It will go down as a loss, but there were plenty of positives to take away from the Whitecaps and TFC match that was played last night. Despite fielding an incredibly inexperienced lineup, the Whitecaps lost by just a single goal, with some strong performances to go with it. When you consider that the young Whitecaps lineup actually held their ground against TFC with all their big name, expensive stars, it really makes you excited for the future of this club.
While not everyone looked great out there (Erik Hurtado squandered a major opportunity to show his stuff), there were a few players that deserve to be singled out.
His short career has been a rocky one, however Salgado showed some flashes of what made the 'Caps select him first overall in the 2011 SuperDraft. Fresh off his recall from Charleston, Salgado was subbed into the match in the 64th minute for Marco Bustos. While the American looked a little rusty, something he can obviously be forgiven for, he also had a couple of great chances, most notably a pair in the 75th minute.
Kenny Miller is gone, Darren Mattocks is on the mend, and that means a sliver of opportunity for Salgado to get some minutes quickly. Wednesday was a terrific start. (Erik Hurtado should be worried.)
It's a little strange to refer to the 21 year old Teibert as a 'veteran', but given the youthful squad Carl Robinson fielded versus TFC, Teibert was one of the most experienced Whitecaps on the pitch. Hell, the kid even wore the Captain's arm band! Likewise, he was also one of the most reliant, helping keep his side calm when things got scrambly. You could tell he was fired up to be a Canadian in the match, and certainly wanted to bring his best.
For that matter, Bryce Alderson looked shaky at times, but I believe showed some potential in the defensive midfield. For such a young pairing, things went much, much better for them than it could have.
I'm not alone on this one! Fellow writer Jorge Mendoza mentioned the strong play of Leveron in the post-match comments, and they're well deserved. Yes, the Whitecaps did concede two goals on the night, but Leveron was very strong all night, facing some pretty tough competition in names like Defoe and Bradley. On a makeshift backline with very little experience, Leveron was his usual 'cool as a cucumber' self, even though he hasn't been getting tons of playing time. You could tell that was a bit of chemistry between Leveron and Carlyle Mitchell, the two youngins' that were forced into regular roster spots because of rampant injury to the club last season.
While Mitchell didn't look that strong this time around, I'd have no problem with Leveron getting some regular playing time once again.
Were there any 'Caps that caught your attention?