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Report Card: Vancouver vs. Philadelphia Union

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Building up out of the back ain’t all its cracked up to be

MLS: Philadelphia Union at Vancouver Whitecaps FC Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Two points lost on Saturday, with the Caps drawing with the Philadelphia Union 1-1 at BC Place. Read on the hear how the squad fared on our weekly report card:

Maxime Crepeau: 7

Distribution continues to frustrate but MDS seems to like him taking short goal kicks now, which has helped somewhat. Didn’t have a ton to do but took charge when he was called upon to deny Przybylko in the 75th minute and really seemed to settle into the match after being rested last weekend in Orlando.

Ali Adnan: 6

Love him but sometimes gets too cute building up out of the back. He’s very confident in his passing abilities and it seems this has rubbed off on his linemates--and I don’t mean that in a good way. Too many turnovers or attacking thrusts extended because guys were going for the killer ball and that came back to bite them on the Union’s goal, which came off a misguided Adnan backpass. Did have an excellent ball on the corner kick goal. Very few MLS teams want their fullback taking corners but Vancouver certainly does. Tried to make up for his mistake on the attacking end and but for better finishing, he would have.

Erik Godoy: 7

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Henry is tough to review because he’s so quiet--and that’s what makes him a quality center back. Did have one bad giveaway which the Union fluffed but all-in-all this was another capable performance from Godoy.

Doneil Henry: 7.5

Ah yes, the offensive engine the Caps were missing is [checks notes] ... Doneil Henry? Jokes aside, Henry made the most of an exceptional ball from Ali Adnan and some poor marking from the Union to tally his second of the year. Another stout performance on the defensive end, as well and he made several Kendall Waston-like forays forward in the final moments of the match. The chemistry with Godoy is now palpable.

Jake Nerwinski: 5.5

Looked almost hesitant at times to get engaged offensively but when he was, looked bright. Defensively is just still too inconsistent; David Accam burned him on a couple occasions and he still gives me way too many heart-in-throat moments per match. In his defense, he seemed to settle in as the match went on.

Jon Erice: 7

A couple nice long balls and it seems the decision making in the passing department has gotten a lot better from the Spaniard. While I wouldn’t deign to say this was an elite offensive performance from him, I think this was as good a performance as you could ask for from Erice. He seems to be adjusting to the level of play MLS demands.

Russell Teibert: 6.5

Like a fine wine, I thought Rusty got better as the match went on. Especially in the waning minutes of the match, it was energy that created multiple chances. Through sheer force of will, seemingly, Teibert has made himself a fixture in MDS’ lineups and today’s performance showed why, as he offers exactly what the manager is looking for. His technical ability, however, will never match that effort and was likely why the Caps were unable to finish the chances he created.

Hwang In-Beom: 6

Didn’t make as much of an impression on the match as he has in the past, although I appreciated his defensive contributions. He seemed to look tired, perhaps adjusting to the unique travel which MLS demands

PC Giro: 6

Massive goal line clearance in the 9th minute underscores why MDS keeps giving him starts: his defensive work rate is pretty darn good. Thought he did decently well going forward offensively as well today but just doesn’t possess the same threat as a more traditional winger. Was an almost Felipe-like nuisance and indeed earned a (dubious, in my book) yellow for persistent infringement.

Lucas Venuto: 6.5

TSN broadcasters put it well: Venuto clearly has the technical ability to be a decent MLS player but the final product just hasn’t been there. To be fair, did have a nice through ball to spring Reyna for the Caps’ best chance of the first half but looks sluggish whenever he latches onto a break of his own. Not sure if he’s struggling to adjust to the style of play in MLS but he did flash his technical abilities and was at least a thorn in the Union’s side. Also did improve markedly after Ardaiz came on, in fairness.

Yordy Reyna: 7

Great energy, Reyna just doesn’t quit going forward and it really makes up for the fact that he is undersized versus a more traditional striker. He has the ability to facilitate counters in a way that the Caps’ other forwards cannot. Only problem is the wing play wasn’t quite at the level needed to support him.

Unfortunately, the Peruvian’s day ended early after a spill in the 65th minute, replaced by Joaquin Ardaiz.

Joaquin Ardaiz: 6.5

Would’ve been higher but for flubbing an Ali Adnan cross that was teed up perfectly to help the Caps regain the lead. After questions over his work ethic, however, I thought Ardaiz showed good energy and really meshed well with the wingers, a la Reyna. At the end of the day, however, you have to finish the chances that come your way as a striker.

Lass Bagoura: 6

Made more than one Union defender look silly but didn’t do enough to create much off of those neat flicks and tricks. I still like his speed and agility and believe he’s the only guy with the possible exception of Yordy Reyna who can in fact blow by defenders.