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Report Card: LAFC vs. Vancouver Whitecaps

Big. Oof.

MLS: Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Los Angeles FC Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

I weirdly wind up getting report card duties for the times when the Caps get absolutely spanked (see also when Vancouver get leveled in Chicago a couple years back). On some level, handing out grades for a performance like the 6-1 drubbing we saw on Sunday is a bit silly. But I’m here to give the people what they want so, without further ado, here are the marks from last night’s calamity.

Maxime Crepeau: 6

Hard to blame Crepeau for the veritable firing squad he was up against. Remember, it was largely thanks to Crepeau that the match was even remotely close at halftime. Was kind of lost at sea when Adama Diomande put LAFC ahead 2-1 but I don’t legitimately believe there is a keeper in the league stopping Mark Anthony-Kaye’s tally. You have to feel for Crepeau after this one.

Brett Levis: 3

I have sympathy for Levis here--the awkward nature of Ali Adnan’s contract situation not only meant the Caps were without their best player but also thrust Levis into a sink-or-swim situation against LAFC. Tried to mimic Adnan’s trademark playing out of the back but he just doesn’t have the skillset to pull it off. Is this really his fault? I suppose not, but Levis made no real attempt to change his play style and was so timid at closing down defensively.

Andy Rose: 3

In Rose’s defense, I thought he’s looked serviceable at center back while filling in for Derek Cornelius in the past handful of matches. But Saturday really seemed to expose Rose’s limitations, both as a CB and a player. He didn’t know much about the own goal, but the way he was so thoroughly beaten by Diomande (twice) shows how he doesn’t really have the physical frame to consistently stack up as a defender.

Donneil Henry: 4

Was unusually outmatched physically against the LAFC attack here. I don’t fault him for trying to deflect Vela’s first goal but he could’ve done more to shut off some of the home side’s chances, including their final goal.

Erik Godoy: 4.5

Midway through the match I thought Godoy actually was making a good account of himself all things considered. But seemed to check out as the second half went on (in fairness, he was not alone in this respect) and was punished for it.

Jake Nerwinski: 4.5

Nerwinski had a couple nice defensive moments but looked overmatched against Carlos Vela and Diego Rossi over the course of 90 minutes. It is worth noting, however, that the most dangerous LAFC chances seemed to come from Levis’ side or from the middle of the park--Nerwinski was comparatively better at parrying the waves of attack that came from his side.

Russell Teibert: 4

If you’re going to drop back and play Robbo-ball, you need a well organized midfield, otherwise the match evolves into a training session. That was obviously lacking on Saturday and both Teibert and Erice were really culpable. I appreciate that Rusty showed some fire and effort but it wasn’t enough to negate deficiencies elsewhere.

Jon Erice: 4

Was a rather uncharacteristic let off from Erice, who was simply unable to organize the midfield in any effective way. Was sluggish defensively, even when the Caps briefly tried to reverse course and press. His yawning pace on Mark Anthony Kaye’s unmolested run into the box for the third goal tells it all, really. Erice has generally been good this season but this match really underscored my belief that the Caps need to find someone younger who can do what the Spaniard does--only better.

Hwang In-Beom: 5.5

Initially, Hwang was thriving in the “lets randomly hit long balls up towards Reyna and Venuto and pray something happens” strategy. His passing was crisp and he had success finding Reyna (what the Peruvian was able to do with it was another question, however). Gradually grew more and more invisible, both offensively and defensively, as the match went on, however. Was replaced by Theo Bair in the 66th minute.

Yordy Reyna: 6

Was a bit fortunate on the goal but still had a nice touch and finish in what quickly became the high water mark for the Caps in this match. I think Reyna, unlike Venuto, was interested in engaging with the match but had to sometimes drop so far back into his own half as to negate any potential attacking threat he could offer. Was clearly Vancouver’s best player, however.

Lucas Venuto: 2

Just didn’t really seem interested in imposing himself on the game, like Reyna did. When you’re not creating anything offensively, you need a player who says “I want to step up and make my mark.” Venuto has never shown himself to be that sort of player and it was especially glaring on Saturday, when his pace could have added some bite to Caps counters. Was replaced by Fredy Montero in the 57th minute.

Fredy Montero: 0

It was hard to find any value in Montero’s contribution Saturday, which was capped with a boneheaded red card in the waning moments of the match. Looked even more lost offensively than Venuto did, which is saying something.

Theo Bair: 5

Didn’t really have a ton to do but thought he came on and added some energy and effort at a time when both were starting to lag. Deserves a more extended look, to be sure.

PC Giro: N/A

Probably should have started over Levis but didn’t really do enough as a substitute to get a rating.