David Ousted: A+
The Great Dane was at his best on Saturday. He made a number of key saves and dealt with crosses exceptionally well. If it weren’t for Ousted’s brilliance, the ‘Caps could have easily found themselves down by a couple of goals in the first half alone. As the only member of the ‘Caps backline not currently under scrutiny, it’s important that Ousted continues to be rock solid. With any luck, his consistency will prove to be contagious.
Sam Adekugbe: B+
Apart from occasionally being caught out of position, the young left back was a joy to watch. His pace and dribbling skills added a new dimension to the attack and complimented Kekuta Manneh’s darting runs. Adekugbe looked good enough to challenge for a regular starting spot, but should have used his crossing abilities to greater effect. It will be interesting to see whether Carl Robinson opts to keep him in the XI against Orlando.
Pah Modou Kah/Kendall Waston: B-
It’s hard to fault the center-backs after a clean sheet, but if it weren’t for Chicago’s ineffective attack our backline could’ve looked leakier than the old BC place roof. Quincy Amerikwa outpaced both center-backs on several occasions and Kah got caught out of position far too often. Even when they had uncontested possession, Kah and Waston showed an infuriating propensity for long-ball tactics. Despite what Robbo may think (ie clean sheet = no need to worry) this defensive pairing does not look sustainable.
Kekuta Manneh: B
This week, Carl Robinson exclaimed that Manneh was "exciting to watch", and in that regard, he delivered on Saturday. However, excitement doesn’t score goals and pace doesn’t win games. For all the exhilarating dribbling and skill on display yesterday, there was not enough production. Manneh’s defensive skills are non-existent, and he’s not currently the kind of player who can fit into a possession-style attack. Two years ago, raw skill was acceptable. Mistakes were OK because Manneh had room to grow – he was a teenage super-sub. But now that he’s a starter, there needs to be a consistent end-product.
Pedro Morales: C+
In comparison to his performances this time last season, Pedro’s current form is worrying. A couple of glaring misses and a dearth of quality passes have some Whitecaps fans demanding a full-scale inquiry. While it’s true that El Capitano is not living up to expectations, there are a number of factors to keep in mind
1. It's early in the season. This time last year we had a man fresh out of La Liga itching for playing time. Give Pedro time to find his groove.
2. The chances are still being created. On another day one or both of Pedro’s big chances could’ve found the back of the net and this discussion wouldn’t be happening. As long as he’s finding himself and his teammates in the right spots, good things will happen.
3. He’s not ready for the captaincy. It’s quite clear that Morales is feeling the pressure of an increased leadership role, and perhaps that’s taking its toll. If Russell Teibert can hold onto his starting spot for the foreseeable future, perhaps he’ll be promoted from Vice-Captain to the real thing.
Octavio Rivero: A
All aboard the hype train! Another goal, more praise from pundits, and the nutmegs (ohhh the nutmegs). Octavio did all that could be asked for from a lone striker. His attitude is fantastic and I can't wait to see how he teams up with Nico Mezquida in the coming weeks. The only question I have about his performance is what exactly he was saying to the referee or opponents. For a non-English speaker he certainly did a lot of talking.
Steven Beitashour: B+
Russell Teibert: B+
Matias Laba: A-
Mauro Rosales: B
Nicolas Mezquida: A-
Darren Mattocks: B
Gershon Koffie: n/a
Questions, comments, concerns? Leave them all in the comments down below.