Was it just me, or did it feel like Saturday's 2-2 draw with Orlando City should have been an explosion of goals? There were 30(!) total shots taken by each team, some of which were stymied only by fantastic goalkeeping (though it wasn't fantastic by any means in the early going. That, and considering the late game drama we Whitecaps fans have been experiencing lately, it seemed as though we would have been treated to more than four goals.
Nevertheless, let's break down the Whitecaps' performances on the evening...
David Ousted - C+
Beaten badly by the first Orlando goal, even if it take a slight redirection from Laba. Later on, made some phenomenal saves to preserve the tie. The great saves counterbalance the howler through his wickets.
Jordan Smith - D+
His stumble in defending Luke Boden led to the first goal on the night, and he was in the midst of being beaten when he hooked the leg of Júlio Baptista to give up a PK. Should count every one of his blessings that Baptista launched the ensuing penalty into the Plaza of Nations. That both goals (and the penalty) came from his side of the pitch shows that MLS teams still intend to attack the right flank of the Whitecaps.
However, he got up the field well, his passing was good, and he had a couple of decent crosses; he just needs to find a way to not make things so difficult for himself on defense.
Jordan Harvey - C
Suffered from not being tall enough on Cyle Larin's goal (don't worry, that's not the basis for his grade). You'd think someone like Waston or Parker would have been on Larin, where the former had Baptista and Seb Hines and the latter had nobody.
Other than that, had a pedestrian night: no real adventurous runs or passes, got stuck in when he needed to, and had a key block early on in front of the net.
Kendall Waston - C+
The recently named All-Star looked decent defensively, with 7 clearances on the night. A number of his balls played up-field weren't the best, though he nearly made a couple plays when he was on the offensive end, getting off a shot of his own and nearly setting up Mezquida later on.
Tim Parker - C
The stats say he was a beast defensively (8 clearances, 5 tackles), but as I mentioned earlier, I was left wondering who exactly he was marking on the second Orlando goal.
Andrew Jacobson - C+
Originally, I thought he was entirely at fault on the first goal when giving up SO MUCH SPACE to Baptista, but had to give him credit as Smith's stumble forced Jacobson to drop deeper and cover. Instead, it opened up an avenue for Baptista to shoot, so Jacobson's off the hook (somewhat).
In response to the early deficit, Jacobson did really well in the build-up to Vancouver's replying goal, and looked rather comfortable throughout the night in the deeper midfield position.
Matías Laba - C
He just keeps on doing his thing: simultaneously being one of the best defenders and worst passers in the league. It's borderline infuriating to see him make a beautiful shoulder tackle and follow it up with a pass right back to the other team. It didn't happen every time, but when it does, its nails on a chalkboard.
Christian Bolanos - B
One of the brighter spots on the night. A lot of great passes, particularly in the build to Mezquida's goal. Only blemish may have been the quality of some of his dead ball crosses.
Nicolás Mezquida - B
Even if he was in the right place at the right time on the first goal, a player still has to finish and Mezquida did so easily, heading home the rebound off a shot from Kudo. Great link ups with just about everybody. I'll say it again if I have to: he needs to start every game.
Pedro Morales - B+
Despite starting on the wing, seemed to a little more of the playmaking in the middle than Mezquida. Maybe that's part of the game plan, to have Morales start as a winger, but be constantly looking inward and across rather than straight down field. Lots of great passes, and that free kick on Kudo's goal was perfect.
Masato Kudo - B
Great finish on the second headed goal of the night, though he probably should have scored earlier (even if Mezquida was quality on the rebound), and again in the second half. When you score, people tend to forget the should-have-made shots, so let's hope the goal scored so soon after his return from injury proves to be a confidence builder.
As for the subs, Cristian Techera had a couple of decent chances, and it was great to see Alphonso Davies quickly make his first start in the MLS, quickly making his presence known with a couple of surging runs.