Saturday night in Toronto, the Vancouver Whitecaps got the better of Toronto FC with a 2-1 come from behind win at BMO Field. Is this a shocking result the way TFC has looked this season? Not at all. Is it still a good road win for the Whitecaps? Absolutely.
Yohei Takaoka: 7.0
I felt Takaoka had a strong performance. Nothing he could do about the goal. He was not forced into many difficult saves but he did have a few tricky deflections and slightly awkward situations to deal with. He handled all of these situations very well to keep the Whitecaps comfortable.
Tristan Blackmon: 7.5
Blackmon looked really good. He played directly against Bernardeschi who never really looked dangerous, even when he was isolated against Blackmon. He also scored a goal, which is always nice.
Ranko Veselinovic: 6.5
He got caught wandering around the midfield on Toronto’s goal but overall he managed things very well. Toronto’s whole attack is built around the two wide men cutting inside so there was not a huge amount for Veselinovic to do in the centre of the back three. But he handled what came his way adequately.
Mathias Laborda: 7.0
Laborda played directly against Insigne. He did not look quite as assured as Blackmon did on the left and there were still a couple of times where he got caught pinching up the field.
Sebastian Berhalter: 6.0
Not Berhalter’s best game. He always seemed to be a little too slow getting around the field and his passing wasn’t on point. Not without his good moments, of course, but he was not at his usual level.
Ryan Raposo: 8.0
Pretty much the platonic ideal of a Ryan Raposo game. Lots of hard running, 3 shots, 1 key pass (always leaving you with the sense he could be generating even more of course), and a little shaky on defence but not so much as to make his overall impact negative.
Alessandro Schopf: 7.5
Honestly a pretty good performance from Schopf. He still moved like he was in one of those dreams where you’re trying to run away from something but he had four shot contributions and was relatively active on defence. He was pressed into service as a #6 and I thought he looked pretty good in that role.
Ali Ahmed: 8.5
Ahmed was really giving Toronto problems in the middle of the park. He was a ball recovery machine, frequently frustrating their attempts to play out of the back. He maybe could have offered a little more going the other way but he still did a good job of shuttling the ball forward.
Richie Laryea: 7.0
He certainly won a lot of fouls. He still looks a little out of sync with his new teammates and there were times when he narrowly missed out on the chance to make an impact in the final 3rd because he didn’t quite anticipate a run or pass someone else was going to make.
Ryan Gauld: 10
Utter domination from start to finish. Nine (9) shot contributions with 2 shots and 7 key passes. His defensive work rate was also immense.
Brian White: 9.0
White gave Michael Bradley a very unpleasant evening. He managed 6 shots and 2 key passes. What was particularly notable was his ability to evade the Toronto centre-backs with his off-the-ball movement.
Pedro Vite was the only sub to make a serious impact. But it was a positive outing for the Ecuadorian. He managed a couple of key passes and dictated the tempo in the centre of the pitch. I was impressed once again with his defensive effort. He will never be the Ecuadorian Kante but Vite’s days as a defensive liability seem to be behind him. One interesting thing I noticed is that when Levonte Johnson came on and the team was restructured into a 4-3-2-1, it was Ali Ahmed who went into the attacking midfield role and Johnson who was deployed on the outside of the midfield three. It will be interesting to see if Johnson starts popping up there more. I’m not sure that’s a position change that makes a lot of sense for him as one of his best traits is his ability to receive the ball in dangerous areas, something that would be limited by playing deeper. But he certainly has the motor to get up and down the field.