It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon in Vancouver for two main reasons, the weather was amazing and the Whitecaps added another tick to the win column with an impressive showing against Real Salt Lake. It was a particularly important game as RSL was in a position to match the Blue and White in points should they have earned the three points. Fortunately, it was not the case. Led by goals from Gershon Koffie and Cristian Techera, the Whitecaps climbed back to the top of the Western Conference.
It was one of the most complete games played by the Whitecaps all season long. However, there were some players that stood out among the rest. Here are their grades:
Gershon Koffie - A+: The Ghanian put up one of his best (the best?) performance in years. Gershon demonstrated once again that he is able to be a powerful box-to-box midfielder who is not only able to shield the back four, recover and distribute the ball but also to join the attack and score beautiful goals. Here is to hoping that Koffie can maintain a level of consistency that allows him to keep playing like this week in and week out.
Cristian Techera - A: The tiny midfielder continues to impress with his ability to link up with his teammates in the final third. Techera is able to add creativity to a front line that has at times looked devoid of ideas. More importantly his off the ball movement and great read of the game allows him to exploit weaknesses in the opposing defensive line as demonstrated by his winning goal.
David Ousted - A-: Yes, the Great Dane was beaten by an evil Morales free kick but once again, Ousted came up big when the Blue and White needed him with an impressive save that, at the time, kept the game equalized and allowed the Whitecaps to get the winning goal.
Mauro Rosales - A-: Was that Mauro's best game as a Whitecap? The Argentine sported a new haircut that may have had the opposite effect to Samson's. Rosales was terrific. His fluid movement in the attacking third and ability to switch from the middle to the flanks gave RSL's defense all sorts of issues. More importantly, Rosales did what Rosales does best - time and again he bombed quality service to the box that found the heads of Rivero, Waston, Kah and gave another weapon to Carl Robinson's tool box.
As with any win, most Whitecaps had a complete game and a special mention goes to Steven Beitashour who joined the attack and always provided an option to the midfielders.
I contend that this is Robbo's best starting XI. What are your thoughts?