Welp. The Caps played around for 89 minutes, aiming for a 0-0 draw and got burned, perhaps predictably. It was a pretty bland match otherwise but there was still enough there to grade out the team’s performance—read on to see who got passing marks.
Evan Bush: 7.5
Was, simply put, massive early on. Quick to come off his line at opportune times and was a steady hand at claiming some of the questionable headers nodded back to him from Adnan and Nerwinski. Overall Bush looked quite sharp and seems to have really regained match fitness. Keeping his salary on the books next season might be a move the Caps ultimately regret but I have to say I was happy he was in net over Bryan Meredith tonight.
Ali Adnan: 6.5
Was a little more restrained in his attacking forays than usual and seemed to be cognizant that the LA defense was zeroing in on him building him the left hand side, switching it over to the right side with aplomb on numerous occasions. Showed more energy than usual defensively which is perhaps why he looked knackered and gradually became less effective in the second half before being subbed off in the 80th minute
Ranko Veselinovic: 6
A bit sloppy at times and has a bad habit of getting caught flat footed in the first half but settled into the match and came up with a couple of big interventions as the match wore on. A match that was passable but didn’t inspire a ton of confidence on the day the Caps exercised his option to buy.
Erik Godoy: 6.5
Was disappointing to see how poorly Godoy handled the Galaxy press early on but at some point he settled in and even was enlisted to wander further up the pitch, often to good effect.
Jake Nerwinski: 6.5
Had an absolutely inexplicable decision to try and head the ball back towards goal to gift Cristian Pavon a 1v1 but seemed to recover pretty nicely and was decently engaged going forward offensively, better than normal in that sense. After really settling into things he went and got torched late on the Galaxy winner. All-in-all a pretty effective metaphor for Nerwinski’s season: generally pretty solid but with some WTF liberally sprinkled in.
Russell Teibert: 5.5
Probably should have gotten subbed off at some point in favor of a more attacking option, although Rusty did a job on the left hand side. Successfully completed a lot of passes, although none of them really seemed to lead to much—perhaps the ultimate issue with burning Teibert out wide. Needed more bite to his game tonight.
Leonard Owusu: 6
In a tough place because he was unable to roam as much as he was against LAFC and his performance suffered because of it. Still was able to string some quality passes together and seemed to be improved in midfield. A three-man midfield might unlock some of Owusu’s better tendencies and it will be interesting to see if MDS gives that a try in one of the remaining matches
Michael Baldisimo: 6
Was often the only midfielder interested in trying to progressive the ball but was also not as successful at doing so as he usually is. His youthful energy in winning the ball back, something he usually is quite eager to do, was tempered tonight, making me wonder if fitness is a bit of an issue for the youngster at the moment.
Cristian Dajome: 5
Had a habit of getting too far forward, almost playing as a striker when Montero would drop back into midfield and this created problems in working any sort of build up on the right hand side. For a player whose entire role is basically dedicated to adding bursts of energy, that was largely absent tonight for Dajome. Maybe was a match where MDS should have rested him in favor of Milinkovic.
Lucas Cavallini: 5.5
Was just so anonymous—this was not a setup where Cava is liable to do well but he still was pretty strong in the air, just didn’t get the kind of service he needed to do more.
Fredy Montero: 6
Fredy was the Caps player most interested in being creative, the problem is his skillset does not really lend itself well to breaking down a pretty well drilled LA Galaxy defense. Montero would often slow things down on Caps counter attacks, only to see them fizzle out. Ultimately things were just too static for Montero to have as much of an impact as he has been having on the Caps’ attack.
Ryan Raposo: 6
Credit to Raposo for trying to get forward but he had a tendency to try and take players on and, no offense to Ryan, but this was not a situation where taking on three Galaxy defenders at once was going to lead to success. Still am waiting and hoping for a more extended look at what Raposo had to offer.
Cristian Gutierrez: 5.5
Came on and looked lively offensively, putting in a nice cross that should have successfully found a Caps player in the box but which all three attacking players rather strangely cleared away from. Ultimately his grade was docked by his struggles coping with Cristian Pavon, something other players were not immune to.
Theo Bair: N/A
Apparently he came on at some point, though you could be forgiven for missing it in the aftermath of the Galaxy goal.