeeping performance as he wasn’t forced into many high-level saves in the match, and the one goal that he conceded was a very well-placed header by Sebastian Driussi.
Timbers backline trends (I included Moreno in the frontline trends, based on his previous games):
Santiago Moreno (RWB/RW) 4.9
While Moreno’s overall performance wasn’t that great, his production in the final third really helped elevate his grade. The Colombian ranked in the 55th percentile for his dribbling, 48th percentile for his defense, 17th percentile for his playmaking, 25th percentile for his passing, and the 37th percentile for his total actions. In the final third, Moreno completed one through ball and recorded one shot assist, three progressive runs and three shot-creating actions, capping off a very solid display in the final third.
Bill Tuiloma (RB/CB) - 4.0
Despite scoring one of two crucial goals for the Timbers, Tuiloma struggled to involve himself in the game, especially defensively. He ranked in just the 21st percentile for his total actions and only the 15th percentile for his defensive grade. Judging from my “eye test” of the game, Tuiloma’s marking was pretty good, but he really struggled to pile up defensive actions and win the ball back for the Timbers. Moreover, Tuiloma’s production in the buildup and possession for the Timbers was poor (like most of the Timbers starters) as he ranked in the 37th percentile for his passing and the 25th percentile for his carrying grade.
Dario Zuparic (CB) - 2.3
Zuparic also struggled to assert himself in this game as he ranked below the 50th percentile for all of his major categories and picked up a yellow card. Specifically, the Croatian ranked in the 25th percentile for his total actions, 34th percentile for his passing, 37th percentile for his aerials, 21st percentile for his defending, and the 28th percentile for his carrying.
Zac McGraw (CB) - 4.4
McGraw had a similar performance to Tuiloma, as he scored a goal, performed slightly below-average in some categories, and then really struggled to perform in other categories. His defense was the best out of the three center backs, as McGraw ranked in the 40th percentile for his defensive grade and the 49th percentile for his aerials. However, McGraw was virtually nonexistent in the buildup for the Timbers, as he ranked in just the 13th percentile for his carrying and the 28th percentile for his passing. Additionally, McGraw’s low passing and carrying grades contributed to another poor total actions grade, in just the 23rd percentile.
Claudio Bravo (LB) - 2.5
Despite having an average defensive performance (although he was unsuccessful in 7 of 12 defensive duels), like most of the Timbers backline, Bravo struggled to contribute in the buildup and possession for the Timbers. The Argentine ranked in only the 11th percentile for his passing, 33rd percentile for his playmaking, and the 40th percentile for his dribbling. As you might expect, this low involvement across multiple key categories contributed to a well below-average total actions grade for Bravo in only the 20th percentile.
Timbers midfield trends:
Diego Chara (CM) - 3.4
While Diego had a solid offensive performance in the 52nd percentile, he was unable to influence the game in much else outside of that category, as he ranked in the 24th percentile for his total actions, 25th percentile for his passing, and the 28th percentile for his defensive grade. If you haven’t noticed already, the Timbers struggled to maintain possession and string together passes for virtually the whole game, which consequently has resulted in low passing and total actions grades across the board. Additionally, Diego did record one shot assist and shot-creating action, but that wasn’t enough to significantly improve his grade.
Eryk Williamson (CM) - 8.0
Williamson’s delivery on set pieces and production in the final third in addition to his solid overall performance led to by far the best grade for the Timbers. He ranked in the 42nd percentile for his total actions, 63rd percentile for his passing, 43rd percentile for his defensive grade, and the 53rd percentile for his offensive grade. In addition to this already decent performance, Williamson landed his lone shot on target and recorded one assist, three shot assists, three progressive runs, and a whopping five shot-creating actions. For a midfield player to put up this level of actions in the final third is very impressive and proves why Williamson was deserving of a high grade.
Timbers frontline trends:
Yimmi Chara (RW) - 5.0
As he has done many times this year, Yimmi had a very inconsistent performance against Austin on Wednesday. While the Colombian performed well in his passing (72nd percentile), total actions (57th percentile), and defending (59th percentile). He struggled mightily in his playmaking (27th percentile), dribbling (39th percentile), and overall offensive grade (29th percentile). He also didn’t produce much in terms of actions in the final third, as he landed his lone shot on target and recorded two carries into the penalty area.
Dairon Asprilla (ST) - 4.5
After having two great performances up top for the Timbers, Asprilla cooled off a bit against Austin. The Colombian was unable to attain a grade above the 50th percentile as he ranked in the 21st percentile for his total actions, 38th percentile for his shooting, 49th percentile for his passing, 41st percentile for his dribbling, 48th percentile for his aerials, and the 32nd percentile for his pressing. It wasn’t a terrible performance from Asprilla though, as he still managed to draw four fouls and record two progressive runs to go with one goal-creating action.
Sebastian Blanco (LW) - 3.6
For most of this game, I nearly forgot Blanco was on the field and the statistics back up my observation. Blanco ranked in just the 15th percentile for his total actions and when a player has that low of a total actions grade, chances are all of their grades are going to be fairly low. Blanco’s performance against Austin was no exception, as he ranked in the 28th percentile for his passing, 46th percentile for his playmaking, 34th percentile for his dribbling, 45th percentile for his defense, and the 18th percentile for his offensive grade. Like Yimmi, Blanco didn’t contribute too much in the final third as he recorded just one shot and completed two through balls.
Jaroslaw Niezgoda () - N/A
Marvin Loria () - N/A
Cristhian Paredes () - N/A
David Ayala () - 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.