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Report Card - Montreal Impact v. Vancouver Whitecaps

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The Montreal Impact will take a 1-0 lead into the second leg of the Canadian Championship semi-final matchup against the Vancouver Whitecaps. The Impact midfield had little trouble controlling the play and snuffing out any Vancouver attacks throughout the match. We take a look at how the Whitecaps players fared throughout the match.

MLS: Canadian Championship Semifinal-Vancouver Whitecaps at Montreal Impact Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

There’s a lot to be said for a competition like this which can provide opportunities to young, homegrown talent. David Norman Jr. made his debut for the senior team today, alongside fellow Canadians Brett Levis and Russell Teibert, who was handed the Captain’s armband. Just two years ago, Alphonso Davies also made his debut in this competition, though today he didn’t grace the pitch.

On the other side of the ball, Samuel Piette was also handed the armband for the Impact. On the whole, it was a nice moment for Canadian Men’s football to see.

Now, to the part that counts - a grading of how each player fared today for the Whitecaps, and not many were pretty. 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 - 7.0 - This scoreline is embarrassing if it wasn’t for Marinovic. He made a number of very good saves, and despite being left one on one with Montreal attackers, helped preserve a somewhat respectable scoreline. It’s good to see the big Kiwi back between the sticks.

28 - Jake Nerwinski - 4.5 - Had a tough time keeping tabs on Jeisson Vargas and Saphir Taider throughout the match. The Impact continually got in down the right hand side (though they had their way across most of the park) and he was exposed by Silva and Vargas in the build up to the goal. He was too central trying to stay touch tight to Taider in the build up, and left the flank exposed.

66 - Aly Ghazal - 5.0 - He was aggressive as you could ask for at the back, and could have picked up a yellow card much earlier in this one. Continually got himself stuck in against Anthony Jackson-Hamel (actually hammered him about 3 times consecutively), but overall provided little more than temporary disruption to the Impact’s continual attacks.

22 - Aaron Maund - 6.0 - Maund was generally solid at the back, he made several nice tackles throughout and I don’t fault him for the goal. He mopped up on more than one occasion as the Impact midfielders easily broke Vancouver’s lines and exposed the ‘Caps defence.

46 - Brett Levis - 5.5 - Made several nice tackles down the left side, and I think does deserve to get more game time. I’ve docked him the half as Silva and Krolicki continually enjoyed plenty of space on the left hand flank to pick out targets in the box.

20 - Brek Shea - 3.0 - I have to feel that the amount the defence was exposed, the complete impetus of the offence on the right flank was part of this. Jake Nerwinski’s rating more than likely suffered because he was left without support, or an outlet on the right wing. He gets 3.0 because he completed the 90 minutes, but this should probably be lower especially after his lazy yellow card after a thoughtless giveaway in the final third while the ‘Caps were chasing the game. I don’t entirely fault him for being deployed on the right either, that’s on Robbo.

24 - David Norman Jr. - 5.0 - He showed the grit and tenacity that he’s been building a reputation for, and he got stuck in on a tough tackle in the latter stages of the first half to pick up his first senior caution. Overall I thought he did well, but struggled to link play with the attack.

31 - Russell Teibert - 5.0 - Much like his partner in the heart of midfield, showed a lot of tenacity in his tackles. He tried to make several quick outlet passes to break the Montreal lines, but also struggled to link up with the attack. I’ve docked him a point as well as I felt on numerous occasions you could see the Montreal attack developing and a more aware position by the midfield could have disrupted their flow.

13 - Cristian Techera - 3.5 - Ineffective throughout, he hit the post but I’m pretty sure he was trying to cross the ball for Blondell. Did nothing to trouble the Montreal defence, or debutant keeper Clement Diop.

11 - Nicolas Mequida - 4.5 - The “most dangerous” of the ‘Caps attackers today, he struggled to make anything happen, but he came closer than anyone else to troubling Montreal’s defence than any other player leading the line. Overall, ineffective.

9 - Anthony Blondell - 3.0 - Early in the game he broke through the middle of the defense and then took a very clumsy touch and essentially pushed the ball straight to the keeper. As the game progressed, he had a few chances come to him that a better first touch would have let him setup for a shot with his second touch. These weren’t difficult chances to control either, these were square balls with no one close to him that he didn’t control. Disappointing.

Substitutes

19 - Erik Hurtado - 3.0 - He had half an hour on the pitch following Blondell’s disappointing hour. While he’s a striker that needs service to thrive and received none, he also didn’t do anything to create opportunities such as hold the ball up, or bring teammates into play. One particular moment comes to mind where he was trying to break through on a one-man break, when he could have challenged Cabrera for the ball and potentially won a free kick, or the ball.

3 - Sean Franklin - 4.5 - Came on while the ‘Caps were trailing by a goal to help, uh, shore up the right side? I guess? That was the thinking? Maybe? Anyways, helped stop Taider from putting the game beyond doubt, and bailed Ibini out down the stretch.

7- Bernie Ibini - 2.0 - Got 20 minutes of run, and accomplished nothing. While the ‘Caps were toothless and inept on the right side, bringing on a player who’s profession is Right Winger, should help solve that problem. Instead, nothing. Sloppy turnovers, more exposure for Nerwinski and Franklin to deal with.

What were your thoughts of the match? Did anyone deserve a better or worse rating than they received?