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Report Card: Whitecaps vs. Houston Dynamo

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With cards flying all over the place, how did the Vancouver Whitecaps rate in their weekend match with Houston?

Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

The cards were flying in this one, so we know what referee Drew Fischer thought of the match.  But how did the Vancouver Whitecaps rate in their draw against bottom-dwelling Houston Dynamo?

David Ousted - B

Didn't really have much of a chance on the goal, but made some fine saves throughout, particularly when the last ten minutes were getting extra hairy.

Jordan Harvey - B

Standard stuff.  Had some key clearances deep in the Whitecaps end.  If anything, could improve upon his passing in the final third.

Tim Parker/Andrew Jacobson - C+/C

Between Parker and Jacobson, it was the former that often looked like the veteran.  Obviously, you can't fault Jacobson when he's forced to play out of position, but for me it often felt like he made his best plays when he didn't have time to think.  For Parker, what had me rank him a little higher were the chances he generated offensively.

Jordan Smith - B+

I'm sure we all cringed when we saw his name in the starting eleven (honestly, I had no idea Fraser Aird was injured), but aside from a couple rushed crosses, Smith was tenacious on defence and got up-and-down the field well on offense.  Made a lot of great tackles, and recovered quickly and efficiently on the rare misplay.  And per the Whitecaps, there's also this, which is nice.

Pedro Morales - D+

I don`t care who you are: you're never getting a good rating when you get sent off in the first half.  However, the only thing saving Morales from an F is the fact that it should only have been a yellow card.

Alex kicks Morales while he's down, then leaps into Morales after being knocked to the ground (incidentally, by Harvey).  This leads to all the shoving, most of which was done by Alex, who catches Morales in the face.  There's a reason Alex was being restrained and Morales wasn't: one was losing his mind, and the other didn't know what the hell was going on.  Yet somehow, both are equally culpable.  Call it homerism if you must, but one seemed far more egregious than the other.

Russell Teibert - B

Was his usual workhorse self once he gets on the pitch: occasionally sloppy, but never stops working as hard as humanly possible.  Plus, watch this thread-the-needle pass he makes on the set-up for Morales.  He was part of the reason why the team worked so well together once Morales was sent off.

Matías Laba - C+

The defence is always going to be first rate (though the yellow he earned was sloppy and a borderline red card for the full sprint tackle he threw down), but ultimately he's going to have step up his passing game, particularly when he's not working from the back with Morales.

Cristian Techera - C-

Looked lost and aimless for most of the match.  Felt like he could have done better on his one shot, but absolutely should have done much, much better in defending Houston's goal.  It's as if he fell asleep and dreamt of knowing how to mark DaMarcus Beasley.  It didn't help that he also got schooled each time he tried to take Beasley on directly.

Kekuta Manneh - C+

Had one weak shot and one thunderous shot but other than these, reverted back to his pre-POTW playing style: make runs to the corner exclusively, get stuck in No Man's Land, and unsuccessfully play the ball across.

Octavio Rivero - A

Based off some of the comments I've read recently, I've gathered that the most important characteristic of a striker is to score goals.  And, boy, did he ever.  Aside from the volleyed golazo, his overall work rate was high and he often made the most he could out of nothing.

This had all the makings of a trap match, seeing as how Houston are in last place, their manager just got sacked, and cards were flying from the ref's pocket.  Obviously a draw is not the desired result, but in year's past this could have been the lost match we look back upon at the end of the year, and ask, "What if?"  What could have made this match better?