The Vancouver Whitecaps dropped their third straight match yesterday, losing 2-1 to the Houston Dynamo. It felt like the ‘Caps karma was catching up with them after a bit of good luck early in the season. Let’s look at how each individual player did.
Maxime Crepeau: 4.0
Crepeau has been one of the best keepers in MLS in terms of shots saved above expected this season. He has masked defensive deficiencies in a number of games with timely saves. So perhaps it was the universe evening things up when he palmed a fairly straightforward cross straight into the path of Memo Rodriguez. Either way, it was costly for Vancouver on the night.
Javain Brown: 8.0
I think Brown has looked just fantastic in his first two appearances for the Whitecaps. Other teams have currently tried to target him but he has been up to the challenge, averaging 3 tackles per 90 minutes at about an 80% success rate (that’s quite good for a fullback, historically speaking). He’s also looking awfully dangerous on set pieces, having already gotten off three shots in his limited minutes.
Andy Rose: 5.0
Rose didn’t do a whole lot positive and he may or may not have been supposed to be marking Urruti who scored Houston’s second goal. I’m hesitant to place blame squarely on him because it’s not really clear who was supposed to be marking him. Usually when you see a defensive error you can say to yourself “oh, I see what they meant to do and where it went wrong” but i’m totally at a loss for what was supposed to happen on that play.
Erik Godoy: 5.0
It’s very good news that he is back but in this particular game he did not really distinguish himself.
Bruno Gaspar: 4.5
There were a remarkable number of 0s on Gaspar’s stat line. He wasn’t necessarily bad but he also didn’t do a lot positive.
Cristian Dájome: 5.0
Dájome looked a bit off the pace on the night. Especially compared to Ryan Raposo who looked much more lively.
Janio Bikel: 4.0
I’m not ringing alarm bells just yet but Bikel has been a lot less dominant defensively than he was last season. He’s getting dribbled past a lot more and his defensive actions in general are down. It was much the same in this game where he had no successful tackles and only the one interception. Bikel isn’t a major offensive contributor so if he’s not commanding in defence then there isn’t much point in him.
Caio Alexandre: 6.5
Alexandre lead the team in shot attempts. His passing was also pretty decent with a 90.5% completion rate, and with those passes generally being forwards. He was moved into a more attacking role when Michael Baldisimo entered the match and almost slipped Deiber Caicedo in a couple of times before coming off with a knock. I would interested to see that set up from the start in the future.
Russel Teibert: 4.0
Teibert had one key pass but other than that his stat line was almost entirely 0s. He was also suspect on Houston’s second goal though, again, it’s hard to tell exactly who to blame because everybody was so far away from Urruti.
Deiber Caicedo: 7.0
The Colombian opened his MLS account and was one of the few players who looked up for a game from the kick off. He had the most shot contributions of any Whitecap (1 shot+3 key passes) and pulled off two successful dribbles. Caicedo is still finding his feet in MLS but I can see him turning into an extremely dangerous player over the course of the season.
Lucas Cavallini: 7.0
This was probably Cavallini’s best performance so far, though it was not rewarded with a goal. He had three shots, all in prime Lucas Cavallini territory and assisted Caicedo’s goal.
I will, however, have an aneurysm if he keeps dropping deep to make plays like he’s Harry Kane or someone. I don’t know if that’s something he’s being told to do or if he just kind of ends up doing it because he doesn’t get the ball up front but I desperately want it to stop.
Michael Baldisimo: 7.0
Baldisimo came on as a half time sub and the team performed a lot better. In the first half, without Baldisimo, the xG was 0.8-0.4 for Houston. In the second half, with Baldisimo, it was 0.8-0.6 for Vancouver. True, Houston sitting on the lead played a factor in that but so did Baldismo’s ability to play consistent progressive passes.
Ryan Raposo: 7.0
Last week I tweeted this:
People got super high on him after his good debut but his stats last year were really bad. I thought maybe he'd turned a corner after some good sub appearances but I'm just not convinced he's ready for MLS.— Caleb Wilkins (@wilkins_caleb24) May 16, 2021
Raposo apparently took that personally (I hope not, I hope he doesn’t read my terrible tweets). Vancouver’s goal would not have happened without his pressing and he generally looked like a man on a mission after being subbed on. Raposo currently leads the Whitecaps in xG per 96 minutes according to American Soccer Analysis.
Tosaint Ricketts: 4.0
Ricketts made his return after a long injury layoff and...uhhh...(checks notes)...he had one cross attempt. Is that anything?
Theo Bair: N/A
Bair came on late in the match and did not have much of a chance to effect things. Whoscored.com credits him with a key pass but ASA apparently disagrees. I recall one of those touches being a pretty atrocious mis-control. I don’t know man, might be time for a loan.