As this is my first report card for Eighty Six Forever, allow me to present the official Rituro Scale of Grading to translate my rankings of select Whitecaps players.
- A - Fantastic performance. Few, if any faults. An example of the player's best work and a masterclass in how to play the position. Since this means an A+ would be near-perfection, don't expect me to hand out those any time soon.
- B - Above average. A good day at the office for the player, with no major mistakes to speak of. Was a help more than a hindrance to the team on and/or off the ball.
- C - Average. Made some mistakes, had some good moments. Nothing to put the player in the doghouse, but nothing to write home about, either.
- D - Below average. A worrying performance that will leave coaches, teammates and/or supporters concerned about future efforts. Turnovers, poor clearances, missed big chances and soft goals will earn you this grade.
- F - Atrocious. Get off the field, hand in your kit and never darken the halls with your presence ever again.
- I - Incomplete. Player suffered an injury, was substituted at halftime with a view to later matches or some other occurrence that would leave us with insufficient evidence to assign a grade.
David Ousted: B
Ousted did his part to keep the 'Caps in this match, shutting down the Toronto attackers as necessary and only conceding on a penalty. He was aided somewhat by poor finishing (looking at you, Doneil Henry and Gilberto) but I was satisfied with the Dane's performance.
Sam Adekugbe: C-
I know it was Adekugbe's first start with the team this season - a start necessitated by Jordan Harvey's red card - but the youngster looked just that: a youngster. As evidence, I present this chance for an off-the-bench Gilberto:
That's Adekugbe ball-watching and not Gilberto-watching as the Brazilian slips away from his defender for a clear header. The youngster does make a last-ditch effort at defence but it's too little, too late. With some more first team minutes and perhaps more backline cohesion, that play doesn't happen. (Subtle plug for more first-team minutes for youth!)
Nigel Reo-Coker: C
My opinion? That was never a penalty. Jackson went in looking for contact, dove like Greg Louganis and got the favourable call. Even with that vote of confidence, Reo-Coker still had an average game by my reckoning and only earns himself a slight upgrade over Rob's grade from last week.
Russell Teibert: B+
Thank you, Russell Teibert, for rewarding my insistence that you needed to be on the field. How badly have the 'Caps needed service beyond Pedro Morales? Very badly. The book is out on Morales and he's getting more and more pressure in the midfield. Teibert had acres of space and plenty of time to set up Darren Mattocks for the opening goal as a direct result of that focus on Morales. If the 'Caps can exploit that, they'll be in good stead going forward.
Darren Mattocks: B
Scored a goal and also rewarded my insistence that he needs to be starting up top. Attention TSN, MLS et al: I'm available for panel appearances at a very reasonable price. Send all inquiries c/o From The Backline.
Agree? Disagree? Let's hear it in the comments section below!