The Whitecaps stunned the MLS world with a big, 4-0 win over FC Dallas. They earned some luck with a PK goal and a red card to put them a man up for final thirty minutes, while, at the same time doing everything right to shut down an excellent team. With a score line like that, there were some big games on both sides of the pitch, but I would say this a team win as much as anything else.
Fredy Montero, A
Two goals on the night and some fine work to set up Ibini’s first goal put Fredy Montero back in the game. The TV crew wouldn’t show who was lining up to take the PK shot, so I didn’t have time to fret whether he’d miss three PK’s in a row. Thankfully he took the shot with confidence and enough cool hesitation to stroke the ball past the keeper. At times Montero was fighting for the ball and making things happen, and at other times, his head was down, he was frustrated with his service and not willing to support Reyna on his run into the box, for example. But, in the end I give it to Fredy. That second goal was exactly the sort of cool precision this team hasn’t seen from a striker in some time.
Bernie Ibini, A-
Bernie pots his first MLS goal. He came out flying in the first half and had the gall to attempt his goal scoring strike from that far outside the box. It took a deflection, but had just enough spin on it bend away from the keeper. The rest of his game was decent too> He made an important recovery in his own box late in the game and put in a good work rate. Ibini looks made for MLS, as he’s big, physical and doesn’t mind clattering into his opponent when its warranted.
Kendall Waston / Tim Parker, A+
The ‘Caps defence hits an entirely different level when Waston is in the line up. The two centre backs kept a clean sheet and stifled one of the most effective and dynamic front lines in MLS. Dallas may still win the Supporter’s Shield but, these two put up a wall and made Dallas take a knee for a night.
David Ousted, B+
Ousted didn’t have much to do this evening, (see above) but was solid when he did.
Toni Tchani / Matias Laba, A
These two were pivotal support to the defence’s shut down of the Dallas attack. The enigmatic Tchani even found Montero with a perfectly placed ball in the box, while being swarmed by red shirts.
Marcel De Jong / Shaenon Williams, B+
De Jong looked very impressive in his stint for Canada at the Gold Cup, and he brought that same game to Dallas. Perhaps, his best game in blue and white. Williams returned to the line up for the first time in six games since his personal matters interrupted his season. He didn’t factor into the offense much, save for his assist on the Mezquida goal, but he and De Jong managed to survive continual forays up the flanks from quality wingers like Barrios and Harris.
Yordy Reyna, A-
The entire game didn’t flow through Reyna, but when it did everything moved forward. It was no coincidence Reyna’s first start came in a game when the ‘Caps’ offence was resuscitated making the counter dangerous once again.
Brek Shea, C+
I didn’t feel Shea had his best game. He had difficulty getting in dangerous positions, and didn’t have the impact on the game of his fellow forwards.
Nicolas Mezquida, A
For that chest-volley-bicycle through Gonzalez’s legs.
The Starting 11, A
After putting up points with the same 11 over six games, the poor, uninspired, and uncreative showing against Portland, (and you could even say in LA, as far as the offense went), demonstrated the team needed a freshening up. Six changes to the line up with two up top in Reyna and Montero and with Shea and Ibini on the wings, brought a new look, a new energy, and an impressively big win.
These are some big grades for a big upset, and a big win. Too big? You tell me in the comments section. He has been tough to pin down since he got here, so, how did you assess Tchani’s game?