It was tough to watch as the Vancouver Whitecaps fell 2-1 to Cascadian Rival Portland Timbers who only had 14 fit first team players. It was like we were in an alternate reality in which every Whitecap was the worst possible version of themselves. Let’s dive right in to just how bad that is shall we?
David Ousted: B
Ok, Ousted was pretty decent. You couldn’t really fault him on either goal and he made a save that kept the team in the game late.
Jake Nerwinski: C+
The only defender to come out of this covered in any glory. Made some good last ditch tackles and got forward well. Seems to be building some good chemistry with Techera. Unfortunately his crossing was often poor and defensively he was burned on the second goal.
Tim Parker: C-
The ‘Caps defence was looked totally disorganized and to a certain extent you have to look to the man wearing the armband to address that. Parker did well going forward getting an assist, and almost nicking a late equalizer but at the back it was a disaster.
Andrew Jacobson: D
Scored a goal but other then that not a lot of positives to take away from this one. Poor passing and struggled to track the runs of Jeremy Ebobisse.
Jordan Harvey: D
Pretty much the same as Jacobson minus the goal. Got skinned a couple of times and frequently gave away possession.
Matias Laba: D+
Made a lot of quality tackles but then invariably gave the ball away immediately after. This happened at least five times that I noticed.
Tony Tchani: B
Made some pretty decent passes going forward and almost scored another goal. Ever since the second half of the NYCFC game Tchani has been in a rich vein of form. However it wasn’t all positive as he was almost punished for a catastrophic giveaway in the second half and was caught to far forward on the second goal.
Cristian Techera: D
At the start of the game I thought to myself “hey Techera looks likely today, just wait for him to produce something.” And I waited and waited and waited and it just didn’t come. He just kept running down the wing and then straight into a defender or making a pass that would give the ball away.
Nicolas Mezquida: D-
Ran around a lot
Christian Bolanos: B
Put in a lot of dangerous set piece deliveries and almost got Montero a goal but it was cleared off the line.
Freddy Montero: D+
Was unlucky not to get a goal after his shot was cleared off the line and never really got the ball but also gave the ball away leading to the second goal. Spent most of the game walking around and scowling.
Yordy Reyna: C
Never got enough of the ball to make a real impact
Alphonso Davies: C-
looked very tired after the Gold Cup. Davies looked a lot more like a 16 year old (that’s how old he is in case you didn’t know) in this game. Beat a couple players but also ran in to a lot of dead ends and couldn’t play that killer ball when he got in a good position
Brek Shea: C
Was denied late on by Jake Gleeson. Didn’t have much impact beyond that
The Vancouver Whitecaps on the day: F
I’m a pretty laid back guy. I’m not quick to anger. So it was serious business when I slammed my fist into the couch out of sheer frustration as the full time whistle went. The Timbers only had 14 first team players fit. They filled out their squad with two players from their USL side which is plastered to the bottom of the Western Conference with 6 points. Yet the ‘Caps were completely outplayed. This loss was horribly embarrassing. Portland were fourth from the bottom in terms of recent form and even with half their first team missing and a cavalcade of players from the least competitive USL team the ‘Caps still couldn’t find it within themselves to beat them. Ben Zemanski was bossing the midfield, Ben Zemanski! What makes it worse is that it’s a Cascadian rival. This 2-1 loss is a hundred times more painful than the loss to Chicago or to RSL. The Cascadia Cup may not be the most prestigious trophy but it’s important to us god damn it! The fans pay their hard earned money for to see this team and they got played off the park by Ben goddamn Zemanski.
Are the Whitecaps good? bad? I don’t know, they just kind of seem to exist. Over the last ten games the ‘Caps have picked up more points than anybody else in the west. Did you know that? I didn’t, because the team doesn’t feel like they are playing at that level. It feels like they just kind of hammer the ball forward and hope for the best. Why oh why do they keep playing the long ball? it’s totally mystifying. Everyone and their dog has pointed out that the long ball game doesn’t suit the ‘Caps forward line of little guys. Yet they persist. Why? I understand that certain players are more comfortable in certain systems but they’re professional footballers, they should be able to keep the ball on the ground!
But despite this rant I guarantee that they’ll get my hopes back up before to long. That’s what they do. The ‘Caps are exactly .500 (8-8-3), truly average, the logical conclusion to MLS’ attempts at parity, trailblazers for a terrifying future in which every team in the league perfectly alternates between winning and loosing, true ambivalence between good and crap. Despite being terrible in this game, and full value for the grade of F, they’ll probably destroy Dallas next week and make me think the team is all right. They will then shatter this illusion the week after but for a glorious seven days I will feel like I support a good team. In fact I guarantee it. This is MLS where the results are random and nothing matters. Whitecaps 3 FC Dallas 0, July 29th at 5:00 pm pacific time. You heard it here first.