The Vancouver Whitecaps acquired their second point of the season with a 1-1 draw away to Chicago Fire. While the game ended in a draw, fans probably couldn’t help but feel fortunate and unfortunate at the same time. Gifted the first goal of the game, they only ended with a draw thanks to another questionable video assistant replay decision.
Largely outplayed for the majority of the match there were some positive individual performances in the match. Looking at the individual performances keep in mind that an ‘average’ match is a ‘5’ or ‘6’.
Crepeau (9): Heading into this season there were question marks around whether Crepeau or MacMath would be the starter in Vancouver. Crepeau had the stellar USL season but lacked MacMath’s MLS experience, while MacMath was average in MLS. Crepeau started the season at the top of the depth chart and he has done nothing to lose it. While there have been a lot of inconsistencies early in this season, Crepeau has been solid and reliable. He had a Man of the Match outing in Chicago and has continued to look better and better.
Sutter (6): Sutter was filling in for Nerwinski and did a suitable job. While he doesn’t necessarily bring the same offensive strengths of Jake, he does appear more reliable and consistent – think Jacobson.
Godoy (6): I don’t think that Godoy has made more than one or two missteps this season. He reads the game so well and is able to anticipate where he needs to be. To be honest, I don’t know if a ‘6’ is a good grade for him. I give it mainly because I don’t recall much involving him. However, when it comes to center backs, not remembering him means he had a solid match.
Henry (5): After some excellent outings, Henry was rather invisible in this match. However, as I said with Godoy that is not necessarily a bad thing. He ended up making another bonehead play that cost the Caps a PK. Some will say it wasn’t a handball others will say it was, even more others will call it a violation of the rules of VAR (looking at you @TheRealJJAdams). Regardless, he shouldn’t have been jumping in like that, with his arms flailing. I think he was hard done by in this one, which is why I gave him an ‘average’ grade.
A referee has DM'd me to say he thinks it's handball too as Doneil's hands/arms were in front of his chest. I still haven't seen an angle that show me that the ball hit that part though. Seemed all chest. #CHIvVAN— AFTN (@aftncanada) April 13, 2019
Adnan (5): Adnan has been lauded for his positive play this far – penalty kick blunder aside – but I felt that in this match he tried to do too much. Moreover, that the club tried to play through him far too much. Is he good? Yes. Is he one of the better players on the team? Certainly. However, he is a left back and the offense doesn’t need to be run through the left back (outside of dead ball play). There were several points that I feel Adnan tried to play as an attacking midfielder or striker. Again, he is a great player, but play within a system and not try to be a one-man wrecking crew.
Felipe (4.5): Felipe was alright. He just didn’t do anything special. Originally touted by MDS as a player that fit nicely into his system, Felipe has not really shown himself to be better than average. It is a shame because I am a fan of his and feel he could be good. The problem is, he has done little to prove me correct. I suspect that if the Caps transition to a 3-5-2 when Khmiri is healthy that Felipe is the one to find himself on the bench many games.
Erice (6.5): The captain was solid again. He has really taken on a leadership role and stable presence in the midfield. He has not really done anything going forward but he has locked down the midfield ahead of the central defenders; a MAJOR gap for the Caps last season. He may not terrorize like Laba or make highlight sliding tackles like Ghazal, but he is less prone to the mistakes of Laba and the (very?) poor passing of Ghazal.
Teibert (7): I initially gave him a ‘6’ but bumped it up to a ‘7’. I acknowledge that it might be a hometown bias, but he has shown himself to be a consistent workhorse in that midfield and I see no reason why he does not continue to get starts. Now, if only we could get some consistent offense out of him instead of one match every few years.
Reyna (3.5): Reyna continues to be an enigma. A lot has been made of MDS’ comments that Reyna can be 80 some matches and 30 others, and that he would prefer he be 70 each match. I get the comment although I didn’t feel he yo-yoed so much last season. Maybe that is because everyone was so poor around him that even when he was off he was better than everyone else. After sitting a few matches, he came on as a substitute last game and seemed to have a spark/bite to him that we had not seen yet this season. With the opportunity to start and show that he deserved to be called upon each match he played a dud. Sure, he scored a goal and yes, he showed great poise in putting it in the back of the net – the shot is always harder than it appears –, but other than the opportune goal he was largely invisible.
In-Beom (7): Hwang has been the highlight in the Caps offense this season, being a consistent linchpin in the offense (can we call it an offense?). We knew he was not a goal scorer when he came in, so his counting stats will not show until his teammates can begin putting it into the net. However, when they do, I think a lot of his hard work will be easier to recognize by fans. Until then, all we can do as writers is make sure to note the role he is playing.
Montero (4): You can say that Montero has been starved for service and I wouldn’t necessarily argue with you, however, he has looked very ineffective so far this season. In addition, he has looked frustrated in the past few matches. This is a guy that the Caps were relying on to be their main goal scorer. So far, he has ONE! Shot on goal and that was the penalty kick he converted. In 445 minutes that is not what you want to see from your primary goal scorer.
David Ousted (8): Once again, David Ousted was stellar for the Whitecaps and earned points for the club when they had no business getting any from the match. However, it appears that since he has left the Caps his struggles to hold onto the ball when it is bouncing remains an issue. Nevertheless, great to see the Dane once again as he was always a passionate player and a strong leader.