After a disappointing loss to New York at the end of April, The Vancouver Whitecaps have rattled off three straight wins. The latest came at the expense of Toronto FC over the weekend, another thrilling Whitecaps contest from that saw a huge performance from Kekuta Manneh. While Manneh was certainly the star of the 4-3 victory, there are a few Whitecaps I've chosen to highlight.
Kekuta Manneh: A
This was the type of performance we've been hoping to see from scooter on a semi-regular basis since he arrived in the league. When he's on his game, he's absolutely dynamite. He uses his speed to his advantage, can show off some nifty footwork, and finishes his chances with confidence. His two goals against Toronto were huge for the Whitecaps in securing their first ever victory at BMO Field. His first goal came twelve minutes in and helped give the Whitecaps some confidence and set the pace early on. He was also instrumental on Christian Bolanos' goal, racing towards the net and getting a shot off before Bolanos cleaned up the rebound. The match was clearly Manneh's best effort of the season.
Now the challenge really comes for the youngster, as hes got to string a few matches like that together and show the Whitecaps he can be a consistent, dangerous threat. It's all smiles right now though; He was an absolute force in Toronto.
David Ousted: B-
It's hard to say the Great Dane had a great night in net, when Toronto were able to get three goals on the scoreboard. Still, Ousted made a couple of key, brilliant saves (his penalty stop on Jozy Altidore being the big highlight) and it's not any of the three he let in were howlers. The Whitecaps essentially had defensive breakdowns on all three, and Ousted was unable to make the spectacular saves he usually is able to get a hand on. Even if he wasn't unbelievable, he was solid and gave the Whitecaps a chance to win the match.
Erik Hurtado: B-
I had completely written off Hurtado heading into training camp, but he's proving to be a very nice bench option for Carl Robinson. He got the start against Toronto FC and made the most of it, proving key on on Bolanos' marker. Frequent commenter Norwegian Would summed it up pretty nicely in the match thread comments.
On Bola's goal was sensational. Shielding that ball, getting free and making a well-weighted pass to a streaking Manneh was more than I bargained for. Give him some more minutes, please.
I probably would have given him a higher score than a B-, had he actually registered a shot in the contest.
With the departure of Darren Mattocks, Hurtado's hustle and work ethic can make it easy to forget his often clumsy first touch and lack of finish. To be fair, He's shown some skill in the past (everyone remembers his goal scoring streak in 2014) and it was nice to see that re-surface once again. He may not be a regular starting player for the Whitecaps, but right now he makes for a good injury replacement/bench option for Carl Robinson.
The Whitecaps Backline: C-
You can call the first goal unlucky; The ball seems to bounce off the calf of Pa-Modou Kah and right onto the foot of Sebastian Giovinco, who is able to pounce and put the ball past David Ousted. The second goal was just ugly though. Kah lunges for a ball that he doesn't even come close to, and Jordan Harvey can't catch up with the Toronto FC star who pots his second of the contest. The third goal saw the Whitecaps backline watching while Drew Moor went up for a header and connected, putting life back into the Toronto FC squad. It was certainly a match to forget for the defenders.
Let's see your grades in the comments.