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Report Card: Caps earned mixed marks after Seattle loss

MLS: Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Seattle Sounders FC Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Caps were perhaps unlucky to lose 4-1 but it would be difficult to argue that they deserved to come away with anything after a comprehensive performance from Seattle on Saturday night. That doesn’t mean there aren’t some positives — and plenty of negatives — to comment on. Read on to see how that implicates our report card.

Thomas Hasal: 4.5

It was a rough one for the youngster, who had perhaps his first performance all season where his relative inexperience showed. Could have done better on a couple of the goals (notably the third, where he was beaten near post, and the fourth, where he got a hand on the show). Also had a couple mistakes that were not punished, with Jungwirth saving his blushes after a rough decision to come out for a corner kick. Poor defending means it is unfair to be too harsh on Hasal and history has proven he has responded well to rusty outings. Hopefully that holds true here.

Jake Nerwinski: 5.5

Was targeted a lot down the left hand side and had some moments of confusion with Dajome on how best to handle the pressure from Seattle. Generally fared OK but was turned by Leo Chu on the Sounders’ fourth goal and it perhaps shows Nerwinski’s limitations as a CB against better teams.

Patrick Metcalfe: 4.5

Was the primary culprit out of position on Shane O’Neill’s set piece goal and again was out to see on the Rowe-Bruin buildup for the third goal, one where he looked particularly lost. I don’t want to kick a guy when he’s down and you could argue that a lot of his inexperience is down to poor management of his career. But I don’t think putting him in the center of a back three was ever the move and Metcalfe just wasn’t able to hang on for dear life.

Florian Jungwirth: 6

Was made to look a fool by some nice individual work from Will Bruin and Nicholas Benezet on the Sounders’ second but more than made up for it a few moments later when he cleared a golden Seattle chance off the line. Was the most composed and active of the backline members but it was far from a perfect outing from the man who was called upon to organize a backline that ... was not organized.

Cristian Dajome: 6.5

Struggled with some of the physicality of the Sounders attack, particularly Kelyn Rowe. But going forward he was much better and his fancy footwork and slick passing was the primary engine behind Brian White’s goal, even though Dajome won’t get any formal credit for it. Was deserving of a goal himself, though he also was wasteful at time but he deserves credit for taking men on and trying to drift forward into a more attacking role.

Leonard Owusu: 6

After a run of matches in which Owusu really got to show his ability to move the ball up the pitch, he was effectively relegated to providing support to the out-of-sorts backline in this one. No accurate long balls, no dribbles and it was a fairly bland match from Owusu. He looked good in the buildup to the goal and looked better when the press was on. Still, one wonders if this was a match that called for Janio Bikel to start, despite Owusu’s good form.

Russell Teibert: 5

After a run of good form, Teibert was made to look like a cone on the training pitch at times. The midfield, including Teibert, were particularly vulnerable to an aggressive Seattle press. I give Rusty some credit for being less conservative in his passing and general outlook than we’ve seen in the past but it was a match in which things just didn’t come off for him.

Bruno Gaspar: 6

This game perhaps showed Gaspar’s limitations as an MLS right back. He isn’t bad at his skillset, namely dropping back and playing a more conservative, defensive role. But he isn’t going to actively help create much of anything, which the Caps needed for basically all of this match. Did have a couple chances to get in behind but wasn’t quite played in and he seemed to be in a much more advanced position later in the half, even though not much came of it.

Ryan Gauld: 7.5

Was again the Caps’ principal creator, with three key passes to his name and he should have had an assist when he played Dajome in 1v1. The lack of finishing across the board did Gauld a disservice, as he was vibrant in the final 20 minutes or so.

Deiber Caicedo: 8

Had some impressive individual efforts and was unlucky not to curl in a goal early on in the first half. Showed plenty when he found himself 1v1 against a less pacey Sounders backline, as he completed all three of his dribbles. Was equally adept when he dropped a bit deeper to help relieve Sounders pressure and move the ball into the attacking third.

Brian White: 7

Smashed and grabbed yet another goal, as a good striker is trained to do, though he perhaps should have had a second after a Dajome cross fell against all odds on his head. But I thought White also looked dangerous when he was engaged with link up play and he continues to offer more dropping deeper than Lucas Cavallini has. Was largely neutralized in the second half but it was another solid performance.

Marcus Godinho: 6

Thought Godinho was actually rather lively going forward and looked to play in some crosses, though the actual end product left something to be desired.

Janio Bikel: 5.5

Had some sloppy passing but made up for it to play in one of the Caps’ many tantalizing counter attacks in the final 15 minutes.

Michael Baldisimo: 6.5

Had a fair number of touches given when he came onto the pitch and was fairly accurate on his long balls to boot. Had some nice positioning to cut out Seattle passes and showed why he should get another look in the starting XI.

Tosaint Ricketts: 6.5

Worked a shot and a key pass, making it a more productive sub appearance than we’ve seen for Tos. Probably should’ve done a bit better on the one chance that fell to him but it was an excellent run to set it up