Player Grades: Portland Timbers 1-4 Sporting KC

On Saturday, the Timbers lost 4-1 to Sporting KC in a game in which they really struggled in the first half – which ultimately cost them any chance to get back into the game.

Here’s my breakdown of how the Timbers’ players performed as they fell to 10th place in the Western Conference outside of the playoffs.

Aljaz Ivacic (TW) – 0.9

So personally I think this is a bad grade for Ivacic, but there is a solid explanation from the grading system for such a bad grade. First, Ivacic didn’t have the best passing game, completing only 69% of his total passes and 50% of his long passes, despite achieving fairly high overall passing scores (64th percentile) and long passing scores (97th percentile). . But Ivacic was poor in goal as he ranked around the 11th percentile for his goalkeeping score. Multiple data sources had Ivacic’s goalie xCG (expected goals created) at around 2.5 or 3, suggesting Ivacic should have saved at least one of the goals, which is very bad for a goalie.

Jose Van Rankin (RB) – 5.5

Aside from dribbling, which only ranks very low in the 12th percentile, Van Rankin put in a solid overall performance. He was consistent in nearly all of his categories, ranking 59th percentile for total actions, 52nd percentile for passing, 64th percentile for playmaking, and 52nd percentile for his defensive grade.

Dario Zuparic (CB) – 4.6

Zuparic’s performance against Sporting KC was a bit of a mixed bag as he ranked 60th percentile for his total actions, 37th percentile for his passing, 55th percentile for his headers, 45th percentile for his defense and only 29th percentile for his carries. The likely reason for this volatility was the fact that Zuparic was not attempting many overall actions, as he only ranked in the eighth percentile in this category.

Larry’s Mabiala (CB) – 5.3

Mabiala’s performance was also very inconsistent, as while he performed well on his aerials (71st percentile), carry (64th percentile), and defensive (65th percentile) grades, he had a very low overall action grade and also one in the 27th percentile had a below-average passing grade in the 42nd percentile.

While Mabiala really struggled to deal directly with a ball that resulted in a goal for Sporting KC, this scoring system doesn’t focus on a single action by a defender but rather scores the sum of actions as a whole (it would be a great addition to data that would allow me to objectively view a single action in relation to a goal or a great opportunity, but I don’t currently have that information). To support my position on the class stance on Mabiala’s defense work, I’ve added a radar chart covering all of Mabiala’s defense tiers. Finally, I’d like to add that the overall actions (or lack thereof for Mabiala) may also indicate that Mabiala should have been a bit more aggressive when dealing with dangerous balls or pressing on opposing attackers when necessary.

Claudio Bravo (LB) – 7.3

In addition to recording a shot assist and three progressive runs, Bravo displayed a very consistent overall performance. More specifically, the Argentine ranked 65th percentile for his total actions and passing, 61st percentile for his style of play, 58th percentile for his defense and 66th percentile for his dribbling grade. Combine that well-rounded performance with some of Bravo’s contributions in the final third and it’s clear why he was one of the best performers on a terrible night for the Timbers.

Diego Chara (CM) – 3.9

Diego had a pretty poor overall performance, beating the 50th percentile only in his defensive category (55th percentile). As for his other categories, Chara ranked 35th percentile for his total actions, 45th percentile for his passing, and 21st percentile for his offensive grade. In addition, Chara fouled the opponent four times, which eventually led to another yellow card for the Colombian.

Eryk Williamson (CM) – 5.6

Williamson’s performance was the epitome of all-over-the-place, as the American ranked slightly above average in his overall actions (61st percentile) and passing (55th percentile), but really struggled with his defensive performance (28th percentile), but was outstanding in his offensive performance (72nd percentile). This was Williamson’s first start in over a month so hopefully he can put in a more rounded performance with more consistent minutes.

Sebastian Blanco (CAM) – 7.5

Aside from a lone goal when the Timbers were already 4-0 down, Blanco put up a shaky overall performance as, despite playing solidly, he again struggled to impress in his dribbling (39th percentile) and pressing (20th percentile) categories and overall action grades he could only muster an offensive grade in the 42nd percentile. Blanco recorded some strong contributions for the Timbers in the final third as he had three of four shots on target in addition to two progressive runs and a through ball.

Yimmi Chara (Winger) – 3.3

There has been a lot of talk on this site lately about Yimmi’s status as a DP level player and that performance against Sporting KC didn’t help his cause. Yimmi did not exceed the 50th percentile in any of his categories, instead ranking 40th percentile for his total actions, 21st percentile for his offensive grade, 32nd percentile for his passing grade, 26th percentile for his playmaking grade, and 31st percentile for his Dribbling grade and the 44th percentile for his Defense grade.

Yaroslav Niezgoda (ST) – 3.9

After scoring four goals in five games for the Timbers, Niezgoda has remained goalless in his last four games. I think that kind of streakiness and inconsistency should be expected from Niezgoda – at least for this season as he depends so much on chances created by attackers around him. This game was just another example of a trend we’ve seen all season, as Niezgoda is 38th percentile for his total actions, 26th percentile for his shooting, 44th percentile for his passing, 51st percentile for his dribbling and the 86th percentile for his headers, and the 35th percentile for his pressing. While this wasn’t a good performance from Niezgoda, it’s encouraging to see an above-average performance in his dribbling category, which doesn’t rely that much on service.

Santiago Moreno (winger) – 6.3

Despite failing to score or assist, Moreno put in a solid performance against Sporting KC. He was 57th percentile for his overall actions, 64th percentile for his offensive grade, 45th percentile for his passing grade, 76th percentile for his playmaking grade, 56th percentile for his dribbling grade, and 50th percentile for his defensive grade. Moreno’s performance should not be overlooked against Sporting KC as many players (young and old) in this team have shown their inability to produce consistent performances and in just his second year in the league, Moreno already has his Quality proven but starting to show its consistency on both a game-by-game and category-by-category basis.

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Substitute:

Bill Tuiloma (CB) – 4.9

While Tuiloma struggled with his overall Action Score (he ranked in the 27th percentile), like most of the Timbers’ centerbacks, he had an excellent passing score (72nd percentile) and a solid defensive score (57th percentile). In addition, Tuiloma did not attempt a single aerial duel and not only recorded the best carrying score in the 39th percentile.

Zac McGraw (CB) – 4.0

While McGraw performed slightly above average in the two basic center-back categories (passing and defending), he struggled in several smaller categories, including total actions, air attacks and carries. Additionally, McGraw also picked up a yellow card in his short tenure on the field, which definitely didn’t help his grade.

Dairon Asprilla (ST) – 9.1

Despite being substituted on when the Timbers were already 3-0 down, Asprilla put in a great performance and was strongly in favor of starting this week as Timbers #9. While his pressing was awful (8th percentile), Asprilla did pretty well in his half on the field, being 65th percentile for his total actions, 74th percentile for his shooting, 55th percentile for his passing, im 63rd percentile for his dribbling and at the 63rd percentile was the 81st percentile for his aerials. Additionally, Asprilla recorded one assist and two shot assists, which had a strong positive impact on his grade.

Marvin Loria () – N/A

Cristhian Paredes () – N/A

These players are not rated because I don’t currently have a rating system that fairly rates players with less than 20 total actions compared to the rest of the team that played most of the game.

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