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Report Card: Whitecaps vs. Cavalry FC

“How bad could it be?” Narrator: Very bad.

MLS: Canadian Championship-Calvary at Vancouver Whitecaps FC Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

In all honesty, what else can be said about Vancouver’s 2-1 loss last night to Cavalry FC?

It’s really only tradition that’s powering this Report Card, because last night’s match was as listless a performance as I can recall seeing from a club who, at the beginning of the season, claimed that this was the competition that would be treated with the utmost respect. If there were tactics, they were either poorly executed or non-existent. One club had everything to play for, and the other was Vancouver.

I welcome all hyperbole that’s not yet been said, so give’r in the comments.

Keep in mind that a ‘5’ is meant to represent average, individual play. I did include a couple as there were a couple of OK performances that were barely buoyant, but don’t get me wrong: the Whitecaps were basically a deflating balloon last night.

Maxime Crepeau - 5

Two goals he had no chance to stop, generated from defensive lapses, and a sharp reaction to a near-post volley were the three shots on goal Crepeau faced. Not pinning anything on Max because what could he do about everything in front of him?

Ali Adnan - 2.5

His biggest asset on the night was an ability to get up field, but that double-edged sword gave us a blade that’s half dull. Perhaps Adnan wouldn’t have felt so responsible for generating offense if positive play was happening in front of him, but instead it was compounded through poor deadballs, too many touches, and telegraphed passes.

Doneil Henry - 4.5

Was named Man of the Match, but that may have had more to do with his work in the opposing penalty area, getting his head to a few crosses. Was OK defensively, but he shouldn’t require a goal to wake up in a knockout match.

Erik Godoy - 1.5

I generally compliment Godoy’s calmness on the backline, but Wednesday night he was outright oblivious, whiffing on a clearance to prevent a goal and, immediately afterward, launching a shot inside the six over the crossbar. He only looked effective chasing down players already whistled for offsides.

Jake Nerwinski - 3

Looked OK defensively for the most part, getting narrow to assist if an attack came up the opposite side, but held the ball far too long when contemplating a pass, which is as much nobody showing for a pass as it is Nerwinski holding for too long (or not being willing to pass with his left). But he absolutely deserves to be dragged for abandoning Dominick Zator on the headed second goal; Godoy got there late, but Jake didn’t follow his mark.

Nerwinski was subbed for Scott Sutter (Inc.) in the 84th minute. Not the sub I would have made (maybe Derek Cornelius for three in the back & to get Adnan up the pitch?), but he gave us a decent cross and a long throw. If only it was a Nico Pasquotti toss.

Andy Rose - 2

With the cameras focused on the Whitecaps passing the ball around the back, I had no idea Rose was even on the pitch. I didn’t see a single time where he was showing for the ball or moving to space to receive a pass, though there was once where he ran away from a through ball.

Rose made way at the half for Joaquin Ardaiz (5), who was making smart runs and was at least trying to “game” Cavalry a little bit. The Calgary backline looked far too comfortable in both legs, so it was nice to see Ardaiz challenge them (even if the photo for this article looks awkward as eff).

Hwang In-beom - 3

Got the Whitecaps goal, which is nice, even if it took a massive deflection to beat Marco Carducci. And yet, it was nearly another example of Hwang holding the ball for too long/taking one touch too many. So what happens when Hwang doesn’t hold for too long? Seemingly only when he knows there’s a lot of space to put a ball, and when he does it’s usually superb. Picked up his play in the second half when more dynamic runs by others forced him to act quicker. But should he have to rely on the urgency of others?

Felipe - 3

Early on, had Andy Rose-level ghosting on the pitch, though when he did begin showing for passes, Felipe would move to the player rather than to space, with his hands out demanding a pass that wasn’t going to be made. The intent was there, but it was far from dynamic.

Theo Bair - 3.5

Unafraid to go at his mark with the ball, which was crucial in the set up for Hwang’s goal. Nevertheless, he’s got to be far tougher when trying to win it/win it back, and just keeping showing for the ball! It’s excruciating to have to say that over and over with this team...

Otherwise, it felt like he was rather anonymous over long stretches.

Yordy Reyna - 4

I really liked his early intensity, showing for balls and moving for passes. The downside? He kept at it once the dynamics changed following the inclusion of Lucas Venuto and Joaquin Ardaiz. At that point, it was blatant that Reyna was doing too much, holding the ball too long, and was as frustrated as anyone else. That tight angle shot in the 76th minute would have been nice to have, but if he can’t trust his teammates, how is he going to trust his left boot?

Lass Bangoura - Inc.

Can’t really offer a formal rating on Lass, as he was subbed in the 27th minute due to an adductor injury during the inauspicious dropped OneSoccer feed. During his time on the pitch, I thought he was playing way too narrow.

Replacing Bangoura was Lucas Venuto (4.5) who at the very least looked threatening at times, and would actually run at Cavalry with the ball, but towards space and not directly at defenders.