Once again, 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 match that can only be described as confirming all our suspicions about this competition being cursed:
Sam Adekugbe: I
As if giving up the opening goal in the first five minutes wasn't bad enough, losing Sam Adekugbe to an ankle injury all but confirmed my suspicions that there is a reality-altering field around the Voyageurs Cup that dooms the Vancouver Whitecaps any way possible. Snowstorms, thunderstorms, injuries, je me souviens... not good. Fingers crossed Adekugbe's injury is mild enough to be recovered from in short order.
Paolo Tornaghi: C+
It's tough to fault the backup 'keeper on the opening goal, other than the part where the ball went past him. Desperate for minutes, Tornaghi didn't do anything to make a name for himself but he didn't make any glaring gaffes either. An average day - an average grade. I have no qualms about Tornaghi starting in Edmonton next week, though for purely selfish reasons (#PlayTheKids) I also want to see Marco Carducci given another crack at Voyageurs Cup duty. Decisions, decisions (that I will never have to make as I am not Carl Robinson)...
Gershon Koffie: D
It feels weird giving the equalizing goalscorer a sub-par grade; still, taking into account Koffie's atrocious early game giveaway that led to the opening goal and his lack of any substantive positive contributions on either side of the ball for the remainder of the first half, Koffie was nothing like the heir to the midfield he was in years past. Even his second half performances were nothing to write home about, the goal notwithstanding. You'd think against opposition from a lower league (sorry, NASL), Koffie would have no problem bossing the midfield and showing off his MLS-honed ball-winning abilities. Nope. This is bad, folks - I pointed out in an earlier comments thread that Koffie's performances are beyond "worrying" and into "concerning" territory. (Or is that the other way around?) Tonight, with the captain's armband and the confidence of his manager at his back, Koffie did not impress at all.
(For those of you that are curious: without that goal, Koffie gets a D-. Had Koffie scored an own-goal, I would be doling out my first F grade.)
Erik Hurtado: D+
You had one job, Rufio: to make yourself noticeable and give Carl Robinson another tough decision regarding his attacking corps. Instead, you were ineffective, invisible at times and likely cemented your place as a deep, deep substitute. You did get one nice chance, though, so have an extra plus. This begs the question about Hurtado: how badly does he need the likes of Pedro Morales in order to get his game going? To put that another way, without a top-tier playmaker and similar supporting cast, is Hurtado disposable at the end of this season?
Darren Mattocks: B-
By far the most threatening player on the evening wearing a white jersey, Mattocks did his best to generate chances either from service or his own boots. He didn't score - shocking! - but, unlike other goalless performances by the Jamaican, Mattocks looked a positive force that kept the Edmonton defense honest. We tack on a minus to Mattocks' grade, though, because of the few on-target chances that actually threatened Matt Van Oekel. Come on, this guy looks like the living, breathing embodiment of the "YOU FAT BASTARD" taunt; can you make him work a bit, please? The 58th minute chance was good - more of that was needed.
Who else stood out in tonight's match? Was there another not-that-bad performance to go with Mattocks? Did I overlook a sinker to rival Koffie and Hurtado? Let me know in the comments section below.