While the Vancouver Whitecaps have certainly had some tough moments over the years, perhaps no span of matches has been as demoralizing as this recent stretch. Losing 4-0 to the New England Revolution on Wednesday night, the Whitecaps have now conceded 13 unanswered goals in their last three matches and failed to earn a point in their last four MLS matches. To make matters even worse, the Whitecaps have also shown a complete lack of identity during this span, as the stout defending which was Marc Dos Santos’ calling card in the early season has been eviscerated, and the Caps have somehow managed to do less than nothing to solve their scoring issues.
It’s difficult to see a way forward for this Whitecaps side over the rest of the 2019 season, and for those expecting a big splash in the summer transfer window, I wouldn’t hold my breath. To summarize my feelings on the rest of this season, I don’t think it’s going to be fun...for either the Whitecaps or their supporters. But alas, here we are, so let’s have a look at the individual perfomances:
Crepeau - Even though he conceded four goals, Mad Max was undoubtedly the Whitecaps man of the match in this one. He made a very nice double save in the first half (although his rebound control could have been better on the first shot) and also displayed impressive instincts on a free kick save that likely would have struck the bar. To cap things off, Crepeau stood down Cristian Penilla one-on-one in the 76th minute to keep his side in the match. At the end of the day, it would be hard to pin any of the four Revs’ goals on the Canadian International. 7.0
MAXIME CREPEAU IS A USL GOALKEEPER!— Mike Martignago (@MikeMartignago) July 17, 2019
Godoy - The Argentine defender’s commitment slipped late in the match once the result was already decided, but I think it’s clear that Godoy is more a part of the solution in Vancouver than he is the problem. Godoy had four tackles, won four duels and completed 88% of his passes. 4.5
Cornelius - It was obvious that Derek was less confident in a back four than he is a back five, and no moment was more telling than when he was caught flat footed and forced to take a yellow card. Overall, Cornelius has the potential to be a decent MLS centre-back, and if it takes some growing pains this season to get him where he needs to be, I’m alright with that at this point. Notably, Cornelius had 10 clearances on the night. 3.5
Sutter - The Swiss-English fullback did create a good chance in the 58th minute when he drove a low cross into the box, but other than that, this match was a veritable house of horrors for Sutter. He lost possession 13 times and looked to be caught napping on both the Revs’ second and third goals. 2.5
Nerwinski - In a stretch of games which has been largely awful for the Whitecaps, Jake’s play has been surprisingly decent, especially considering his rather rocky start to the season. While Nerwinski wasn’t able to prevent the two assists Cristian Penilla generated from the wing, the goals were largely down to poor marking in the box. Nerwinski completed 80% of his passes and won four of his five duels. 3.5
Good defending from Nerwinksi. Been better the past five or more, after a poor start to the season.— Eighty Six Forever (@86forever) July 18, 2019
Rose - I think that Rose’s performance on Wednesday night made the Whitecaps realize just how reliable Jon Erice has been in the Defensive midfield this season. Rose struggled to move the ball effectively, passing at just 76% and losing possession 11 times. Equally, while Erice hasn’t been perfect defensively, he’s at the very least been active. Against the Revs, Andy Rose was unable to manage a single tackle, which is rather impressive given just how much defending the Whitecaps had to do. 2.0
In-Beom - It looks like the end of the season can’t come soon enough for In Beom. A year's worth of fatigue, travel and international duty has definitely taken its toll and I have no doubt we’ll see more of the Koreans dynamic side (which we saw early in the season) again in the future. Hwang was definitely active in the match - he completed 85% of his passes, but also lost possession 13 times. Ultimately, he’s lacked the game braking ability Whitecaps fans hoped for, especially in the second half of the season, but positive signs are certainly there in the long term. 4.0
Teibert - The reality is Teibert just doesn’t move the needle enough to be a long-term MLS starter. He impressively completed 91% of his passes and had one defensive interception, but this ends up meaning very little at the end of the day when his play does little to create offensive opportunities or push play through the midfield. Below are Teibert’s successful passes against the Revs, make of this what you will...3.0
Lass B (62nd min substitution) - Returning from the African Nations Cup, Lass showed flashes of his early season form with a decent run and shot in the 67th, but other than that chance his performance was relatively uneventful. He had three successful dribbles on four attempts. Incomplete.
Reyna - Yordy continues to be the most active attacking presence for the Whitecaps. Yet with little support up front, he’s often forced to do it all on his own and as a result struggles to be efficient with his possession. The Peruvian had one key pass, but also lost possession 19 (yes, 19!!) times. 4.0
Venuto - Despite a shaky start (where one of his turnovers almost turned into a Revs goal) the Brazilian was responsible for two of the Whitecaps best goal scoring opportunities of the match. Twice Ventuo played key passes into the box, and on the first chance, Theo Bair was only denied by the post. While Venuto is still wildly inconsistent, he certainly has his moments. 5.0
PC (80th min substitution) - Despite being the self proclaimed leader of the PC fan club, even I’ll admit that this wasn’t a ten minute performance to remember. He was dribbled past twice and was undoubtedly responsible for the Revs third goal when he failed to close down Carles Gil at the top of the box. 1.0
Bair - Bair was unlucky not to have his first MLS goal when he struck the post in the 50th minute. While he wasn’t perfect, the past two matches have shown that he’s capable of doing as much (if not more) than the likes of Montero and Ardaiz at the moment - the drop off in play was notable when he was removed for Montero. 5.0
Montero (68th minute substitution) - Montero really should have drawn a red card on Andrew Ferrell in the 77th minute (which may very well have changed the match if called) but other than that, there’s not much to say about Montero’s performance. Still looks like a shadow of his 2017 self. Incomplete.
That’s all for this edition of the report card...While it was certainly a cathartic experience for me to hand out some low grades after such a frustrating match, do you agree with the ratings? And is there any light at the end of the tunnel this season, or will we be forced to wait for next year? Let me know in the comments!