When the Vancouver Whitecaps win, my grades always seem to be a little bit lienient. When they win against Seattle or Portland, I feel like giving everybody a gold star, a big shiny A, and no homework for Spring Break. So, if you find the ratings a little too Polly-Anna sunshine this time around, know it's because I'm still rejoicing in smug satisfaction from the win over the weekend. Without further ado, here's a few performances that stuck out for me.
Kendall Waston: A
You really can't say enough about the match Waston had against the Sounders, a performance that landed him a nod on the MLS Team of the Week. A team high 11 clearances, five interceptions and three blocks while acting as the general for the backline. After some spotty performances from the backline to start the season, they were far more solid on Saturday, and Waston lead the way. The Whitecaps will surely miss the big man as he is away for International duty this weekend, along with several other important Whitecap players.
Blas Perez: B+
Blas Perez was given a shot in the starting 11 this time around, paired up top with Octavio Rivero in a partnership many were hoping to see materialize sooner rather than later. The two seemed to have some chemistry, and Perez was a constant presence during his time on the pitch.The big man played a key role in both plays that sent Pedro Morales to the penalty spot, and whether or not both were deserved calls, they were ultimately what got the Whitecaps their first points of the season. His contribution on the pitch cannot be understated. At 35 years old, it seems clear that Perez still has plenty to offer the Whitecaps.
Fraser Aird: B
The Right Back position is still very much a question mark, but I think many nerves were eased with the solid, if not unspectacular performance Aird put forth on Saturday. The Youngster still makes mistakes. I think PLaure made a good point in the post-match comment section, "there were a few times when tracking back he behaved too much like a midfielder and tracked the ball almost to the other side leaving his side abandoned." With that being said, I think now Aird has settled down a bit, we can see the tools he brings to the table. He has speed and I believe he has the physicality needed in MLS. It will be interesting to see him grow, and see if the Whitecaps coaching staff are able to mold him into a reliable, every day player.
Carl Robinson: B+
After sticking with Octavio Rivero as the lone striker up top for the first few matches, Robinson decided to switch things up by partnering Rivero and Perez at the top of the formation. While I would argue the Whitecaps attack still didn't look as dangerous as it should given the talent on this roster, I feel much more comfortable moving forward with this formation.
What did you think? Did any players stand out for you?