The Vancouver Whitecaps shook off a first half deficit to triumph over the San Jose Earthquakes and put themselves back in the playoff picture with two matches remaining. Let’s look at how the individual players performed.
Evan Bush: 6.5
Bush faced only two shots on target, one of which went in, but his distribution was once again really good and helped Vancouver not get stuck in their own end. Coming into this game Bush had completed the third most passes above expected per match amongst MLS goalkeepers and his good distribution has been an important part of Vancouver going 3-2 in the five matches he has played.
Jake Nerwinski: 6.5
Nerwinski once again got exploited on a cross to the back post (though at this point you have to wonder how much of that is his fault and how much of it is tactical) but other than that he had a fairly solid game. He lead the team in blocked shots.
Ranko Veselinovic: 7.5
After a bit of a shaky start as a Whitecap Ranko seems to be forming a solid partnership with Erik Godoy. Ranko had a very active game defensively as the map of his defensive actions below shows.
Erik Godoy: 6.5
Godoy had another solid outing, though he was less defensively active than Ranko. He once again showed excellent distribution, leading the team in accurate long balls.
Ali Adnan: 6.0
Adnan was made to look a fool on San Jose’s goal but then spurred the come back with an audacious long range goal. It was a prototypical Adnan game, with all of his best and worst qualities on full display.
Leonard Owusu: 6.5
Owusu put in another hard working shift with eight recoveries and two interceptions. However, if you look at his pass map, you will see a lot of sideways and backwards passes. Part of that was Vancouver using passes back to their open centre backs to try and pull apart San Jose’s man marking system but at the same I would like to see more directness from Owusu, something he did quite well during his time in Ghana and Israel.
Janio Bikel: 6.5
Like Owusu, Bikel played a lot of sideways passes. But Bikel’s role is a defensive one and he covered a lot of ground in the middle of the park, an impressive 10 recoveries headlining his evening.
Cristian Dájome: 7.5
Dájome doesn’t exactly have the most aesthetically pleasing game but it’s hard to deny he’s getting results. Dájome’s shot lead to Vancouver’s second goal and he put in a monstrous defensive shift, leading the team in tackles attempted and adding a pair of interceptions. He’s unlikely to ever make the MLS all star team but Dájome has gone from looking like a replacement level MLS player to an important supporting player with a long term future at the club.
Tosaint Ricketts: 5.5
Ricketts was the hero, scoring the game wining goal. Obviously that’s good but for the vast majority of the match he didn’t really do anything. He touched the ball fewer times than Evan Bush and although he did do some good defensive work he couldn’t hold a candle to Dájome on his opposite wing. I hate to be a buzzkill but other than the goal he was a ghost. Here is every single action he had in his 68 minutes:
Fredy Montero: 5.5
A bit of a quiet night for Montero. He attempted only one shot, was 50% on the dribble, and he didn’t have that much defensive work to speak of.
Lucas Cavallini: 7.0
Though he did not score he did manage to get into some dangerous scoring areas, registering four shots inside the 18 yard box and also adding a key pass which ultimately lead to Vancouver’s second goal.
None of the subs had a particularly large impact. Here is a map of all of their actions combined:
My only comment is that I wish Theo Bair had been introduced a bit sooner. Although he didn’t get much opportunity to impact the game he looked up for it. Perhaps with Montero picking up a knock late in the game he will get another chance on Tuesday.