While the Whitecaps gave a valiant effort, they still fell short in Frisco, falling to FC Dallas by a final of 2-1 this weekend. Still, with the playoffs fast approaching, a 'valiant' effort just isn't good enough, especially with the Portland Timbers nipping at their heels. So, with all that negativity in the air, let's go grade some Whitecaps!
DARREN MATTOCKS: C-
Perhaps the grade should have been F for frustrating, as Darren Mattocks continues to disappoint in his third MLS campaign. Despite plenty of hustle and work throughout the FC Dallas match, Mattocks failed spectacularly at his most important job; scoring goals. I say spectacularly, because Mattocks had one of the best chances for the Whitecaps in the first half. It looked like a sure goal, and one that would have completely changed the complexion of the match, but he missed it. I mean, he missed it badly.
You knew what I was referring to, but I made you watch anyways. Look at it.. Look at it forever.
Seriously though, I'm a big fan of Mattocks' improved work ethic, but he needs to re-discover his scoring touch if he hopes to have a future with this team. The thing is, they've already got a speedy dude with a good work ethic in Erik Hurtado. Both of them have shown potential, both of them make you want to pull your hair out at times, and both are battling for playing time. The fact is, I'm not sure the 'Caps have a need for one player that fits that profile, let alone two.
DAVID OUSTED: C+
Here I was, all set to name David Ousted 'Man of the Match' and give him a nice, solid B+ grade, when some seriously sloppy goalkeeping on his end leads to the go-ahead goal for FC Dallas. Ousted has significantly improved on his performance from last season, and mistakes will happen on the pitch.
However, given this was the guy that challenged his teammates to step up a few weeks ago, he really can't make too many more mistakes like that. I have faith in David Ousted and I don't believe the problems with this team lie with their goalkeeping, so let's hope he bounces back against Portland this week, should he get the start.
ERIK HURTADO: B
He didn't even play the full match, but a nice goal is all Erik Hurtado needs to end up in my good books. I've been very hard on Hurtado in my posts, simply because he set the bar for himself astronomically high ever since that goal streak earlier in the season, and he's been quiet ever since.
Well, not on Saturday.
Hurtado took a very nice pass from Mauro Rosales, and he made no mistake in snapping his 14-match goalless drought.
The Whitecaps have been desperately hoping for a striker to catch fire during the home stretch of the season, could it be Hurtado? Hopefully he can keep the mojo flowing this weekend.