After managing their first home win of the season Wednesday, the thought of the Vancouver Whitecaps building some positive momentum against an Orlando City side that had conceded more goals than any other team in the East prior to kick-off looked like a real possibility.
As he promised, Marc Dos Santos shook up his formation and rotated his starting XI as they went into their third game in just over a week. The Whitecaps went with a 5-3-2 formation for the first time this season, with five changes being made in the shape of Derek Cornelius, Fredy Montero and Felipe Martins being brought into the fold. Scott Sutter got the start against his former team, while Zac MacMath made his first start in goal.
Let’s look at how each player fared through the 90 minutes.
Zac MacMath – 18 – 5.0 – MacMath martialled his area quite well for the 90 minutes, though not a lot was asked of him as the play of Doneil Henry, and the back 5 in front of him was superb. He was called into action on half-a-dozen occasions throughout the match, and overall I thought he did well. MacMath was credited with 3 saves, and 2 clearances which is positive because the ‘Caps will need him when Maxime Crepeau almost certainly goes to the Gold Cup.
I would say that his distribution has to improve though, he was poor with his long balls. He went long 22 times and only completed 10 of those, with several passes going directly out of play from goal kicks. For a team that is trying to build out of the back, he needs to be completing those passes for the ‘Caps to start attacks.
Scott Sutter – 23 – 6.5 – Sutter had a very good game defensively, notably blocking a shot from Nani with his nose and making a goal line clearance. He had the joint most tackles in the match with 2 to go with 4 clearances and a tidy 81% pass completion rate. Sutter did well to provide width in the match and got forward in support on numerous occasions. To me, he also looks like he has a composure that Jake Nerwinski has been lacking at times on the right flank.
Erik Godoy – 22 – 6.0 – Strong and composed through most of the match, Godoy wasn’t seen very much in the match likely because he was suffocating Dom Dwyer for space, forcing Orlando to look elsewhere for options in the final third. Notably, he also had the fewest touches of any player in the match with just 33. That though I don’t see as a reason to dock him as a central defender.
Doneil Henry – 2 – 6.5 – Henry has really come into his own this season, and he was excellent again in the heart of the back 3 on Saturday. He made 5 clearances, and seemed to be winning almost every cross that came in aerially. Another sound display from the Canadian international.
Derek Cornelius – 13 – 5.0 – Cornelius was much better this time out than his previous start in Houston. He made 5 clearances in the match, but there was a moment that he was dribbled past far too easily by Chris Mueller which could have cost the ‘Caps. I also felt like he headed the ball down towards the ‘Caps goal that Scott Sutter had to clear off the line from Nani’s corner in the first half.
Ali Adnan – 53 – 7.0 – I can’t say he looks indifferent, but he does look like a guy that’s only here for another 9 weeks. He’s a work horse at left back, he got up and down the flank all day. He’s a quality outlet, he completed the most dribbles with 3, nearly put Yordy Reyna through with an excellent cross field pass, and later did put Reyna through after some neat combination play in the final third. Had Reyna played it back to him rather than taking a weak shot from the top of the box, I think he could have found the net.
Again, we saw the confidence from free kicks and Adnan forced a quality save out of Brian Rowe from 30 yards. All I would say, is that, he’s not going to be with this team in July, and to an extent, that’s going to hinder the amount of chemistry he’s going to build with this group of players.
In-Beom Hwang – 4 – 7.0 – The guy does everything in the midfield, and he does it so well. He made 2 tackles, he won both his aerial duels, he racked up 6 recoveries to go with 3 interceptions and he even created 2 chances while completing 87% of his passes. He’s integral to this team’s success, but he needs other players to get onto his level.
Russell Teibert – 31 – 6.0 – The energy was there as always, and Teibert had 4 recoveries of his own along with 2 interceptions. The problem is he lacks creativity in his passing and going forward doesn’t offer much for the team. Throughout his 90 minutes on the pitch Rusty only made 21 passes, completing 19 of them. You need his work rate to pressure opposition midfielders, but I feel like the ‘Caps need another number 8 to play with Hwang in the build up.
Felipe Martins – 8 – 5.5 – Plenty of good distribution from Felipe as he played the Erice role at the base of the midfield, he was also given a small colourful accent to his jersey in the Captain’s armband for this one. He completed 90% of his passes, including 5 long balls which were often good switches of play from one side to another.
I’ve docked him though because I felt he was guilty of ball watching and got sucked in by Nani’s presence for the Orlando goal. There were already 3 defenders marking Nani, not including Felipe, so he could have picked his head up to find Sacha Kljestan’s late run.
Yordy Reyna – 29 – 6.0 – Reyna had another good game playing up front, in something of a false 9 role. He was stranded though, and several times was alone trying to hold up play against 4 Orlando defenders. I felt like the shots that he took looked like a tired player trying to just get the ball on target, and would definitely say he should have been substituted earlier in the match.
Fredy Montero – 12 – 5.5 – I thought Montero actually put in a decent shift up front, but there was again no end product. As a guy who’s on the smaller side, he still showed good tenacity in my books during the game, winning 5 of 12 duels. The problem is, he’s not able to hold up the ball the way Reyna does, and whatever ‘service’ it is he apparently needs to score isn’t happening either.
Joaquin Ardaiz – 9 – 5.0 – Ardaiz was an impact sub earlier in the season, but he looked lethargic when he came on. I found myself yelling at him through the TV screen to run when balls were played to him. He’s been criticized for his work ethic in past, and that looked very real to me on Saturday.
Victor ‘PC’ Giro – 94 – N/A – I couldn’t give him a grade, he literally had 1 touch and played 3 minutes.
Lass Bangoura – 19 – N/A – Same thing as PC.
So, there we have it. What were your thoughts on how each player fared through the 90 minutes? Do you agree or disagree with the grades each player’s been given?