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Report Card: ‘Caps vs Atlanta

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How did the lads do against a star studded Atlanta team?

MLS: Atlanta United FC at Vancouver Whitecaps FC Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

The Vancouver Whitecaps triumphed over Atlanta United in a game that showed the whole is greater then the sum of its parts. Let’s get into the grades!

David Ousted: C

For once Ousted didn’t really stand out. You might say he should do better at the near post on the Greg Garza goal but the shot was well placed and Garza had a lot of time to pick his spot. Nevertheless the great dane was a confident and reassuring presence.

Sheanon Williams: C+

Left Greg Garza woefully unmarked on the Atlanta goal but then went on to have a pretty solid game after that.

Kendall Waston: A+

Is it Peak MLS when one of the most talented teams on paper is beaten by basically just sticking a big guy in the box? Perhaps, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that Waston was tremendous in this game. Obviously he scored two goals but he was also excellent defensively. This was Waston at his peak, when he’s unbeatable in the air and overwhelms the opposition seemingly through sheer force of will.

Tim Parker: B

Parker had another solid game. No major mistakes and a key block after the third goal. Some allege he scored the third goal but this is obviously fake news (more on that later).

Jordan Harvey: C+

Another solid defensive performance. These defender reviews all sound pretty similar but what else is there to say when the opposition have 66% possession but you only give up two shots on target. Considering the volume of Atlanta’s possession it’s actually quite impressive that the ‘Caps were able to prevent them from creating many chances.

Matias Laba: A

Laba was excellent at limiting the ability of Miguel Almiron to dictate play in the middle. Almiron has almost single handedly beaten MLS teams this year but up against Laba his most notable contribution was a tantrum that earned him a yellow card. Without the ‘Caps ever present midfield destroyer it’s very possible that they would have been punished more for conceding so much possession.

Andrew Jacobson: B

If you showed me the formation the Whitecaps would end up playing at the start of the year I would expect that Jacobson would be tasked with just playing it simple while Tchani would be given more freedom going forward. As it turns out, exactly the opposite of that has been true. Jacobson continued to show a penchant for creativity with an excellent ball to Waston for the first goal. In the preseason Matt Doyle was tweeting about how the Whitecaps would be crazy to task Jacobson with a #8 role, and yet it’s turned out to be a very successful move.

Tony Tchani: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Is Tchani good? that’s not a sarcastic question I actually can’t tell. He never really seems to do anything noteworthy and yet the team seems to play very well with him in it. I was so flummoxed by this question that I went to whoscored.com to look at his stats. The stats don’t suggest that he’s making some great contribution that is missed by the eye test(perhaps a piece exploring that more deeply could appear in the future), but do the ‘Caps really want to mess with a good thing by pulling him out of the successful 4-1-4-1? It could be that Tchani helps the overall effort simply by being a big strong guy and swapping him out for Teibert or McKendry would mean loosing that. Or it could be that swapping one of them in would improve an already successful system. Be sure to let me know what you think in the comments and get those interaction numbers up!

Christian Bolanos: C+

A solid performance from Bolanos. He put in the corner for the Montero goal and created a couple of chances. Bola did exactly what it says on the tin against Atlanta.

Cristian Techera: B+

Created a number of chances in continuation of a quietly excellent season for the bug. He has really gotten the hang of the teasing in crosses that create a lot of problems for the opposition. An assist today puts Techera on pace for 9 goals and 6 assists, the same production as Pedro Morales last year for a fraction of the price.

Freddy Montero: B+

This section was going to talk about how no matter who the Whitecaps sign to fill the striker role they inevitably flounder. There was going to be a joke about how “it’s not you it’s us.” But then he scored so that review went totally out the window. Yes, I know that if you slow down the footage you can see that technically Parker’s header crosses the line first but please Whitecaps fans, give Montero credit for the goal. he desperately needs the confidence a goal would give him. Even if we have to go full Stalin and erase evidence to contrary from history, give Montero the goal. It was a nice finish in any case, a real poacher’s goal.

Subs: C

Since Carl Robinson opted to save his subs until the 70th minute none of them really had much effect on the game. Brek Shea did well to carve out a half chance for Alphonso Davies but other then that none of them really stood out.

As always be sure to let us know in the comments if you agree or disagree with these grades. Thanks for reading!