The Vancouver Whitecaps were able to pull out an undeserving draw against the better Columbus Crew on Saturday evening, thanks to a clutch moment from Fredy Montero in, literally, the last seconds. While the draw may leave a more pleasant taste in our mouths, it is important to remember that it was a very poor outing from the Caps.
FT: Caps close the curtains on the Crew's playoff hopes with a Fredy Montero late equalizer— Eighty Six Forever (@86forever) September 21, 2019
DESPITE THAT I still think we all will be happier when this season is over
Let’s have a look at the individual grades. For this exercise a 5.0 to 6.0 is considered ‘average’.
Zac MacMath (5.5): This was his best match, but it is still not good enough. I saw MacMatch as the starter heading into this season, but I am glad that it has been Crepeau. I had a different view of Zac than I guess he is. One thing that struck me in this match was just how many rebounds he gives up. Maybe it was just in this match, as I don’t recall it previously, but it really stood out to me. It is also how Houston scored their goal last match. He either needs to hold on to the ball (preferred) or get it way away from his net. However, he seems to kick them out into dangerous areas. I don’t blame him too much for the penalty kick and he was close on the Zardes goal. That is all I ask for on a penalty kick really.
Scott Sutter (5.5): I can’t believe I am saying this, but I am ready to move on from Nerwinski. In every match this season that Sutter has been in, I feel he has outperformed Nerwinski. Franklin wasn’t great last season but he seemed only marginally poorer than Nerwinski. I have been a supporter of his and believed he could be effective, but is seems like Jake has hit a wall and cannot improve. I am happy he scored his first goal in San Jose, but he just hasn’t been dynamic enough for me. I could make the argument that the offensive focus on Adnan means that Nerwinski has to be more conservative, but that same argument holds true for Sutter, yet he looks more dangerous and appears to make better runs and passes. What is your take on the Nerwinski vs Sutter argument?
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Doneil Henry (5.5): The center back pair of Henry and Cornelius did their job in this match. They had some challenging playmakers to fight against and I believe they held up well. I don’t feel that they can be faulted too much, if at all, on the penalty kick call. They were chasing back and managed to do okay. Outside of that, the Crew didn’t really have a lot of opportunities. Well, they didn’t have many opportunities that were either a) caused by Henry or b) not handled effectively by Henry.
Derek Cornelius (6.5): I have been a fan of Erik Godoy. I think that he and Henry are the better pair. With Khmiri I saw Cornelius as simply a depth guy that might get a start or two in the Canadian Championship or when injuries required it (knowing he would be away for international duty). Today, I am not sure what to think. I see the value of Godoy, but depending on the transfer fee I am not sure he is necessary. If Marc Dos Santos is going to be playing a traditional four-man back line, then Henry, Cornelius, Khmiri, and a veteran seem like enough. Maybe not with international callups, but… In the end, I think you can never have enough good center backs, especially when three will routinely be called away for international duty, one is (apparently) coming back from a major knee injury, and Henry does stupid things routinely, like punch walls. But I no longer think it is a lock that Cornelius is fourth on the depth chart. He has certainly changed my opinion over the last few months.
Ali Adnan (5.0): He gets a ‘5.0’ simply because he delivered a great ball into Montero for the game-tying goal. Otherwise, he did not look the best. He showed flashes late in the match of what we expect from him, but early in the match he was a defensive liability, arguing with teammates, and getting involved in stuff he didn’t need to be. He picked up a yellow card, which means he will miss the LA Galaxy match next week. I am hoping that his injury is the problem right now, along with frustration of not winning, because the Whitecaps need Adnan to be one of their best players for the ENTIRE match, not just moments.
Hwang In-Beom (5.0): The birthday boy gave up the ball that lead to the Columbus transition that lead to the penalty kick, but I cannot wait for when he is able to get some rest. I think that he is going to be a superb player next season and I look forward to what he can bring. Right now, it is just about determining how best to utilize him. The halftime piece on him was great and it shows that he seems to have settled into the club. His English is coming along and he has become a beacon for the South Korean community in Vancouver. There were only a few hundred fans in attendance (at least it felt that way) and one hundred of them were his invited guests. It was discovered that he preferred to head to Germany to ply his trade but I believe he is happy here; not just accepting or content.
Andy Rose (5.0): He was given Man of the Match and while he looked better than previous matches, I feel like he was given the award because no one else stood out. While he has been a bit of a Swiss army knife for Marc Dos Santos this season, I can’t help but feel that a large chunk of his 1,679 minutes played could have been better served with one of the youngsters available.
Russell Teibert (5.5): The elder statesman gets a lot of grief from fans, but that is largely because he is not flashy. Teibert once again did a good job running for kilometers and even chipped in on some offensive chances. He only has eight shots this season and two(!) came in this match.
Yordy Reyna (4.5): He looked more involved this match than the last but still was not effective. Maybe it was that he was playing out wide instead of centrally. Maybe it was the lack of support around him. Maybe he was just having an off match. Reyna is certainly in the conversation for their best player this season, but against Columbus he was largely ineffective. After the match, Marc Dos Santos believed it wasn’t because he was being played wide, but I don’t know. The stats show that he is MUCH more involved and dangerous when he is playing central than out wide. Your thoughts?
Tosaint Ricketts (3.0): For large stretches of time I forgot that he was even on the field. Marc Dos Santos can continue to preach that Ricketts wears out the defense so that Montero can score those late goals, but in this match I did not see that.
Theo Bair (5.0): He looked better than Ricketts. He also had a couple of good moments. He is still young though and inexperienced and it shows through at times. Also, I am curious whether his teammates truly trust him as I feel there were a few moments early in the match where he had good runs and called for the ball and was waived off; namely by Reyna is seemed.
Fredy Montero: He has looked good coming off the bench the last few matches. There is no doubt that he is clutch when given an opportunity inside the six-yard-box. He is a poacher and seems to find himself in the right place. The problem is, he hasn’t had that many opportunities this season and has looked a bit disconnected from his teammates. I would be fine with Montero as the veteran off the bench that you can count on to chip in sometimes. The problem is, his salary makes that not possible.
Michaell Chirinos: The Honduran has looked great in his short time with the Whitecaps. However, not in this match. It was easily his poorest performance. Nevertheless, he is definitely a ‘buy’ for me at the end of this season. He has looked dynamic and seems to fit in nicely with the club. He is quick but doesn’t rely on his speed. I think his tendency to cut-in also works well for the overlapping Adnan. That left side of Adnan and Chirinos could be great next season. Quick thought crossed my mind. Imagine what Davies and Adnan would have been like this season. Sigh…
Jake Nerwinski: I was a bit confused by the decision to bring in Nerwinski for Sutter. It seemed that it was to allow the Caps to go with three at the back and have more offensive flair with Jake. However, as I noted above, I don’t feel Nerwinski has really done anything to suggest he provides more going forward than Sutter. In fact, I believe Sutter has looked far more dangerous offensively throughout the season than Nerwinski. In the end though, Marc Dos Santos really only had Lass or Nerwinski as substitute options, and he wasn’t going to take out Reyna to insert Lass.
Those are our takes on the individual performances from Saturday evening. What did you think though? Marc Dos Santos appeared to see the match a little differently than we did. Do you agree with him or more with our take?
Pretty surprising comments from MDS post match - said that the Caps deserved “at least a point” was he watching the same match as us? #VWFC— Eighty Six Forever (@86forever) September 21, 2019