The Vancouver Whitecaps managed to turn things around after it looked like they would once again be the victim of MLS refereeing. But which players really stood out?
David Ousted: B
Ousted came up big twice in this game. In the first half against Thomas McNamara and in the second half against Andrea Pirlo. He maybe should have been a little better on the first goal but McNamara was sitting on him so maybe it’s harsh to call it an error.
Jake Nerwinski: B+
Another solid performance from Nerwinski (that’s right I said another). After the Chicago game there were a lot of hot takes that Nerwinski wasn’t good enough from people with impressively short memories. Nerwinski has played well against Montreal and Dallas, Ok against Minnesota and poorly against Chicago. I think that’s pretty good for a rookie right back who was expected to be second choice. In any case Nerwinski was solid defensively and involved in two of the goals. He deserves special plaudits for winning the ball back and starting the counter attack which produced the late winner.
Kendall Waston: B
Aside from giving away a penalty (I can’t put enough air quotes around that phrase so i’m not even going to try) it was a solid if relatively uneventful performance from Waston.
Tim Parker: B+
Similarly Tim Parker had a solid game. He gets the + because he constantly had David Villa running at him and had to make a number of good tackles. In the past Parker has gotten skinned in such situations so it was good to see him stand tall.
Jordan Harvey: C+
The left side was exposed a little, and has been all year. However none of those exposures lead to goals. Harvey also scored a very important goal to equalize. I don’t know how he managed to get it over the head of the the giant Eirik Johansen (or how the 6’7 keeper didn’t claim that cross) but he did. It’s always nice to see the longest serving Whitecap get a goal.
Andrew Jacobson: D
Christ. Jacobson had a bit of a nightmare as he frequently gave the ball away and failed to provide much cover for the backline. Jacobson has been on a pretty good run so this poor performance comes as a bit of a suprise
Tony Tchani: C-
I was going to give Tchani the same grade as Jacobson but he really turned it around in the second half. Tchani created a couple of chances and made some good tackles. NYCFC still got to run at the defence a bit much for my linking but part of that was Jacobson being subbed off for the more attacking Ibini. For me that was the best 45 minutes we’ve seen from Tchani
Cristian Techera: C
Meh. Techera was fine. He moved the ball forward well but didn’t really create any huge chances. On a couple of occasions Techera didn’t make the right decision or mishit a pass and it prevented the team from creating a chance.
Christian Bolanos: C+
had a pretty dreadful first half but really turned it on after the break. Hit a Beautiful cross for Harvey. He also put in a shift as a defensive midfielder which was a bit weird but it worked.
Brek Shea: C+
for the second time in three games Shea punished the opposition by pressing them. unfortunately after getting the assist on Montero’s goal Shea went back to being invisible.
Freddy Montero: A+
At this point, as far as i’m concerned, if you play striker for the Vancouver Whitecaps and you score a goal you get an A+. Montero looked a lot more comfortable in this game as he actually got the ball from time to time. His link up play with Reyna was especially impressive. Montero is on a good pace for his career average goal every three game ratio. In fact Montero is currently at 0.44 goals per 90 minutes which is slightly better than his traditional average. Has to be said that’s a pretty odd stat considering it feels like he never scores.
Yordy Reyna: A+
Wow! The nickname “la magia” is certainly apt. Reyna totally changed the game when he entered the match. he showed very impressive dribbling skills, speed, and a surprising amount of physicality for a little guy. He was almost, dare I say it, Camiloesque. With Reyna in the team things look much much better for the ‘Caps. It almost looks like this was the vision for the team the whole time (though maybe that’s giving them to much credit). The late winner will help to overshadow the fact that he could have had a few more.
Bernie Ibini: C
Ibini came on a bit late to influence the game individually but his introduction did change the ‘Caps to a much more attacking formation which set the stage for Reyna’s late winner. An extra presence in the box made it difficult for NYCFC to cope with the sheer number of attacking players the Whitecaps had on the field.
Erik Hurtado: I
Came on late to kill some time and hold the ball up. Frankly he even messed that up as he lost the ball a couple of times. However he wasn’t really on long enough to make a serious impression
Baldamero Toledo: F
I mean come on.
Carl Robinson: A
Many people here are very critical of Robbo, often deservedly so, but if we’re going to criticize him when he gets it wrong we should also praise him when he gets it right. The decision to sub off Jacobson for to go for a winner turned out to be the right move. Early on in his career Robbo seemed more willing to make these subs until he was burned by it when Laba was sent off leaving him with no holding midfielders. It’s nice to see Robbo, often bemoaned for being to conservative, show some killer instinct.
Make sure to let us know if you agree or disagree with these grades in the comments below!