Portland v FC Dallas Player Ratings
by Steve Clare
Donovan Ricketts 7.5/10: Ricketts took the armband in Will Johnson’s absence and dealt well with an early Mauro Diaz effort. He maintained good positioning on an early swerving effort from another Diaz effort. The Dallas goal was a disaster not of his own making.
Elsewhere his drop kick clearances were a little below par. A brave punch in 85′ from a corner was bravery worthy of a captain. Nearly taking Michael Harrington’s head off less so!
Alvas Powell 7/10: Powell brings pace, verve and a modicum of recklessness to the right back position which is exciting for the fans though nerve wracking for the coach. He wasted a great chance to put cross into as danger area on 37 by waywardly overhitting. Ditto he ran the ball out of play on 53′ and hit the first defender with a weak cross in 80′, but I’m nitpicking at a 19-year-old full back for his forward wingplay.
At his own end, he was tidy and disciplined. To think, he has 15 years of football in front of him.
Andrew Jean-Baptiste 6/10: AJB was slightly to blame on the Dallas goal when he didn’t cover for Kah’s poor positioning and this is after all a team game. More worryingly, he let Jackson get goal side of him in the 31st and this allowed Dallas a chance to take the lead which Ferreira fortunately fired over. It was seconds after that when Portland took the lead. You could say he was lucky not to be more severely punished. He remains a threat at forward set pieces.
Pa Modou Kah 6/10: He began with a great interception to deny the dangerous Fabian Castillo early. He was caught well out of position though when Dallas scored. Given Dallas’s set piece excellence, probably should have been more careful about conceding corners. Against a more confident side, he and Jean-Baptiste may have been punished a little more for their errors but both did well not to be bullied by Blas Perez, the Panamanian Steven Lenhart.
Michael Harrington 7.5/10: Harrington returned to left back in his 22nd start for the club. He made a crucial intervention in the 6th minute to deny Jackson from Michel’s very dangerous cross although he did win a free kick, which shows that even when fouled, he can win plays. That’s a good talent to have when the referee adopts a more laissez-faire attitude to forwards harrying defenders than Allen Chapman does.
He looked better going forward than in recent weeks and beat defenders like a natural winger on occasions. Superb tackle on Jackson on the 65th to break up a dangerous attack.
Diego Chara 6.5/10: He foolishly hacked out at George John having been made to look statuesque by the skills of a gangly six foot centre back. Maybe the Colombian allowed his ego to overrule his judgment. He timed a tackle on the flying Fabian Castillo perfectly after the Dallas winger had taken Zemanski out the game with his pace and swerve. This was not vintage Chara but as a step on his recovery from injury bodes well.
Diego Valeri (off in 79′) 7.5/10: Valeri took a while to get any meaningful possession and when he did shot appallingly wide in 21′ when his colleague Zemanski had done the hard work. Valeri gains half a point for the assist on the corner which fed Ryan Johnson on the first goal, and another half for setting up Nagbe.
A throng of bodies may have caused some to not see his goalline clearance on 57′ for which he is also marked up. He also picked up a needless booking for a rough tackle on George John on the half way line. He is not a guy that the club wants to lose for a key game due to card accumulation down the stretch. Not his best game but he was there in key moments to make or prevent goals.
Ben Zemanski 8/10: Zemanski was a revelation on Saturday. Inserted at left midfield ostensibly for the absent captain and team conductor Will Johnson, his performance alleviated any fear that the Timbers could not survive without their Canadian linchpin.
He began by showing some nice early moments of distribution with Alvas Powell of all people and also linked well with Rodney Wallace. Zemanski is growing into this side as perhaps the heir to Jack Jewsbury’s role as utility man.
He could have been ‘among the numbers’ but was let down by a poor Valeri finish when he deserved an assist. He did well to win Timbers 4th corner showing good matchcraft to get a rebound.
His yellow card for a needless foul on Diaz in midfield was reckless and will see him unavailable for Wednesday, which is not what the coach needs with three games in eight days or when you are bang in form and not a regular starter.
However a club spokesman told us the following:
“Zemanski is on five cautions, but falls under the good behavior rule as he went three matches between his fourth and fifth cautions.
He’ll serve a one-game suspension upon his next caution.”
However coach Porter need no longer check the Canadian side’s international schedule as nervously as he once did!
Darlington Nagbe 6.5/10: Nagbe was largely anonymous early and easily robbed by Kellyn Acosta when given a good run at the inexperienced defender in the 20th minute.
A clinical finish though for the winning goal was an exemplary display of the art of finishing seconds after Ferreira had wasted a great chance which would have put the Timbers behind. Check out the timing of Nagbe’s run too as it was as exquisite as the execution itself.
50 minutes in, he produced a sublime piece of skill to clear from inside his own box showing that he is improving on the parts that come less naturally to him.
Ryan Johnson 6/10: He ran around a lot and created space for others by doing relatively little early on but running intelligently.
Then was in pole position when he lost large Dallas centre back George John at a corner. One cannot help but wonder if Dallas keeper Raul Fernandez was alert enough having played in Korea recently and flown back. Generally this was a Timbers performance that involved Ryan Johnson a little less than usual. He shot too straight at Fernandez in 70′.
The decision to remove him in 73′ for Valencia was a sound one given the upcoming week and the amount of off ball running RJ did, as well as the side need to get Valencia competitive minutes.
Rodney Wallace 8/10: I always seem to miss Wallace’s bad games. He fulfilled defensive duties well and was still able to win key headers upfront. His 12th minute turn on a sixpence and shot would have made a great goal had he not fired it over. He shot badly wide in 15 when he had a good sighting though.
Wallace set the home crowd alight with a blistering run and shot on the left in the 63rd minute and stung Fernandez’s gloves. On a luckier day, the rebound would have fallen in the path of an onrushing forward.
Minutes later he dispossessed an opponent in midfield, ran through the bewildered Dallas midfield and was only stopped by a very brave Matt Hedges who decided to stand his ground. It was in truth, pretty fearless stuff by both men.
Wallace’s turn of pace is deceptive for a man of his size and shape. He is turning out to be a very useful man to have in several areas of the field.
Adolfo Valencia (on in 73′) 6/10: He replaced an off-colour Ryan Johnson and arguably could have been given more time given his lack of recent minutes.
He committed a foul on Erick within seconds of coming on.
Then he overplayed a pass to Valeri who he could have played in, which may be explained by being over keen to play.
That said, he gets plaudits for getting involved immediately in his limited time. He could have made a major impact when he used his strength to battle through a tired but brave defence but his shot was weak.
I can see him getting more time on Wednesday depending on Ryan Johnson’s tiredness level especially against a side that just shipped four goals in their last half of football
Kalif Alhassan ( on in 79) 6.5/10: The forgotten winger replaced Valeri with little time to show why he should be a starter. Playing more centrally, he won a free kick immediately. He made a very smart decision to allow the ball to run out of play after Nagbe was hacked down.
The referee had wanted to play the advantage. Alhassan made sure there wasn’t one by allowing the ball to run across the goal line. Was barely a free kick though as Nagbe more or less ran into Michel with the full intention of collapsing. Smart stuff all round.
Man of the Match: Ben Zemanski