Report Card: I’m Not Surprised.

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. 

8 thoughts on “Report Card: I’m Not Surprised.

  1. Two comments. Russell Teibert DESERVES to be ahead of Ngando. The Whitecaps have ALWAYS been ignored by the U.S. media. It started back in ’79 when we won the Soccer Bowl. It’ll never change. But, like many, I love being the SUPPOSED underdog.

  2. I’d like to lobby for Gauld to get an 11/10 😉

    The extra bonus point for the moment in the second half where he tracked back and took the ball off Insigne near the center of the park, and one DP then kept working his ass off to turn the steal into a counterattack, and the other just started walking casually since his team was now defending. I think it led to one of White’s attempts on goal.

    I couldn’t find that clip in the highlights, but it was just a perfect moment after the MLS article on Gauld being a working man’s DP or whatever the term was that Vanni used.

  3. Nice. And we could add a few more wins with the Voyageurs too, even if he did get knocked out (literally) of the one game.

  4. As mentioned in the other thread and on the MLS site we’ve got a new good luck token! “Whitecaps FC has posted a record of 6W-0L-2D when Ali Ahmed starts an MLS regular season match”

    Remember how we never lost a game when Techara scored or assisted? 34 games or something like that? Hopefully Ali’s run will be similar but longer LOL

  5. I think now, and always have, that we should stay clear of paying big bucks for aging former superstars. The Caps management deserves credit for not falling into that trap. Acquiring Blackmon has to be one of the best moves ever. What a player. I hope he’s happy in Vancouver. He’s irreplaceable

  6. I agree it was a great game. Toronto was like a a group of individual good players but not a team working together. The Caps have gotten to the point where they make each other better and it’s really fun to watch. I think your rating is a bit high on RR though given his defensive work. Ali is the surprise of the year – a joy to watch and quite a future with Canada.

  7. insigne and bernardeschi make about $22 mill USD/season between the 2 of them until 2026 – now thats a lot of bad tasting italian spice- if they play out their contract, it will cost $110 mill USD for 5 years (almost $150 mill CDN)

    these 2 demand, DEMAND the ball and do so little with it

  8. NEVER SEEN THIS BEFORE- all ratings were 6.0 and above

    Raposo has upped his game since the 2 new canadians arrived- competition is good on a professional team

    i think the Gauld-White combo is about the best attacking unit in MLS and yet it goes unnoticed by most of the USA media- and Gauld is the top performing player in MLS since June- he is simply the dynamite on the team- we all gotta hope he can keep it going for the next 6-8 weeks-

    if axel is green-lighted in spending a few million on a new player for 2024, then a serious challenge for MLS Cup 2024 is on the table if he and the scouting team get it right

    how does teibert get on the field ahead of Ngando ?? and then takes the captain armband from Gauld ????????????????????????

    you gotta be happy with a road trip that bring 10/12 points – the Caps are the hottest team in MLS and the USA media never says a word – i like us being the unnoticed dog

    A SIDE OF HASH- its going to be fun to see how new TFC head coach, john herdman, deals with the 2 Italians who make over $20 mill until 2026 ? these 2 prima donnas dont belong in MLS

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