Report Card: Whitecaps exit Leagues Cup with a familiar twist

The Whitecaps welcomed Tigres UANL back to BC Place for the first time since their 2017 CCL run. On the night, the Whitecaps struck early and looked dominant in the first half, which was a sight to see. However, they conceded early in the second half on a moment of Gignac magic, and from there on out, looked a little less sure of themselves. In the penalty shootout, the strength of the Liga MX side was too much for the boys in blue, as they ultimately crashed out of the Leagues Cup in the round of 32.

All that said, how did each player do within the 90+ minutes played?

Yohei Takaoka: 6.0

He started the game off well, doing what a goalkeeper does best, saving shots. He was well positioned to parry away many of Tigres’ efforts, and on the odd occasion that he wasn’t, he had someone to cover his back. Even after conceding, he continued to stay up to the challenge. It was a solid match for Takaoka overall, but he is certainly not a penalty specialist.

Tristan Blackmon: 6.5

Making his presence known both at the back and in attack, Blackmon was a good fit on the left side of the defense. That side of the pitch was a pretty well locked-down with both him and Raposo playing well. He had a key block early in the second half and was strong in the air.

Ranko Veselinovic: 6.5

Having recently signed a new contract, Ranko’s got some expectations to fulfil. Ranko played very well in the first half, shutting down many Tigres attacks and being the reliable in the centre of the defense. The same theme continued in the second half, outside of Gignac’s wonder-strike. So far, it looks like he will be backing up that new contract. The penalty miss was a tough moment, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.

Javain Brown: 6.0

Javain hasn’t started in a while, so he was visibly rusty, playing it safe when he could and not taking too many risks. Being the first player in the match to get a yellow card due to a late tackle, he probably needs more minutes under his belt to become truly effective. The first player subbed off in this match, he definitely needs to get back in form, especially with more competition incoming at the position. I don’t know how many more minutes there will be for Javain.

Andres Cubas: 6.5

A quieter game for the Paraguayan, Cubas’ main job was making sure the middle of the park stayed congested so that Gignac wasn’t able to do what he does best. For the most part, that is what happened, even if all the Frenchman needed was a single opportunity. Despite that, Cubas put on a relatively strong display.

Ryan Raposo: 7.0

With a clearance early on that prevented Tigres from dashing the Whitecaps’ hopes too early, Raposo had a pretty notable start to the game. Being tasked with mostly defensive responsibilities, he looked up to pace with the Liga MX competition, which was impressive. He even had a couple of chances to provide a goal of his own, despite his hefty defensive duties. Definitely a highlight player on the night, it’s unfortunate he missed those chances.

Pedro Vite: 7.0 

Vite opened up the game with a bang, giving the Whitecaps the lead after only ten minutes of play. Taking advantage of a halfhearted clearance by Tigres, he caught the ball on a half-volley and slotted it in with force. He was very impressive in the first half, dribbling past many opponents with flair, and showing a similar creativity with his passes. As with the rest of the team, things slowed a bit in the second half, but Vite was still very good.

Alessandro Schopf: 6.5

Schopf had an underrated night. He wasn’t often in the spotlight, but he made some nice contributions and helped put his teammates in the right positions, orchestrating the midfield.

Sebastian Berhalter: 6.5

Playing on the wing recently where he’s looked effective, Berhalter provided good midfield support. He was notably physical on the ball, perhaps even more so than Cubas, which is saying something. Berhalter has good technique and was sharp with his passing as well. 

Ryan Gauld: 6.5

Gauld’s positioning on the first goal was what allowed the Whitecaps to get such an early lead. Gauld continues to be a threat for Vancouver, and he was often the first player making a run into Tigres’ half on the ball. He undoubtedly put in a huge effort, and was exhausted near the end of the match. There’s not much more you could have asked from the Scotsman.

Brian White: 5.5

The effort was there for White, but Tigres did a very good job limiting his opportunities and hassling him when he tried to hold up the ball to start attacking sequences for Vancouver. White usually has a physical advantage over defenders, but this was not the case in this match.

Matthias Laborda: 6.0

Laborda provided a spark when he entered, though his passes often fell into dead space. Whether it was his vision or the way the team was playing, he couldn’t find a connection. No issues defensively though.

Sergio Cordova: 5.5

Cordova offered a different threat for the Tigres defensive line when he came on, making some nice runs, even though the result was much the same as with White.

Russell Teibert: 5.0

The only player who was around for their last match against Tigres, Russell Teibert entered when Gauld was forced off due to fatigue. He played 10+ minutes, but there’s not much to say really.

Ali Ahmed: 6.0

The young Canadian brought some speed to the match in the late stages, which was good for Vancouver. With both teams tired, Ahmed hassled Tigres defensively but sometimes his teammates were not on the same page, as the pace of their game had already dropped.

What were your thoughts on the match? Do you agree with these ratings? Sound off below.

(Image Credit: Mark Zhuang)

6 thoughts on “Report Card: Whitecaps exit Leagues Cup with a familiar twist

  1. I’ll comment on your 1st 4. Yes Schopf is looking good but all of our midfield, except for Cubas, are being asked to do so much running that can’t be sustained past 70-75 minutes. Guess Teibert was our only experienced CMF but i would have gone with Ngando regardless, in going for the win and giving this player needed experience in tough conditions. Vite was so out of gas leading to me disagreeing with your Cordova assessment. Cordova showed good pace twice. Once dribbling through 3 players, which has become a bit of a signature move and he outpaced a defender chasing down a loose ball in the attacking third (to be expected as he had the fresh legs). He also made some dangerous runs but our exhausted midfielders couldn’t deliver the needed passes. They were all easily intercepted. And Cordova was on the same side as Vite and Vite struggled big time in the last 15. Again, it’s too much to ask midfielder’s to do these back and forth 40-70 yard runs. Unless the staff can improve the midfield’s fitness but I’d assume they’re in the best shape they can be at this stage.

  2. It is bizarre how bad Takaoka is at penalties for a guy that guesses right almost always. It’s like he forgets to touch the ball.

  3. good ratings

    IMO schopf was a 7.0- he best game this season- he was crafty and strong on the ball- loosing him, alongwith Gauld, with 12 minutes to go, was also a loss

    IMO, i would have hoped that Gauld and Schopf could have gutted it out and been PK takers- we might have had a different result

    subbing off Gauld and bringing on Teibert is a BIG loss to the Caps and it removes your best PK taker- N’gano would have been a better choice over rusty… by a BIG stretch

    Cordova looked like he did 6 games ago– looked lost, slow and had NO impact – 5.0

    Raposo surprised me with his strong game last night, but his resume says he cant consistently keep it – i might give him POTM – 7.5

    Vite seems to lack the physical drive after 70 minutes – to go to a higher Club, he will have to increase his endurance

    Ahmed is a sneaky player as he lures opponents into thinking he has nothing to offer and then… he does his thing

    Takaoka- 6.5

    Blackmon- 7.0- he has returned to his pre-injury form

    it was a terrific night and the Caps were equal to Tigres – disappointed in the loss, but uplifted by the Caps football

    Vanni should give them a full week off, then hit the bricks again for a tough 12 games with 7 in a row on the road

  4. These scores seem low to me. I thought Cubas and gauld were excellent and RR had one of his best games.

    1. The 6 for Brown is generous. He was understandably rusty, yes, but he was clearly off the pace. Needed to be stronger on the Gignac goal, too

      Everything else seems about right. Vite and Raposo getting top ratings is entirely accurate, they were the two best players on the team

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