It was a game of two halves as the Vancouver Whitecaps saw off the Montreal Impact. A strong first half in which a young Whitecaps team looked dominant was followed by a second half in which they looked a little out of their depth. But you already know all that, let’s get into the report card!
Spencer Richey: A+
I may have some slight goalkeeper bias but it’s hard to deny that Richey was outstanding in against the Impact. The penalty save was obviously very important. The momentum of the game was very much against the Whitecaps at the time, and without that save I think it’s very possible the Whitecaps concede another. Richey also looked very confident which is important for a goalkeeper as it allows the defence to be be more relaxed.
Cole Seiler/ Sem De Wit / Marcel De Jong: C+/C-/C
The back three looked good in the first half but struggled in the second half. Seiler probably looked the most composed of the three, making a few good interceptions, though he did give away the penalty. De Wit dealt fairly well with Dominic Oduro but Struggled against Anthoney Jackson-Hamel. De Wit has looked good with WFC2 but these struggles make it hard to justify giving him a first team spot, especially as he would take up an international spot. De Jong did fine for a guy playing out of position.
Jake Nerwinski: Absolutely crushed it in the first half, dropped off slightly in the second half. Nerwinski has often been criticized for being to reliant on athleticism and lacking in skill but against the Impact he made those critics look silly. Nerwinski was solid going forward, showing he has the ability to beat his man, and defensively. It’s nice to have two solid right backs after last season’s dumpster fire.
Ben Mckendry / Russel Teibert: B-/C
McKendry made a good case for more first team football. He was tireless in the midfield and didn’t make any serious mistakes. It’s also important to note that the second goal came shortly after he won the ball back in midfield. Teibert was adequate. He made no major mistakes but also didn’t really stand out.
Alphonso Davies: A
Scored a goal and set up the second. Also made a number of dangerous runs and gave the Montreal backline fits. He also dispossessed Ballou Tabla on a number of occasions, thus definitively proving that our wonder kid is better then their wonder kid (did you know he’s only 16!?!?!?!?!??!)
Mauro Rosales: C
His best days are behind him but Mauro can still do a job. he had good interplay with the other attacking players but looked a little lacking when trying to play the killer ball.
Nicolas Mezquida: A
Scored a goal and showed a very deft piece of skill to get the ball to Davies for the other. Another player who dropped off a bit in the second half but it’s hard to ask for more then a goal and an assist.
Brek Shea: C-
A frustrating performance from Shea. He had some good link up play, but was pushed off the ball far to easily and often looked a little disinterested. I’m starting to think that this is just the way Shea is. You have to accept that he may not always try that hard, is very clumsy, and dives frequently and unconvincingly; but as we have seen he can also score some very important goals.
Marco Bustos: C-
This sub appearance was basically Marco Bustos in a nutshell. Plenty of flash, obvious talent, not quite good enough. It’s always been a case of putting it all together for Bustos. But at 21, and amidst rumours that he’s of to Universidad de Chille, he’s running out of time to do that.
Deklan Wynne: C
Kyle Greig: Incomplete
Greig didn’t really feature long enough to have a lasting impact, but his brief appearance does raise one question: Why exactly did the Whitecaps sign him? he did well in USL, probably deservedly got the MLS contract, but he’s never played. Even Shea out of position is preferred to Greig it seems. So what we’re left with is a 26 year old who Carl Robinson clearly doesn’t trust enough to give serious minutes to. If Robbo doesn’t trust him why not just give that spot on the roster to Gloire Amanda or some other young player who, while they may not be good enough to play serious minutes, at least have a chance to be something more in the future? But what do I know?
Do you agree with these grades? Have your say in the comments!