Following Wednesday’s Voyageurs Cup Final First Leg, the Vancouver Whitecaps were left with a 2-2 draw that felt incredibly bitter, and let’s face it, still feels pretty disappointing. We’ve taken a breather and allowed some time to reflect and consider how to grade the performances of each Whitecaps player.
As much as the result is painful, there were a lot of good things that happened in the second half following some dubious refereeing.
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 - Marinovic made some good saves and commanded his area well on the night. I also can’t fault him for either goal. Fine performance from the Kiwi.
28 - Jake Nerwinski - 6.5 - Really productive getting forward down the wing, and he did a nice job keeping his composure through some questionable officiating. There were a couple of deeper crosses that came in, but I thought that was a lack of defensive support from the wingers further up the pitch. On the whole I felt he kept Morgan and Hernandez under wraps very well.
4 - Kendall Waston - 6.0 - Similar to Marinovic, can’t fault him for either goals. At first I thought he was ball watching on the Osorio goal, but he was touch tight to Tosaint Ricketts. He also put in a really strong tackle on Jozy Altidore that I loved at the time, just considering the way the match was going.
2 - Doneil Henry - 5.0 - Hard grade to give. Honestly, I thought he had a good match for about 93 minutes. There’s an argument he could have been more aware on the Osorio goal, but I think Osorio was arriving late, and that should have been on Teibert or Felipe to pick up his run. The own goal though…
17 - Marcel de Jong - 5.5 - Was caught way out of position on the first goal, trying to get a tackle in on Auro who beat him really easily. Auro then had plenty of room to slide the pass into the channel for Delgado to cross. Otherwise though, he made some good passes for the likes of Reyna, Techera and Davies to run onto. When the system is setup to play counter-attacking football, that’s about all you can ask.
67 - Alphonso Davies - 6.0 - Personally, it felt like he was trying way too hard to do everything himself. Maybe he watched the Minnesota highlights a few too many times. Still caused problems running at people (Hagglund looked scared to put a foot in) and if the rest of the team gave him options instead of standing still while he had the ball, maybe he could have made an assist or two.
8 - Felipe Martins - 3.0 - When the foul happened, given the way the game had been officiated to that point, I didn’t even watch the booking. In my mind I had assumed it would be a yellow when the whistle went. Obviously that’s not what happened. It was a questionable decision at the time, but I’ve looked back at the red card today, and it was a sloppy touch which he tried to make up for by diving into the tackle. The studs were up, and by the letter of the law that’s dangerous play and a red card could be considered the correct decision.
Referee decisions aside though, I didn’t see Felipe linking defense to the attack, or shielding the back line. Teibert put in a shift, but I just didn’t see Felipe tracking back or getting forward with any urgency. This was a Cup Final, albeit a two-legged one, and he did not play like a man that was interested in it.
31 - Russell Teibert - 7.0 - Showed so much energy throughout, and did what you’d expect of him. He won the ball through interceptions and well timed tackles, and he showed absolutely no quit when the ‘Caps were down to 10 men to start the second half. He also provided a great ball over the top for Hurtado to run onto and pick up the go ahead goal. I would have given him a 7.5 but I thought he was a little guilty of ball watching and could have picked up Osorio’s run for the first eqauliser.
13 - Cristian Techera - 6.0 - Had a pretty nice half for himself, he came close early with a shot off the crossbar. He also showed plenty of desire to get back in defense, even if that looked like he was running full tilt towards his own goal line without much of a plan for what to do when he got there. Would have been nice to see if he could have kept it going in the second half, but, things happened and Robinson needed to change things to try and get a result at home.
29 - Yordy Reyna - 6.5 - Reyna was good throughout, and should have been clean through on goal with 10 minutes to go with a chance to take the lead. But of course he was hauled down by a last man foul by Justin Morrow. He’s still a key piece going forward for this team, and he’s found a nice run of form, so hopefully he can keep it up.
23 - Kei Kamara - 6.0 - Did what Kei Kamara does. He buried the penalty when the opportunity came up, he won headers whenever he got the chance, and he worked all over the pitch. Perhaps he could have gotten onto the end of two Davies passes and had a couple chances at more goals, but overall he did do well.
66 - Aly Ghazal - 6.0 - Coming on to shore up the midfield in the second half, Ghazal was absolutely solid. He shielded the backline, and allowed the counter attackers to run at TFC’s defence. Still, typical Ghazal, safe, reliable, and nothing too flashy.
19 - Erik Hurtado - 6.5 - Exactly what the team needed when down to 10-men. With half an hour to go he brought energy to the attack and created problems for Hagglund, Morrow and Zavaleta, ultimately earning himself a goal which coulda, woulda, shoulda been the winner.
20 - Brek Shea - N/A - Shea appeared for the last 5 minutes of the game, something of a cameo role allowing Alphonso Davies to be substituted to a standing ovation. I don’t fault him for the goal, and he didn’t do enough positive or negative to warrant a grade.
What were your thoughts? Do you agree or disagree with the grades handed out?