The Vancouver Whitecaps looked like they showed up to play in this game. They needed nothing less than a win and I think we may have seen the best this particular team has to offer on Saturday afternoon. Unfortunately, it was not enough. It was nervy and at times wide-open football, and if they didn't need the win so desperately you could argue it wasn't a bad road effort.
As always, a C grade indicates the player did no more than what his job requires.
Here we go with the grades.
David Ousted, A-
Despite the number of shots he faced he wasn't called on to be too spectacular. But the one time the ‘Caps needed a spectacular save he showed up big: after deflecting a crossed ball away from goal he managed to scramble back to his feet and while stumbling into his net punched the ball away with an extraordinary reflex save. I can't blame him on the goal, that blame is soon to come. He had a bobble resulting in a ball squirting out from under him in the 6 yard box that luck and his teammates bailed him out on, but:
insane reaction save > bobble = his gaff is forgiven - with gratitude.
Jordan Smith, D
Smith had Morris covered well before the ball went in the net. The only problem was he was on the wrong side!!! Because of that, Morris was wide open point blank in front of Ousted to head the ball home. The rest of his game was typical for him, some good tackles, some not so good tackles, a lot of running to get into position and a bunch of crosses that went nowhere. Not good enough.
Kendall Waston, A-
Like I did for Ousted, I awarded another A- for an excellent game. However, the absolute necessary win was not there. Saturday, Waston's defensive work on the ground and his solid positioning was what stood out over his usual dominance in the air. He put himself in the crucial space to clear the ball and made some clutch stops deep in the box with feet and legs. He played a more well rounded game and was more like the Kendall we knew last season.
Jordan Harvey, B
Harvey played his solid no-nonsense defensive game.
Matias Laba, C
At times Laba was in with the tackles and the well-timed foot, at others he was bundling players over. Still not able to spring players forward, but maybe that should have been his defensive partner's job.
Pedro Morales, D
I thought Pedro played one of his better defensive games, but when your best player, captain and clutch DP playmaker is playing a game that is no better than Jordan Harvey's in the cauldron of Century Link Field and when the season is on the line, then that is not a passing grade. Where were the passes that carve open defenses? When did he play forwards into space? Not good enough for him.
Erik Hurtado, B+
It is hard not to root for Hurtado. For about 50 minutes he was all over the Seattle D, harrying them for every ball. He often outran the fullbacks to gain the ball and had a chance in the first half where he tried to chip the keeper only to have Frei swat the ball away while Erik waited for it to come to him. I love his effort and his positive impact. He is always game, it's just that when it comes to scoring he just doesn't have the game.
Giles Barnes, C-
Barnes came on as a sub late in the game and didn't have much impact. I mention him here for his attempt on goal that came off the post. That would have been a massive game, possibly even a season changing goal. But we will never know. I expected to see more industry from Barnes, especially since he was playing behind the striker and wasn't dependent on service alone.
I left a few for you to grade. Where was Techera? Did you like anything from the loping bull in a china shop Alphonso Davies? Mezquida actually started a game.