Report Card: Whitecaps’ MLS return doesn’t go as planned

The last match before a long, long road trip for the Caps was not a happy one, with a brief moment of counter attacking efficiency being all San Jose needed to take all three points at BC Place. The first match back from Leagues Cup was a performance where Vancouver will consider themselves wasteful not to get a result — but what does it mean for the player ratings? Read on.

Yohei Takaoka: 5.5

There was not much he could do on the goal and he didn’t have a ton else to do to distinguish himself in this one.

Ryan Raposo: 6

An adequate outing for Raposo, who was pressed into service on both sides at various points of the match. He dealt generally well with the threat of Cristian Espinoza on the left hand side (the goal was the result of a near-total team breakdown) and while he lacked a decisive moment going forward, he was fine.

Tristan Blackmon: 6

I thought both Ranko and Blackmon were both ok, generally, but Blackmon had a couple sloppy clearances and misplayed passes that left him a bit lower on the pecking order for me.

Ranko Veselinovic: 6.5

Ranko was good at snuffing out the few balls San Jose put into the box. He was a bit adrift on the goal but I don’t think you really can blame him for being thrown to the lion’s den 1v1 against Jeremy Ebobisse.

Mathias Laborda: 6.5

He had some trouble coping with the pace and threat of Cade Cowell. He still likes to push forward and while he was caught out on the counterattack goal, Laborda served as a useful release valve to break up San Jose pressure at times.

Richie Laryea: 6.5

Laryea had moments of real spark and, along with Sergio Cordova, created some difficult decisions for the Quakes along the right-hand side. He also looked at times like, well, he was playing his first competitive match with a new team. His pace made a real difference — there was one ball he forced a Quakes player to clear, poorly, which created a real chance — and there is clearly much more to come from Laryea.

Andres Cubas: 6.5

A rare middling couple of errors in the first half from Cubas, who had moments where he got caught too far forward or out-of-position. He was much more buttoned up in the second half, when he was needed to halt some Quakes advances when the Caps had committed players forward.

Pedro Vite: 7

Vite continues to prove his worth, with a couple of gorgeous balls into the box, despite playing from a deeper position. His influence waned as the match went on and he probably shouldn’t retain free kick duty going forward, however.

Alessandro Schopf: 5.5

One area where there is a noticeable drop off from Gauld and Gressel to Schopf is he just isn’t as comfortable playing in tight areas and helping to spring the breaks the Caps like to orchestrate. I thought his ball movement was sound and he had a couple key moments to win back possession, but he lacked the killer ball needed to unlock San Jose and the decision to replace him with Ali Ahmed was a good one.

Brian White: 6

He was asked to drop a bit deeper without Gauld on the pitch but managed to work himself a couple quality looks in the box. He started off brightly, moving the ball around, but I thought he just was not on the same page at times with his teammates in terms of making runs or timing passes.

Sergio Cordova: 7

His distribution was nice and he seems to have a bit more confidence on the ball, taking defenders on and beating them. He also brought a couple promising moves to an end with a quick turnover. He will get some flack for not finishing one of his many chances, but his shortcomings were more to do with Daniel’s stops (and a tight angle the one time he rounded the keeper) than anything else.

Sam Adekugbe: 7

Sam came on and immediately had a key moment winning a second ball to cut out a San Jose break. He looked composed in defense tracking back and offered more of an attacking threat than I expected. He was denied a dream return to BC Place by the upright, when a lovely free kick was inches wide from being the equalizer.

Ryan Gauld: 7

Gauld had an immediate impact upon coming on and showed tenacity in winning possession back and asking real questions of the San Jose defense.

Ali Ahmed: 7

I thought Sartini waited too long to bring on Ahmed, whose quick feet were needed to break down a resolute Quakes side.

J.C. Ngando & Levonte Johnson: N/A

I thought both young players came on and provided a spark, just not for long enough to get a rating.

Those were my thoughts on the match. Let me know yours in the comments below.

8 thoughts on “Report Card: Whitecaps’ MLS return doesn’t go as planned

  1. once he has you locked into a certain player profile/role, Vanni is stubborn to change it – simon becher might be best to try his fortunes someplace else – he showed some promise 3 months ago, but now has fallen off Vanni’s radar

    and a hamstring issue means there is/has been some type of injury which needs to be patiently treated

  2. Sad that Becher has fallen off the radar. I feel he’s a valuable player in the last 20-25 minutes. He seems to find a way score in different situations. Sartini has probably shot his confidence.

    1. Becher isn’t evolved enough to be the third option, playing 10-20 minutes at irregular intervals. There’s clear gaps in his game that require him playing (starting) minutes regularly so being in NextPro at the minute is the best option. Johnson has some of the same gaps but looks better suited currently to that role having had those NP minutes already.

      With Guald, White, Cordova there’s just not the minutes in Sartini’s tactical approach for Becher needed for him to potentially grow into being an MLS player. He’s not there currently.

  3. some thoughts from an entertaining, but painful loss- the next 4 games will define our season, and all are on the road- we still lack that ‘killer’ of a striker who gets 3 chances/goal

    1. Brian White– for an experienced striker, why is it that he doesnt head the ball down, but instead launches his headers to a place that the goalie can easily get his paws to?

    2.How can Vanni not start ahmed, adekugbe and lareya in the next set of games? all have a notch more quality than the other players who get starts – i know there will be rotations, but really.. WE ARE AT A CRISIS SITUATION FOR THE PLAYOFFS and you gotta field your best team every game, barring injuries

    3. As Ryan Gauld goes, so go the Caps – a hamstring injury is one of the worst to recover from – he is the difference maker for the Caps

    4. when will cordova ever win a header inside the box ? i dont care about chances… i care about goals – in MLS games, he has 2G in 17 appearances which is close to his career stats- he is more involved in being a target striker, but …

    5. i am convinced that Vite is a 60 minute player- he has talent, but lacks endurance

    6. Veselinovic has really improved his game this year- he reads the game better and makes vital interceptions- a dependable CB

    1. Re: 3. Gauld – He doesn’t have a hamstring injury, he has ongoing hamstring issues going back over his career through Portugal. Has been an ongoing issue since coming to Vancouver, and appears will continue to be. That it’s raised again ahead of a congested period of two 3-matches-in-8-days scenarios in the run-in, should indeed be concerning.

  4. Last night showed us where this team is without Ryan Gauld and what a spark he brings coming on even injured. Without him I’m not sure we are a playoff team.

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