Last night's win was refreshing, and perhaps more important than it seemed. A road win against a strong Real Salt Lake team after an unconvincing loss in San Jose and an unfortunate tie with Columbus will be heartening for 'Caps fans everywhere. Now for the grades...
Darren Mattocks: A-
After a relatively anonymous first 45’ punctuated by seemingly fruitless runs down the left wing, Darren Mattocks returned to goal-scoring form in the second half. Despite what his numerous critics will say, the Jamaican was clinical when he needed to be. Alvaro Saborio, who is an accomplished finisher and Costa Rican international, had a chance very similar to Mattocks’ header earlier in the game and completely squandered it, whereas Mattocks coolly put the ball into the side netting. Only time will tell if the goals will come consistently this year, but there’s a work rate and determination in the Jamaican’s play that has been absent since his 2012 arrival.
David Ousted: A
Apparently Utahans are not particularly fond of the Vancouver Whitecaps’ goalkeeper. After an innocuous challenge left Ousted clutching his left thigh and rolling on the turf, the Salt Lake crowd began to boo the keeper’s every move. The hate only seemed to make him more infallible. Saturday night’s match wasn’t a shooting gallery, but the shots and crosses that did find their way to the net were scooped up with ease by the ‘Caps keeper. Ousted’s gloves seemed to be magnetized, with every shot and header sticking firmly to his hands.
Sam Adekugbe: C
It was giveaway after giveaway for Adekugbe in a game that uncharacteristically showed the youngster’s inexperience. Luckily, none of the errors resulted in a goal for Real Salt Lake, but if the young Canadian doesn’t come back into form soon Jordan Harvey may find himself with another opportunity to reclaim the left back position. Ironically, Adekugbe’s best play of the night was the nearly-intercepted pass that deflected into the path of Russell Teibert and eventually found its way into the net via Darren Mattocks.
Octavio Rivero: C +
Two games without a goal is by no means a scoring drought, but Rivero’s lack of shots on net might raise some eyebrows. There were a couple of decent chances squandered by Rivero against Salt Lake, and his link-up play with Nicolas Mezquida was non-existent. His performance was by no means terrible, but Rivero’s early season form has set a high precedent. With any luck the familiar confines of BC Place and the return of Pedro Morales will spur Rivero back to firing on all cylinders.
Who did you think deserved credit for the win? Let us know in the comments section.