It was always going to be a bit emotional seeing Alphonso Davies for the last time as a Vancouver Whitecaps player. He’s such an exciting player to watch, and on his day, he’s capable of winning a game for his team. He did just that and further stoked the flames surrounding his own hype.
That said, while the day belonged to Phonzie, the rest of the Whitecaps really showed up and put in what was probably the best team performance they’ve had all season. While some of that was a shame because the team was already eliminated from the playoffs, this was still a Cascadia derby - and it’s always nice to beat Portland.
For reference, I grade based on numbers, where a professional, relatively mistake free, and effective match in their respective role will earn a player a 6.0. Over or under that reflects my personal opinion of how a player performed. If you agree or disagree, be sure to chime in below in the comments.
1 - Stefan Marinovic - 6.0 - He wasn’t tested very frequently in this match, but he did get hands to the cross Asprilla played across goal which bobbled to Andres Flores at the back post, so he could have done better there. Still, he did also make four saves including one on a dangerous attempt from Asprilla just before the goal.
28 - Jake Nerwinski - 7.0 - He had a really good game both defensively and going forward. On the whole this was back to a more peak form of Jake. He gave both Melano and Flores a really hard time any time they tried to come down the right side, and he looks more composed in possession. He’s still young, and relatively affordable. Hopefully he’s back next season.
4 - Kendall Waston - 6.0 - While I’m not sure if it was that everyone else in the backline was playing well, or that Aly Ghazal was just mopping up everything he could in midfield, but Waston wasn’t that active in this game. He made 5 clearances, and he did win a pair of headers from corners, so he was solid overall and earns a 6.0
2 - Doneil Henry - 6.5 - Came really close to opening the scoring himself, and he also made a few nice interceptions nicking in ahead of Armenteros. I thought he had a nice game on the whole, despite splitting his duels nearly 50/50 (8 won/7 lost).
46 - Brett Levis - 6.5 - Much like Nerwinski, Brett had a really good game at left back. He’s played better as the season has gone on, and he lasted the full 90 in his last two matches. He also made a hell of a sliding tackle outside the box in the first half, which shows he’s got the defensive instincts to nip out an attack. I would have given him a better rating, but he did get burned (along with Aly Ghazal) by Asprilla for the goal.
66 - Aly Ghazal - 7.0 - As I mentioned, the backline didn’t seem to have a lot of chances to deal with as the cover from Ghazal was fantastic. He was a monster in the heart of the park, snuffing out attacks all over the place. His usual brand of tough tackling and ‘make the easy pass’ was on display, as he won all of his tackles and put in one of his performances of the season.
77 - Jordon Mutch - 6.0 - He was asked to be more of a facilitator in this one, and coming off some really nice displays it looked like he was finding a nice run of form. He was good in his hour, much like the rest of the team, but nothing overly impressive to speak of.
31 - Russell Teibert - 7.0 - Consistent, high energy, classic Teibert. He’s started playing more passes to open up chances for his teammates, and put a nice ball on Kamara’s head early in the second half which could have lead to an assist. Overall, it was a nice performance from Rusty.
67 - Alphonso Davies - 9.0 - I’d have given him the 10 if he had finished off the hat trick. He had a couple good chances in the second half where the likes of Felipe and Kamara played him through on goal, but just couldn’t find the shot. Still, it was a storybook finish to his time in Vancouver for Alphonso, and I’m sure we all wish him nothing but the best in Munich.
29 - Yordy Reyna - 7.0 - Set piece delivery looked fantastic all afternoon, the corner’s he was putting in looked really dangerous and Henry nearly capitalized 10 minutes in. He was also just a bit unlucky with his effort late in the game curling toward the corner but hitting the top of the cross bar.
23 - Kei Kamara - 6.5 - He was everywhere, and it looked like he was doing everything he could to make sure it was a special day for his ‘son’ Phonzie. He held the ball up well, linked play, and came close to getting a goal himself with his header in the second half. It was his only shot on target though, so I docked him a bit for that, but I can’t say anything bad about his display.
8 - Felipe - 6.5 - When Felipe is linking the attack, he looks much better than he did when he was being deployed deeper in midfield earlier in the season. He got off a good shot on target, and his clever first time pass found Reyna in enough space to get a shot off. It was one of his better displays for the ‘Caps even if it was only a half hour.
11 - Nicolas Mezquida - 5.5 - Nico played just over 10 minutes, and I would normally reserve judgement on that, but I’ve graded Simon Colyn, so he gets a rating too. Basically - he didn’t really do anything in 10 minutes. 5.5.
54 - Simon Colyn - 6.0 - From where I sit, that shot looked like it was in. I was on my feet. His movement looks really impressive, very intelligent, the timing of his runs was really slick, and that’s what a player of his stature needs to be able to do. If this is just an appetizer, hopefully he gets more of an opportunity next year because he looks like he can contribute.
So that’s that for 2018. I know we have a lot planned with the website which to recap the season, so be sure to check back in as we debrief the 2018 Whitecaps. I don’t think I’ve ever given out so many high scores but honestly - this was a really good performance. Be sure to let us know your thoughts if you haven’t already joined the conversation.