Take a breath Whitecaps fans, it seems the days of losing to CPL teams are in the rear-view mirror. Prior to Wednesday, Vancouver’s record on the island was less than favourable, as they were o for 1. Despite this, the Whitecaps were able to set those demons aside on Wednesday and got the job done at Starlight. While not as dominating as the final scoreline suggested, this victory showed the Whitecaps’ organizational improvements over the last two years, and that the club looks capable of defending their Canadian Championship title in a couple of weeks. Here are the player grades.
Brian White: 6.0
Brian White played well today but failed to make an impact. In a game with a lot of shots, there weren’t many from White, but he was present when the Whitecaps needed him to be for attacking buildup.
Alessandro Schopf: 6.5
Schopf was impressive today. Probably his strongest performance in recent weeks, the Austrian assisted and had creative passes forward to facilitate play. He wasn’t Ryan Gauld by any means, but he still impressed with his positioning and contribution to attacks.
Sergio Cordova: 5.5
Cordova played above average but not great. He seemed less lost than usual but his traditional flaws still showed. Making errant passes or mind-boggling decisions in front of net, Cordova hasn’t really unlocked how to score yet (which is weird considering his history with RSL). It looks like he’s always one step behind everyone and can’t keep up with the tempo. Despite this, he didn’t play bad, if anything just unimpactful.
Russel Teibert: 6.0
Teibert has been good for Vancouver in the Canadian Championship, make of that what you will. He looks comfortable in these matches and is able to slot in and provide dangerous plays. Not much more to say outside of a slightly above average Rusty display.
Andres Cubas: 6.0
Cubas shut down many Pacific attacks, as he always does. he didn’t jump off the screen often, but when you did see him, he was stopping attacks. It wasn’t a crazy performance or anything, but him doing his defensive duties allowed other players to strike quickly on the counter attack.
Julian Gressel: 7.5
Clearly head and shoulders above the rest in this match, Gressel not only attacked effectively, but also was precise with his tackles and was constantly getting in the head of the Pacific FC players. He was involved in most attacking scenarios for Vancouver and also in many defensive scenarios, as he turned the play around himself and put control back in the Whitecaps’ hands. The go-ahead goal was a statement to how positive Gressel’s play was on the day.
Ali Ahmed: N/A
Ahmed suffered a horrible injury that stopped play and took him off the field. Regardless of the result, let’s hope everything turns out well for the youngster.
Tristan Blackmon: 6.0
Blackmon played a decent game, showing his solid defensive capabilities. He stood exactly where he needed to as Pacific struggled to get meaningful shots on target. This would have been a higher rating if not for his rash tackle that resulted in a yellow card.
Matthias Laborda: 7.0
Laborda was the more stuck-in of the two central defenders. His class showed in his tackles and blocking, and his efforts were a big part of what ensured the clean sheet.
Ryan Raposo: 6.0
A lot was asked of Raposo in this one, as he had to play both flanks. He did a good job dribbling but wasn’t super involved in attacking play. He was able to break up Pacific’s attacking moves as they tried to work in wide areas, which was key to limiting the home side.
Yohei Takaoka: 7.0
Add another to the Takaoka clean sheet tally. Yohei was key in the Whitecaps’ victory tonight as he stretched to make a few key saves when Pacific managed a dangerous attempt. He wasn’t really tested too often but he was ready when it mattered. In my opinion, he was the second most influential player on the field after Gressel.
Javain Brown: 6.0
Brown came in for the injured Ahmed and picked up where he left off. Making an immediate attacking impact, he also put in a defensive shift as the Whitecaps absorbed attacks as the match went on.
Luis Martins: 5.5
Luis Martins came in the game in the final third but didn’t really do anything impressive. Nothing to critique either though.
Pedro Vite: 6.0
Vite has been having a very good run of games, and he was obviously being rested for this weekend’s game. That didn’t stop him from coming in and making his mark though, as he assisted a goal from Simon Becher. Had he played the whole match, I think we could have seen him continue his goal streak.
Deiber Caicedo: 5.5
The Colombian came in at the same time as Becher, but struggled to have an impact similar to his teammate.
Simon Becher: 6.5
Becher comes in, Becher scores. What more can you say?
Agree with these ratings? Sound off in the comments below.