Because I'm a fan of standardized ratings and love to put my name on things, I use the official Rituro Scale of Grading:
- A - Fantastic performance. Few, if any faults. An example of the player's best work and a masterclass in how to play the position. Since this means an A+ would be near-perfection, don't expect me to hand one out any time soon.
- B - Above average. A good day at the office for the player, with no major mistakes to speak of. Was a help more than a hindrance to the team on and/or off the ball.
- C - Average. Made some mistakes, had some good moments. Nothing to put the player in the doghouse, but nothing to write home about, either.
- D - Below average. A worrying performance that will leave coaches, teammates and/or supporters concerned about future efforts. Turnovers, poor clearances, missed big chances and soft goals will earn you this grade.
- F - Atrocious. Get off the field, hand in your kit and never darken the halls with your presence ever again.
- I - Incomplete. Player suffered an injury, was substituted at halftime with a view to later matches or some other occurrence that would leave us with insufficient evidence to assign a grade.
And now, the rankings for a playoff match that did absolutely nothing to calm the nerves and soothe the fears of the Whitecaps fan base:
There's only so much a single attacker can do against the imposing duo of Nat Borchers and Liam Ridgewell. Rivero did his level best with his usual hold-up play but fell victim to his own play-acting (PLEASE. STOP. DIVING.) and a lack of trust in his teammates. Allen Chapman quickly put Rivero on the "do-not-whistle" list early on and it wasn't entirely undeserved. Rivero Frustration Level: building. Then, when the 'Caps tried to shift play around to free Rivero up, Rivero would throw his arms up Barry Robson-esque to express his disgust whenever a play didn't work out. Even worse, when the arms went up and the ball did head his way, Rivero looked surprised to see something come of his complaints and was less than stellar in playing on. Finally, I'm sure Rivero wants that howler from the first half back, much as we all do. I think we all made that same face-in-hands gesture as Carl Robinson as the ball sailed into the beer gardens.
Manneh wasn't horrible today and, indeed, had one of the nicest attacking moments for the men in white, showing some solid individual skill before getting the ball into the box where it ultimately came to naught. He also played some nice give-and-go with Rivero before setting up Gershon Koffie to... um... pass, I think? Surely that can't have been a shot? I mean, it should have been hammered at the goal with enough force to dent steel. It wasn't and here we are. His re-aggravated injury didn't help his game and, in the end, his markedly decreased production and condition resulted in being substituted.
Gersh, I love you, you're fantastic, you're an asset to this team and anyone would be glad to have you; the problem is you're just not a #10. You're not. Sorry to say no amount of wishing, hoping or square-peg-in-round-hole-smashing will turn you into the likes of Pedro Morales or Mauro Rosales. It's no surprise that when Morales came on, Portland had to temporarily let up the attack because the Chilean maestro was effortlessly threading passes through them. Koffie doesn't have the talent or the reputation to change the game like that from the #10 position. Beside Matias Laba, sure; behind Rivero, no.
We all know Waston's not going to win Defender Of The Year unless he is the clear, uncontested favourite (see: Pedro Morales as Newcomer Of The Year). It's a pity, because he should. His performance Sunday afternoon was exactly what the 'Caps needed to keep their playoff run alive, including a last-gasp tackle to clear away a ball that was a second away from being shot into the empty goal.
Alone, Ousted gets a "B"; if you include the goalposts, he gets a "B+". What is it with Providence Park and goalpost drama?
Wow those posts in Portland are something else #iwouldknow— Saad Abdul (@Saad_Abdul) November 2, 2015