Call it one step forward and a half step back. A few days after a 3-0 victory over FC Dallas, in which the Vancouver Whitecaps looked like they might have turned a corner, the boys fell to a very vulnerable NYCFC team in the Big Apple over the weekend.
New York had yet to win a home match this season, but they were able to score three times on David Ousted, including two from marquee player David Villa. Eighty-Six Forever gets out the red pens to grade a few of the Whitecaps on their individual performances.
Octavio Rivero: B+
Hey, he scored! Octavio Rivero has been the target of much criticism this season, after essentially picking up where he left off from his goal drought in 2015. He was able to bust his lengthy slump with a hard-working, albeit incredibly ugly marker in the first half. Rivero had an up and down match; The goal was almost stopped by Goalkeeper Josh Saunders, Rivero missed a great set up from Nicolas Mezquida a few moments later, and he was off the pitch with an ankle injury by the 27th minute.
Still, he did his job; He scored a goal. Will this be the start of some sort of run from Octavio? Here's hoping, because the Whitecaps with a legitimate scoring option up top would be much more intimidating than they currently are.
David Ousted: C+
Usually an absolute rock in net, Ousted had a rare off-match versus New York. The Great Dane was sublime against FC Dallas, but was unable to save the Whitecaps bacon with mesmerizing stops this time around. Perhaps I'm being a little too harsh on Ousted, but when you're used to seeing Superman in the cage, it's a little weird to see Jimmy Olsen there instead. The first goal was debatable, the second goal was an amazing effort that Ousted had little to no chance on, and the third goal was just a plain stinker.
I imagine a lot of the problems Ousted had today had to do with an inexperienced, cobbled together backline with some key players missing. Fan Favorite Jordan Smith and the young Sam Adekugbe took over for Fraser Aird and Jordan Harvey, and Pa Modou Kah took the place of the suspended Kendall Waston. A compact schedule, and a green backline certainly weren't ideal conditions for the Whitecaps keeper. I have no doubts Ousted will be back in form next match, but New York was certainly a trip to forget.
Andrew Jacobson: C
Jacobson was a smart pickup by Head Coach Carl Robinson and has looked very good in a Whitecaps kit so far, but he also had a forgettable match against New York. Playing in the defensive midfield with Matias Laba, Jacobson had his pocket pinched, which lead to the first New York goal.
I'm sure he was hoping to have a better match against his old club.
Tim Parker: B
While the Whitecaps backline largely had a forgettable match, Tim Parker continues to impress with his calm, collected demeanour. Paired with Pa Modou Kah and playing in front of an estimated 300 friends and family, Parker put forth his usual hard working, physical effort. The Youngster is becoming an absolute gem for this club.
How about you? Any grades you'd like to dole out?