I will be completely honest, dear reader. I waited over 24 hours to gain my composure in order to try and be as fair as possible in my assessments after the 2-2 draw that took place at BC Place on Sunday afternoon.
Without further ado, let me bring out my red pen and let get this started:
David Ousted (A+) - Ousted deserves full marks just for being able to contain his anger and not murder one of his central backs right there on the pitch. He was close, though. And I don't think they would be a football jury in the world that would convict him.
Pedro Morales (A) - The Chilean playmaker continues to enamor us with master classes like the one he put out on Sunday afternoon. Morales passed, dribbled, distributed, shot and once again demonstrated that he is several steps ahead of his teammates and most players in MLS, really. With every passing match it is clear that the Whitecaps really snatched a hidden gem in what has so far been their best Designated Player to date.
Gershon Koffie (B+) - Gershon Koffie keeps cementing the wonderful partnership that he and Matias Laba have created in the Caps midfield. Koffie shows glimpses that he is the kind of player that can easily grab a game by the scuff of the neck. A great pass to set up Darren Mattocks for the first goal, combined with great positioning and distribution, made Koffie a stand out in this match. His ability to play box to box effectively will make the Ghanaian a vital piece of the squad in years to come, if they manage to keep him from the vultures from across the ocean that will surely begin to circle, if they haven't already started.
Matias Laba (B) - Matias Laba, in line with his usual style, had a quiet but highly effective game. He chased and reduced spaces of the Dallas midfield while recovering balls back and forcing turnovers. His distribution was impeccable and it seems that he is starting to click with Morales. I refuse to let his efforts and importance in this team to go unnoticed.
Darren Mattocks (C) - Yes, Darren Mattocks found the back of the net for the third match in a row and that is positive. However, it needs to be acknowledged that his scoring ratio is still very low and that important chances are being wasted at the feet of the Jamaican. The day when we stop praising for "at least being in the right spots" and start criticizing for "wasting all those chances" is today.
Carlyle Mitchell (F -) Oh boy. What can I say about Carlyle's afternoon? He was simply awful. On the first goal he left the post that he was guarding and the ball squeaked through the hole he opened. His hand ball that led to the second Dallas goal has to be one of the most bizarre defensive mistakes I have ever seen. He also almost scored an own goal after he sliced a clearance that Ousted had to react and put over the bar. If you want a closer recollection of Mitchell's night, please read our match report. If you are a regular listener of From The Backline, you know that I have never been convinced of Mitchell's play so I am hoping that we will see Andy O'Brien for the game in Chicago partnering with Johnny Leveron, or maybe rookie Christian Dean can get his first crack in his natural position. Can't get any worse, am I right?