The Vancouver Whitecaps played their fifth game in two weeks resulting in some key players being rested and others being played in new positions. Carl Robinson ended up resting Morales and Teibert, playing Rosales in the #10 role. While the first half was better, the lineup looked flat in the second half. We now examine the team and individual performances for the Whitecaps in their 0-1 defeat in Colorado.
First Half (B+): The Vancouver Whitecaps looked good in the first half threatening the Rapids net on multiple occasions including a cross-bar, off a corner-kick. Conversely, the Colorado Rapids had few offensive opportunities thanks to a veteran backline of Beitashour, Kah, Waston, Harvey (and Ousted).
Second Half (C): After a lengthy delay at halftime, thanks to lightning strikes around the stadium, the Whitecaps came out flat, with the Rapids quickly capitalizing. Despite Pedro Morales actually taking a good free kick, and scoring, the Whitecaps’ attack was disorganized, unable to connect multiple passes and threaten keeper Clint Irwin.
Offense (C): While the attack in the first half was better than in the second, as has been their modus operandi the past season and a half, the Whitecaps had no finish.
Defense (B): The veteran back five were solid, if unspectacular, throughout the game, snuffing out any Rapid attacks.
David Ousted (B+): If not for a few solid saves from Ousted (and Jordan Harvey), the score could have been a LOT worse. As has been the norm this season, Ousted shined amongst a team of average performances. A bit of a side-note, with Morales and Teibert not on the field, Ousted served as captain for the first time. Although not a fan of keepers being given the armband, Ousted was a deserving choice.
Kendall Waston (B+): Waston was solid, showing little effect from being the only player to have already played 180 minutes this week. Maybe his history of playing at altitude, in Costa Rica, helped him acclimatize better than his teammates as he did not appear to suffer.
Matias Laba (C): Laba was the hero on Wednesday night, coming on late to score his first goal as a Whitecap, to send the team to the final of the Voyageurs Cup. However, he was unable to translate that success over to this game as he was curiously absent throughout the match. Traditionally, when the ‘Caps are pushing for a late goal, and they pull a defensive midfielder, whoever is partnering Laba is the sacrificial lamb, however, Robbo elected to keep Koffie on the pitch –who already had a yellow card- and remove Laba. Certainly a sign that Laba was having a (rare) off night.
Mauro Rosales (B-): No one can ever say that Rosales does not give his all when playing as he always goes in to duels 100%. However, against the Rapids he was asked to be the engine of the offense and was only moderately effective. He certainly had a few moments but the team seemed to struggle making the final pass. On the plus side, I actually paid attention to free kicks (and corner kicks) this game instead of just assuming a poor play. Rosales certainly provides an important element to this team, but I expect that his playing time will decrease as the season progresses.
Octavio Rivero (B): Rivero has been on a bit of a scoring drought but had a few opportunities throughout the game and was the closest to scoring; at least scoring without the goal being recalled. Despite his opportunities, he was unable to capitalize. More importantly, Rivero really needs to STOP diving so much. I get that the lack of other scoring options has resulted in Rivero potentially feeling a need to gain an advantage any way possible, however, his tendency to tuck in the legs the minute he is touched is getting frustrating and probably hurting the team more than helping.
So, what are your thoughts on the game? Anyone shine for you? Agree/Disagree with my grades? Let us know!