In a game that meant nothing, and players in uncommon positions, it is hard to complete a proper Report Card. I was actually hoping that there would be no stream of the match, as I was enjoying the idea of posting an entirely satire-based Report Card and ending it with ‘how would you know? You didn’t watch the game!’. Sadly (or luckily?), there was a stream and I am able to file a report. However, it will not be without poor humor, as a meaningless game calls for such a Report. Let us begin.
Robert Earnshaw (I): As many have lamented throughout the season, it is unclear as to why Earnshaw was put on the roster for the Whitecaps. He has only played a handful of minutes, despite his price tag ($100,000). I would really question the plans of the Whitecaps organization if he were on the active roster next season. It is difficult to provide any grade for Earnshaw’s body of work last night as, for the last 70 minutes or so of the game, he was on an island. Therefore, I give him a grade of ‘I’. Not for incomplete, but for ‘Island’.
Darren Mattocks (C):
@FromTheBackline: "Darren Mattocks must be injured he keeps just standing around and looks disengaged". No commentators, that’s how he ‘plays’
@jay_duke: That’s about full Mattocks. Beats a defender, fumbles on the second touch. So sick of seeing that.
@profecampos: Mattocks falls down by himself (we know this one very well).
Although he had, or created, the only ‘real’ opportunities on the evening, Mattocks play was very uninspiring. This, you may recall, comes from a long-time supporter of his who has defended his value on this team. I think the comments last night on Twitter sum up Mattocks’ play on the night, and even the season. Mattocks receives a grade of ‘C’ for ‘Concussed’.
Deybi Flores (B): Flores seemed to enjoy being back in Honduras, playing his most impressive football since his debut earlier in the season. ‘B’ grade for ‘Back’. However, like Mattocks, Flores ‘Broke’ and ‘Bailed’. Nevertheless, in his ‘Brief’ 60 minutes, he did look the liveliest.
Gershon Koffie & Marco Bustos (A): An ‘A’ grade might seem a bit high, but, in reality, they were the most ‘Awesome’ contributors in a rather unimpressive lineup. I want to focus specifically on Bustos. His positive debut, coupled with his strong play last night, comes at a time where it is needed most. If Bustos impresses (imagine if he scores or even gets an assist) in the final match against Houston, and plays a bit in the playoffs, I believe that could seal Mauro Rosales’ fate on this team. For all the positives that Rosales brings, his age and VERY high salary impact his true value. If Bustos can show that he belongs in MLS, then he could play a very important role next season for this Whitecaps organization.
The Rest (???): Can you really grade the rest of the team? There is one more grade that I would like to give out though.
Carl Robinson (C): Carl Robinson gets a ‘C’ grade for failing to do the only thing that most Whitecaps fans tuned in to the game for. Everyone wanted to see ‘Carducci’ go play up top as a striker. In reality, it made no sense to put him in. Imagine if he tore a hamstring or something sprinting forward for a ball. What would have been the comments from fans then? This is not a video game where you can just hit ‘reset’ if something happens. Nevertheless, let’s all admit that the possibility of Carducci playing outfield was the only reason we watched the end of the game.
Let us know if any other player stood out, for better or for worse, in the comments. Also, what are your thoughts on the limited contributions thus far of Bustos? True, we do not want to get ahead of ourselves with his potential, but a positive is that upon his return from injury, his USL play was superb. In 1360 minutes, he registered 7 goals and 2 assists.