By no means were the Vancouver Whitecaps outplayed on Saturday, and they certainly did not look out of place against the Western Conference-leading Portland Timbers. However, when you lose focus one too many times against a quality side, you’re going to be punished for it, in this case to the tune of a 2-1 defeat. Thankfully, there was fight in our ‘Caps, but just not enough to pull a road result at an always difficult venue.
David Ousted - C
You could argue that maybe Ousted had a chance on either goal, possibly getting a hand to Darlington Nagbe’s blast or not making himself big enough once Darren Mattocks was allowed inside the six, but there’s only so much you can do when the players in front of you are reacting so slowly.
Jordan Harvey/Sheanon Williams - C-/C+
It may just be me, but I’m seeing a common pattern in Harvey’s matches this season: he’ll start somewhat sloppy or nervy before settling down and finding a comfortable groove.
Williams meanwhile never looked out of sorts and is continuing to help us forget the Whitecaps’ “Right Back Dilemma of ‘16”. He was the only defender not involved on either Portland goal, so perhaps attacking the right-back is no longer the modus operandi for the Whitecaps’ opponents.
Kendall Waston/Tim Parker - D+/C+
For the most part, Waston had no problem clearing forays into the Whitecaps’ end of the pitch, but wasted nearly every ball he played deep down the field. And his losing of Mattocks on the second goal was the perfect culmination on the Whitecaps being slow to react to the play as their deficit grew.
Other than a bad backpass in the 23rd minute, I didn’t really have any negative notes for Parker. His clearances were good, he didn’t make any bad fouls, though maybe he did get pulled out of position on the second goal, with Valeri getting in behind Harvey.
Matias Laba - B-
Definitely the workhorse on the day. Had the occasional fluffed pass or poor clearance, and, like everyone else, was too slow to track back on the second goal. However, his distribution was far better than usual, while his defensive work rate was up to the usual standard.
Andrew Jacobson/Tony Tchani - C/C-
Jacobson often looked like he was stuck between playing the 4-1-4-1, where he’d get down pitch and nearly latch onto some well-played crosses, and the 4-2-3-1, where he’d get back down field and make a defensive stop or two. Meanwhile, Tchani acted as the playmaker, providing a number of decent balls to the wings and up top.
However, both were caught well up-field as the defense collapsed before Mattocks’ goal, and that gap between the midfield and defensive line should NEVER be that immense. Maybe Laba shouldn’t have stepped that high, but the positioning was poor as the Timbers took possession, and no one got back to help quick enough.
Christian Bolanos/Cristian Techera - C-/C
Certainly a tale of two halves for Bola, exemplified with the giveaway that led to Nagbe’s goal. He gets points for earning the PK, but the lackadaisical first half overshadows everything else.
As for Techera, he had some decent crosses, though his free kicks were borderline garbage. Disappeared from the match far too often.
Fredy Montero - C+
His early shot selection was spotty, but as the game progressed Fredy looked better and better. Maybe would have rated him higher if he buried the PK on the first shot; DEFINTELY would have rated him higher if this cheeky chip found the back of the net.
TSN - F
As much as I like Luke Wileman, the network has to get its act together and stop preempting Whitecaps games (at least it wasn’t with curling this time). I wonder if they have this issue with Toronto FC matches?