The Whitecaps wrapped up their regular season with a 1-1 draw against LAFC in a match where both sides ultimately needed a win and help elsewhere to make any noise in the standings. That help didn’t come but the clash will serve as a taste of what is to come in the playoff matchup between the two teams. Here’s what the report card has to say before we head to the postseason:
Yohei Takaoka: 7
Would have liked to have Bouanga’s goal back, methinks, though his defense didn’t do him many favors by allowing the striker plenty of time to tee one up. It came after an otherwise excellent performance, including a clutch denial of Mario Gonzalez late in the match.
Javain Brown: 6
A mercurial night for Brown, who had some difficulty with the LAFC attacking band but was also strong in the air. Meanwhile, he alternated some nice build up play and a couple really untimely turnovers.
Ranko Veselinovic: 6.5
Struggled with the pace of LAFC in full flight but then, I suppose, who doesn’t? When not defending in transition, Ranko was much better and largely blunted LAFC in the first half, beyond Bouanga’s strike.
Tristan Blackmon: 6
Had a couple of turnovers but was pretty good 1v1 and had no major defensive errors.
Ryan Raposo: 5.5
The Caps needed really incisive build up along the flanks if they were going to penetrate LAFC, given how much the away side controlled the midfield and…Raposo didn’t quite give them that.
Sebastian Berhalter: 6
Made some nice passes from a deeper lying position but also found himself struggling to keep up with a strong performance in midfield from LAFC, making a couple of turnovers that led to dangerous counters. Not a bad performance so much as one that forces one to recall the gap between him and Andres Cubas.
Pedro Vite: 6.5
Vite flew under the radar but was generally positive. Had a couple nice runs in between the lines that his teammates couldn’t take advantage of but found chemistry with Laryea as the match went on. He doesn’t yet seem to have that same kind of telepathy with Ali Ahmed, as the two have not quite clicked as a midfield pairing yet.
Ali Ahmed: 8
Was the Caps’ brightest spot in midfield, even before he nabbed his second goal of the campaign. His defensive work rate was strong, as he tracked back to help handle a couple of dangerous LAFC chances in the box. And his ball carrying was especially important on a night where the Caps struggled against the mid-block. Vanni is right — he should be a regular feature for the national team and this performance showed why.
Richie Laryea: 8
There was a reason LAFC players kept dragging him down in dangerous areas, threatened by his quick feet and growing link-up play with his midfield partners. The flanks were always going to be important in this and Laryea shone bright, particularly in the second half. This was perhaps his best match as a Caps player and he is kicking on at just the right time.
Ryan Gauld: 5
Well, you’d rather see him burn his perfect penalty record in a relatively inconsequential match. The frustration of missing two spot kicks was a pretty good metaphor for this whole match for Gauld, who didn’t have his usual influence and couldn’t quite help his teammates break down LAFC.
Brian White: 4.5
Not much cooking for Brian White, who the fewest touches of any starter on the pitch. The low rating isn’t his fault, so much a reflection of the fact that he was denied much consequential service and could never really get into this one.
Luis Martins: 6
Thought he came on and did a nice, solid job in his first appearance for the Caps in some time.
Sam Adekugbe: 5.5
Not a ton of impact on this one, aside from earning a suspect yellow card.
Alessandro Schopf: 5.5
Dropped deep to try and create and give Sebastian Berhalter some help upon coming on for Vite.
Junior Hoilett: 7
Looked dangerous in a cameo, causing some problems for LAFC from both central and wide areas. Didn’t lead to many concrete chances, however.
Simon Becher: N/A
Helped give Brian White a well-deserved break.