It’s always disappointing to lose to the Seattle Sounders, and it’s worse when they lift the Cascadia Cup in BC Place. The Vancouver Whitecaps created plenty of chances, and enormously out shot the Sounders. Unfortunately, the bounces didn’t go the right way in what was a bitter to swallow defeat on home soil.
The grades I’ve handed out of course come with a bit of personal bias, but they’re based on what I saw unfold during last night’s match.
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 - 5.0 - Personally I felt Marinovic could have done better on both goals. While Raul Ruidiaz got in front of Kendall Waston, the cross was close enough to Stef that I thought he could have gotten a hand to it. The second, while he was hung out to dry by the awful back pass from Levis, he committed, and was rounded so easily by Ruidiaz. Despite some good saves, I thought he could have been better when it mattered.
28 - Jake Nerwinski - 6.0 - Defensively sound, and continually provided an outlet on the right wing. His crossing left a fair bit to be desired though with several efforts going long, or out of play. Still won plenty of headers, stopped Seattle’s counter attacks and helped the ‘Caps keep the pressure on.
4 - Kendall Waston - 6.0 - Solid as usual, he did get beaten by Ruidiaz for the first goal which I’ve docked him for, but he won all the aerial duels I would expect him to win defensively. He just couldn’t get a clean head onto any of the 10 corners the Whitecaps had.
2 - Doneil Henry - 6.0 - Also had a really good game, and played a really good early ball in to Kamara, who headed down to Mezquida for the first real chance of the game. Much like his partner in defence, he won all of the headers I would expect him to win, while making some key interceptions.
46 - Brett Levis - 4.0 - It felt like the Seattle attack continually tried to exploit Levis down the left, and they were successful in creating most of their chances there. I’m sure he won’t want to watch the back pass again either. I’m still a believer in Levis, but this was a disappointing showing from him.
66 - Aly Ghazal - 6.0 - Tidy in possession and did a great job of protecting the backline. I thought he did a great job pressuring the likes of Lodeiro, Shipp and Roldan. Standard Ghazal, nothing too flashy, but efficient and composed in the heart of midfield, and not afraid to make a professional foul when it needs to be made.
67 - Alphonso Davies - 5.5 - Could have had an assist if Kamara’s shot was about 2 centimetres more inside the post, but overall, I felt he lost the ball in the final third far too much. While I’m used to seeing him take on and beating players, he kept running into Seattle defenders, or trying to do too much on his own. Dribbling into the box is a big ask when you’re being consistently double teamed and should be looking for the open man.
11 - Nicolas Mezquida - 6.0 - Should have opened the scoring without question. He definitely spurned a golden opportunity off the knock-down from Kamara. Still, once he took over the corners from Techera, his delivery was much better and he did get the assist on Kei’s goal.
31 - Russell Teibert - 7.0 - Rusty had a great game, and it’s good to see him getting the starts. He brought his usual work ethic, and was really creating chances with his passing last night. It was nice to see as he continually looked to spring runners in the channels, and really create forward momentum. Together with Ghazal, he kept the Sounders attacking midfielders under control, and pulled the strings in the centre of the park.
13 - Cristian Techera - 6.0 - He got himself into a lot of really good positions on the break, and asked questions of Leerdam and Smith down the channels. He also fought tooth and nail in every duel he went into. The delivery was missing on his crosses and corners though, but he did hit the target with his free kick in the first half, and also had another great chance to find the net, but for a bit of a fortuitous save from Frei.
23 - Kei Kamara - 8.0 - Easily man of the match. Kei was everywhere, and at the heart of everything good the Whitecaps attack did last night. He deserved his goal, rising well above Chad Marshall and Stefan Frei to attack Mezquida’s corner. He certainly would have deserved his second, but was just so unlucky to hit the post flush in the second half.
20 - Brek Shea - 4.0 - I saw somewhere that a fan was repeatedly screaming ‘No’ at Carl Robinson when Shea was being brought on. I have to agree. I didn’t see anything constructive from him in his 40 minutes on the pitch, and distinctly remember him hoofing the ball first time from a throw in, directly across the field to no one, and out of play.
77 - Jordon Mutch - 5.0 - Played a decent early ball in for Kamara, and came close to bundling an eqauliser over the line late on. That said, I felt like the midfield fell apart when he came on, and from where I was sitting, I thought he wasn’t up to the speed of the game, and lost the ball far too easily in his own half.
19 - Erik Hurtado - N/A - He was so close to being in the right place at the right time during his 10 minute cameo. I’d have been happy to give him a 6.0 if he had been on the field for a bit longer, because he created chances and forced the Sounders defence to focus on more than just Kamara.
What were your thoughts? Do you agree or disagree with the grades handed out?