I suppose you could call it a true test of the collective mettle of the Vancouver Whitecaps, a test they failed in a 2-1 loss to the San Jose Earthquake. It was a huge match in terms of playoff implications, with the ‘Caps allowing San Jose to leap-frog them into seventh place in the Western Conference. To be fair, it was by far a final nail in the coffin the Whitecaps season as they are only two points out of sixth in the west.
That being said, it’s another frustrating, disappointing result for a club that was supposed to be showcasing itself as a competitive, credible threat in the West. At different times this season, we’ve seen the back-line sputter, the attack falter, and leads either never materialize, or collapse late. Unfortunately, I don’t think anybody is afraid of the Vancouver Whitecaps right now.
Nicolas Mezquida: B+
In a season when Pedro Morales, former ‘Cap Octavio Rivero and other attacking players have been disappointing, Nicolas Mezquida has established himself as the unsung hero of this group. Mezquida scored the lone Vancouver goal of the match, pulling the Whitecaps within one in stoppage time. He also fed Blas Perez a great ball for a header that nearly resulted in a goal in the 78th minute. He ended the match with six shots total, including five shots on net. As the crunch-time portion of the season continues, I would think Mezquida has earned himself plenty of minutes.
Giles Barnes: C
I would say it was a fairly pedestrian match for the Whitecaps new(ish) striker. He played a full 90 minutes, but wasn’t able to get a shot on goal. Head Coach Carl Robinson moved Barnes over to the left wing for this match, and while he was able to generate a chance or two, he really didn’t stand out that much.
David Ousted: C+
Not a great match for the Great Dane. On the first goal, Ousted was able to get his hands on a header that came off a San Jose corner. Falling backwards, he was unable to keep the ball from crossing the line, as San Jose deflated the crowd early. The second goal was almost a perfect shot from a rough angle from Simon Dawkins, and I don’t know how much fault you can throw on him for that one. Ousted finished the match with four saves.
Kendall Waston: C+
I guess seeing a full return to form for Kendall Waston may not be in the cards this season, although he had a better match against the Earthquake. I remember celebrating the brash, intimidating, physical play of Waston and what that brought to the backline, now I simply celebrate when he gets through a match without getting thrown out. Putting my bitchiness aside, give credit to Waston for figuring in on the scoresheet, with his header falling to the feet of Mezquida for Vancouver’s only goal.
Any grades you want to share?