Welp, another day and another draw for the Vancouver Whitecaps, which adds up to just nine points from their past nine matches. The Whitecaps have already drawn more games in 2014 (11) than they have in any of their previous seasons in MLS. After watching the match between the Whitecaps and the Chicago Fire in a thoroughly uninspiring nil all draw earlier tonight my biggest concern wasn't the lack of finishing and missed opportunities, but rather that this is beginning to look like a team that has run out of ideas.
All that being said, however, means that I have drifted off on a tangent (slightly) as once again I have been given the thankless (?) task of assigning a selection of the Whitecaps a grade for their performance. Fortunately, while this match was a bit of a snoozefest with a disturbing lack of quality scoring chances on both sides of the ball, it wasn't completely dire and did not require the partaking of a "medicinal" beverage (or ten) before sitting down to pen this report.
So now that I've had my ramble we can now begin with the Report Card for a selection of the players who donned the Blue and White for the Whitecaps this evening:
David Ousted (B): David didn't really have a whole lot to do this evening, but made the saves when needed. I really could have awarded him with a B+ for not falling asleep during the evening's proceedings.
Carlyle Mitchell (A-): When I saw that Carl Robinson had included Mitch in the XI after a pretty bad outing against FC Dallas I nearly choked on my piping-hot, no-foam latté. Full credit to Robbo for taking the risk and full credit for Mitch for repaying the boss for sticking with him. Mitchell was 33/35 in completed passes, 8/8 in clearances and had 5 interceptions. His performance earned him an Opta ranking of 43, which was the best out of all the Vancouver players.
Johnny Leverón (B): Leverón has been enjoying an extended run in Robbo's lineup and his performances have improved each and every game. Much like his defensive partner, Carlyle Mitchell, Johnny also had a solid outing completing 48/51 passes, 5/5 in tackling, 5/5 in clearances and 1 interception. A decent performance from both of the Caps' centre backs tonight.
Matías Laba (B-): I'm a big fan of Laba's and he had another good game doing what he does best: shutting down opponents and making life generally miserable for any opposing player who dares enter the Caps' third of the pitch. Also named Man of the Match. 'Nuff said.
Erik Hurtado (C-): I've been pretty enthusiastic and pleased with Hurtado's contributions to the team so far this season, but it's clear that the run of good form he had before the World Cup break is well and truly behind him (for now at any rate). Hurtado had undoubtedly the best scoring opportunity of either team this evening and much like last season his first touch was too heavy and the opportunity went begging. In all fairness I think Hurtado needs to start the next one on the bench, not because he needs to be punished, but because Robbo needs to change things up out there. A bit of a break from the action might just be what Erik needs to refocus and get back on track.
Darren Mattocks (C): Okay, okay I know Darren has been scoring goals lately, but tonight he really didn't figure into the equation much at all. A rather anonymous outing from the Jamaican international.
Pedro Morales (C): Perhaps the harshest grade I've given to our Chilean Maestro all year long. I've often said that a sub-par performance from Pedro was still better than most other players in MLS. Much like his comrades in the Caps' attacking corps Pedro was also fairly anonymous, but perhaps considering the amount he has played this season he might have been more effective off the bench rather than for the full ninety tonight.
Do you agree or disagree with our assessment? You can add your voice to the discussion by leaving a comment in the section below.
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