A long, bizarre season has come to a close for Vancouver and the team passed its final test of the year with flying colors. This was an easy peasy report card to write given how the Caps blitzed by a checked-out LA Galaxy team and several players seemed to be trying to make a statement ahead of a massive offseason. Read on for the final ratings and let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Evan Bush: 8
If this really was a chance for Bush to put himself in the shop window, this match couldn’t have been a better advertisement for the veteran. Had a couple vital saves, including one on a well struck Chicharito free kick, and made some tricky first half stops look totally straightforward. Bush was a good servant for the Caps and deserved his clean sheet tonight.
Jake Nerwinski: 6.5
The Caps didn’t need Jake to do a ton tonight and he obliged. Had a couple times where he got burnt by Cristian Pavon but had no major errors otherwise. Paled in comparison to Guti, as the Caps preferred to run things through the left hand side of the park, per usual.
Ranko Veselinovic: 7
For once relying on Ranko to play out of the back went really quite well—he looked quite comfortable under pressure and his clever flick was the first domino to fall in the nice team goal. Was imposing in the air and while the Galaxy didn’t test him much, he seemed to be finding his sea legs in terms of positioning. One of all the players on the team, Ranko most needed a confidence-boosting match to end the season and he got one.
Erik Godoy: 6.5
Godoy really fancied a foray up the pitch after the Galaxy went down to 10 men and given how well he’s been playing, can you blame him? Tonight, though, I actually thought Ranko was the steadier of the two, with Godoy not quite as good in the air or passing.
Cristian Gutierrez: 7.5
Got a deserved assist on the Caps’ goal, as he was making some really intelligent, darting runs—so darting he drew a red card on Julian Araujo. I think that his defensive abilities in relation to Ali Adnan make people forget how good Guti can be going forward and the lazy Galaxy defending gave him plenty of chances to do so.
Janio Bikel: 8
Teibert will get the attention as the more offensive conduit of the midfield pairing but Bikel was rock solid. A near perfect pass completion rate, including more progressive passing than usual, nine duels won and some vital, charging tackles all underscore that Bikel is the best defensive mid the team has seen in a long while. A quiet man-of-the-match worthy performance.
Russell Teibert: 7.5
Was really quite useful in progressing the ball, especially to switch play over to the left hand side and release Ali Adnan or Cristian Gutierrez. Moved into space well but never at the expense of tracking back. One wonders if, moved back to his natural position, he wanted to put in a good shift in a more offensive role. To put it bluntly, if Teibert played like this more often this season, the Caps would be in the playoffs.
Cristian Dajome: 6
Did really well to put himself in good positions but couldn’t quite take advantage. The decision making also wasn’t always on point and Dajome still sometimes favors a long distance shot too much for my liking. A perfectly adequate display from Dajome, who grabbed a deserved assist late to set up Montero’s second.
Ali Adnan: 6.5
I think the Montero-Cava-Dajome threesome has gelled when the Caps play with three forwards, which leaves Adnan in a bit of an awkward role when he plays in a more advanced role. Moreover, the space the Galaxy were content to give the Caps (most notably Fredy Montero and Russell Teibert) meant Adnan’s biggest asset (taking men on and beating them) was rendered a bit moot. But he still managed to find himself in some dangerous positions and probably should have won the Caps a penalty.
Fredy Montero: 7.5
In what is perhaps his final match as a Whitecaps player, he showed flashes of what has become his trademark: dropping deep and ushering in balls to the box that granted Cavallini or Dajome a chance on goal. Sprung Ali Adnan to setup a chance which he himself then converted (though I’m not sure how much he knew about it). Strolled by a checked out Galaxy defense to get a second. A lot of sting on the proverbial scorpion’s tail tonight and he made a very strong case for the front office reversing course on his future.
Lucas Cavallini: 7
Was a nice header to secure the goal which sealed his golden boot honors—fitting, given that it was vintage Cava. You got the impression that Cava did his homework on where the Galaxy defense was most vulnerable because he kept making similar runs. When the Caps decided to ratchet down the offensive intensity, Cava became much less involved but before then he could have had a hat trick. A pretty good metaphor for his season: effective but just a little bit less clinical than you might like.
Damiano Pecile: N/R
No rating for these chaps, who came on for a cup of coffee at the end. The only real let down from Marc dos Santos was he didn’t find more play time for the youngsters, though he continued the time honored tradition of granting a youth prospect (Pecile) their MLS debut in the final match of the season. Perhaps fittingly, Pecile was on the pitch for about 15 seconds before the final whistle blew but fair play to the youngster.