For the second straight match, the Vancouver Whitecaps fell to Western Conference rivals on the road, this time, losing 2-1 at Salt Lake. Let’s have a look at the player grades.
Yohei Takaoka: 4.0
That first goal was less than ideal to give up. I saw some blame for the second goal attributed to him as well but it was right on the doorstep so I’m not sure. He did recover with a couple of decent saves later in the second half. I was engaged in an interesting conversation about whether the Whitecaps should look to upgrade Takaoka next season and I think I’ll probably dive into that at some point. Lots of interesting elements at play there, in my humble opinion.
Javain Brown: 5.0
If you held a gun to my head and said “Remember something Javain Brown did in that game” I would truly have a hard time. We didn’t see the huge number of defensive actions that are usually a hallmark of a good game for him. He did smash Justen Glad in the face with a last-ditch attempt to prevent the second goal but I’m not really sure if that’s a positive or a negative.
Ranko Veselinovic: 6.0
It’s hard to judge Vancouver’s defenders in a game where Real Salt Lake only created one truly dangerous chance and it went in (and also one of the not-dangerous chances went in). Ranko had a nondescript game with a handful of clearances and was never really put in a difficult situation.
Tristan Blackmon: 6.0
Pretty much everything I said about Veselinovic applies to Blackmon. Never looked too troubled but also did not have anything too challenging to deal with.
Andres Cubas: 6.0
Cubas was back from injury and didn’t quite seem to be himself. I noticed he was wincing a bit in the first half and I wonder if he’s not quite 100%. That’s not to say he was bad, just not his usual dominant self.
Ryan Raposo: 4.0
After the platonic ideal of a good Raposo game the last time I did the report card, we now got the platonic ideal of a bad Raposo game. His touch and decision-making were both lacking, which they almost always are, but in this game, they were not balanced out with shot contributions. Defensively he was ok but that’s never really going to be his strong suit.
Alessandro Schopf: 4.0
Stats are obviously not everything but 0 shots, 0 key passes, 0 tackles, 0 interceptions, 0 dribbles. I do get why you would want a more ball-secure midfielder to pair with Cubas and one of Vite or Ahmed. But, C’mon, give me something!
Pedro Vite: 4.5
Vite was also pretty anonymous. He maintained his newfound industriousness but was not able to progress the ball or create many chances.
Richie Lareya: 5.5
Lareya was quite active defensively but a bit of a 0 in the attacking 3rd. He still doesn’t seem to quite click with the rest of the team. There were lots of times when the team clearly wanted to play at a high tempo and he slowed things down.
Ryan Gauld: 8.0
Even in this game where hardly any chances were created by either side, Gauld still managed 3 shots 2 key passes, and an assist.
Brian White: 7.0
White scored a goal, which is nice. He naturally suffered from the team’s overall lack of incisiveness. He was almost sprung free on a couple of occasions but things didn’t quite connect.
The subs were largely mediocre. Simon Becher had one good shot, and I hope we see more of him in a super-sub role down the stretch. Junior Hoilett managed a couple of shot contributions but nothing to write home about. Ali Ahmed had some moments but didn’t turn the tide of the game in quite the way he would have hoped to and Sam Adekgube really struggled to have an impact against RSL’s low block.
What were your thoughts, let us know in the comments!