With the MLS regular season getting into crunch mode and the Whitecaps desperately looking to secure some points, they laid a big fat goose egg against the Portland Timbers, pissing off fans and falling out of a playoff spot in the process. Playing a very beatable Timbers squad in the supposed fortress of BC Place, the Whitecaps failed to shake that nagging storyline; that the boys are headed for yet another second half swan dive. In any case, I have the dubious distinction of grading the 'Caps after that stinker. You can give your opinions in the comment section.
Erik Hurtado: D-
I understand why Carl Robinson is giving Hurtado opportunity after opportunity to showcase his talent, given the potential that he's shown at parts this season. However, Hurtado was invisible yet again against the Timbers, something that's been commonplace for far too long now. He had the prime spot as the lone striker atop the formation, and he was an absolute dud. What has happened to this kid from just a few months ago? That goal spurt just keeps drifting further and further from my memory.
Mauro Rosales: B
Named man of the match by the Whitecaps following the game, Mauro Rosales had a decent home debut for his new side. Though he couldn't contribute any goals, he managed two shots on net and was involved offensively throughout the night. Let's be honest here, nobody had a 'good' match, but it was Rosales getting the crowd on their feet early with that great ball to Pedro Morales in the 4th minute. He definitely was trying out there, although it would have been nice to see him bury one of his chances. The one silver lining I could pull out of this match, is that Morales and Rosales look good together, and hopefully can gel even better as the season marches on.
Kekuta Manneh: C
Not a great night for Manneh, who got his shot in the starting 11, but failed to provide any offensive spark and was subbed out by the 60th minute for Darren Mattocks. It was a bit of a shame to see Manneh pulled so early because I thought he was putting in a good, hard working shift, and was at the very least creating more than Erik Hurtado. Plus, I love watching the speed of Mattocks and Manneh work, well, when it does work. Carl Robinson certainly knows more about the game than I do, but that decision was one of a few that left me scratching my head. Are we allowed to grade the coaches?