When a team has five games left, sacks the manager, instills a caretaker and head out on the road for a must win game - it doesn’t usually yield a positive result. It’s probably a bonafide recipe in the ‘How to Lose a Match’ cookbook.
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 - 4.0 - While you can’t fault him for giving away either penalty kick, and he did guess the right way on both, Zlatan’s second was a howler. He has to make that save, it was straight at him. While the defence in front of him was poor, his shot stopping wasn’t much better.
28 - Jake Nerwinski - 5.0 - Alessandrini and Cole owned him, and the right flank all night, he looked like he could barely get into the game. Continually the French winger had plenty of space to do whatever he wanted, whether it was play a cross, or take on his man.
4 - Kendall Waston - 4.0 - He didn’t concede either penalty, sure. But how many headers did Zlatan win, and how many did Kendall win? Stats show that he won 2 headers all night, while Zlatan won 6. but there was still plenty of room as the ‘Caps were on the back foot all night.
2 - Doneil Henry - 3.0 - What was he thinking making that challenge to concede the second penalty? He wasn’t in position to win the ball, he looked tired and appeared to just throw in a ‘if I don’t do something he’s going to score anyways’ tackle. Poor defending on the whole, continually losing aerial battles all night long.
17 - Marcel de Jong - 5.0 - Much like Doneil - what was he thinking making the challenge on Alessandrini? That blunder aside, de Jong did play several nice passes forward to release Davies and Shea on the left flank, so he was positive going forward, and he got a ‘dangerous’ shot off (which I still think was on target).
66 - Aly Ghazal - 5.5 - Considering the team was trying to press high, there’s going to be more pressure for a player like Ghazal to mop up when the press gets broken. While he normally offers that ability to sense danger and break up attacks, Ghazal was actually more of a liability in this one. He made some sloppy tackles, including one that Ibrahimovic nearly drilled the resulting free kick into the top corner from. He was easily beaten for the second goal, too and on the whole, not just Zlatan but dos Santos, Ola Kamara, and the Galaxy attack in general had plenty of joy in the middle of the park.
67 - Alphonso Davies - 6.5 - Anything dangerous that the ‘Caps did last night was coming through Davies. While he was a bright spot on a dismal night in LA for Vancouver, it’s so hard to look at this iteration of the Whitecaps and see how they’re going to create chances to score without him in 2019.
11 - Nicolas Mezquida - 5.0 - Asked to play differently than we’re used to seeing, Mezquida was also involved in trying to press the Galaxy high up the pitch as well as drop deeper to help defend. That said, while he was asked to do that - I didn’t particularly think he did it well. Nico was a bit guilty of ball watching when the ‘Caps didn’t have possession, and in his hour on the pitch he didn’t create anything of note going forward.
31 - Russell Teibert - 6.0 - Was asked to lead the press going forward, as Craig Dalrymple had clearly instructed the team to try and limit LAG’s time on the ball. I thought he had a good game dictating most of the Whitecaps’ attacking tempo, and he completed 96% of his passes on the night.
20 - Brek Shea - 6.0 - Hang on a second - can we say this? I guess so. Shea had a decent game last night, while he couldn’t find a goal or anything to that effect, and he was typically sloppy at times in the final third picking a pass - he brought some good energy against both Fletscher and Cole. Not the worst hour I’ve seen him play in 2018.
23 - Kei Kamara - 6.0 - He can only do so much, and as always, he was a willing runner last night trying to get on the end of through balls and crosses. Probably could have had a goal in the second half with a header on target from one of Phonzie’s crosses, but overall, I can’t ask too much more from Kei. Also - that chip would have been a goal of the season candidate if it went in.
8 - Felipe - 5.5 - He was an improvement on Mezquida in his half hour, but that’s not saying a lot. In his first action he got down the channel well, but he played his cross too close to Bingham, and he was long with his other two balls in from the flank.
13 - Cristian Techera - 5.0 - Techera got almost a full half hour on the pitch and was essentially invisible. He barely got on the ball, and he didn’t produce anything when he did. He misplaced half his passes, and picked up a yellow late on for no reason making a foul on David Bingham.
77 - Jordon Mutch - 5.0 - He only got 10 minutes when the game was already out of hand, but I still don’t know what Mutch offers the team. He tried some long passes over the top, but nothing came from it.
In the end it was a result that essentially confirms the ‘Caps will miss the Playoffs this season. What were your thoughts? Do you agree or disagree with the grades handed out?