We scored goals? And won? What is this madness?!?
Irregardless, here are our report card grades for the Caps’ surprising 3-2 win over Toronto. A bit all over the place—tell us what you think in the comments.
Thomas Hasal: 7
I’m not sure if its technique, youthful inexperience or the sheer number of shots he’s faced but Hasal has an unfortunate habit of spilling shots in unfortunate areas and that happened a few times tonight. But he had a couple massive stops, toughed out a hard challenge from Nick DeLeon and got the win. Couldn’t ask for anything more from the youngster, who is raising more and more questions about who will be the starting goalkeeper once Max Crepeau returns.
Ali Adnan: 7.5
Inch perfect ball to setup the goal and he seemed up for this one after a couple matches where he really didn’t look engaged. Helped that the Caps had two big targets for him to pick out and also that they looked to get him involved on set pieces, including a nice bit of work picking out Toronto’s high line on the third goal (something he nearly duplicated again to make it 4-2, except Cava skied the shot). 83 percent pass accuracy, 4 chances created—a good evening at the office.
Derek Cornelius: 6
Needed some time to settle into the match but I thought Cornelius turned things around rather nicely. The Caps were surprisingly good at building out of the back tonight and I thought Cornelius was an outlet for that, which bodes well for him in a potential pairing with Ranko. Was good in the air per usual and seemed to tighten things up as the match went on, the opposite of Andy Rose.
Andy Rose: 5
After the first 20-30 minutes I thought Rose was by far the more effective defender but that narrative certainly flipped over the course of the game. Was at fault on the second Toronto goal and seemed to increasingly find himself in the wrong spot positionally. Fair play, however, as he had an excellent assist on Nerwinski’s goal. Just don’t make him part of the first choice CB pairing going forward and things will be OK.
Erik Godoy: 4
Don’t want to pile onto Erik Godoy because he’s had a rough year and was clearly targeted by Toronto. But it was not his best night between totally losing track of Jonathan Osario and the Caps clearly instructing him not to get too far forward (his distribution left something to be desired anyway). Good to have Godoy back regardless and 45 minutes was probably about right given his fitness.
Russell Teibert: 6
Rusty was fine. He had by far the fewest touches of any player who played the full 90 and it showed. Was a lot more efficient passing than I noticed when I watched the match and was defensively capable, though there were still holes for Pozuelo/Piatti to exploit. If you have a baked in opinion on Rusty being a nailed on starter this match probably won’t change it.
Michael Baldisimo: 8.5
The first goal was set up by a couple really nice Baldisimo switches and he seemed to really build on his fine debut tonight. Also had some moments of youthful inexperience but worked hard to win the ball back when he had one of those turnovers. What we’ll all remember is, of course, his pure strike from distance that put the Caps back in front—a really smart goal in terms of his positioning following the free kick and technically perfect. Makes you wonder why the Caps waited so long on playing him...
Leonard Owusu: 6
I feel like the script has been the same for most of Owusu’s matches: quiet but when he does get involved it is generally positive. This was more of the same. For someone who clearly has passing ability, Owusu has not been especially progressive, which could be owing to formation but will need to change. Still, I like the pairing with Baldisimo and think it has a lot of potential in terms of unlocking teams.
David Milinkovic: 5.5
Liked his energy and he had no trouble taking on guys tonight. Given his role, however, felt like he was not quite the creative conduit required at times (65 percent pass accuracy and 0 chances creates isn’t what you want out of your attacking mid). His hold up play was good and he seemed comfortable despite playing out of position so there were some positives here if MDS wants to keep going without Yordy Reyna.
Theo Bair: 6
Was teed up with a perfect matchup against a slower, smaller Laurent Ciman. The Caps were certainly cognizant of this and went after Ciman … a couple of times. Actually liked what Bair brought tonight but for some reason his teammates weren’t especially interested in getting him involved. Tracked back well and did his part defensively. Overall I’d say he earned more of a look in terms of getting into the starting XI.
Lucas Cavallini: 7.5
El Tanque heard y’all talking about him. Yeah, it was a finish that you would expect a striker of his caliber to pull off but it was a needed moment for Cava after a frustrating couple of matches. Really seemed energized afterward and his hold up play was impeccable, winning foul after foul even with little support. Will be disappointed to sky an 86th-minute chance where he had time to do better but was exactly what the doctor ordered for Cava.
Jake Nerwinski: 5
I have literally no idea how to rate Jake’s match. Fell asleep on Toronto’s second goal and, despite giving more license to get forward, largely whiffed on his crosses. But then he had to go and grab the match-winner (off a nice finish to boot). Tough to give him much higher than a 5, though I mean no disrespect to our joint-leading scorer.
Ryan Raposo: 5
Ryan Raposo was, in fact, on the pitch for this match. He did even less than David Milinkovic for me to write about.
Ranko Vaselinovic: N/A
Did his job by seeing out the win.
Cristian Dajome: N/A
Also did his job by seeing out the win.