It was a smash-and-grab three points for the Caps over CF Montreal (don’t write “Impact,” don’t write “Impact” ...) Saturday in Sandy, Utah. The match had it all: the good (Cristian Dajome), the bad (no goals from open play ... again) and the ugly (Jake Nerwinski turnovers in the defensive third). We run down how the lads fared below in the report card. Disagree? Have hot takes? Chime in below in the comments.
Maxime Crepeau: 7.5
Crepeau has picked up from where he left off pre-injury and that continued Saturday, when he was called upon frequently to preserve the clean sheet. Four saves understates the effect he had on the match when the defense wasn’t quite firing on all cylinders. Earned his clean sheet today.
Jake Nerwinski: 4
Was a really shaky match for Jake, who caved under Montreal pressure a few times, including one which produced a golden chance for the opposition. Was out of position at times and was altogether just too narrow, giving lots of time and space for Mustapha Kizza. One to forget for Jake and you have to wonder when Bruno Gaspar will begin encroaching on his spot.
Ranko Veselinovic: 4.5
Was out of position and too keen to cede opposing attackers ample room to operate. Was able to suck up some dangerous crosses and dispatch them but was all too fortunate that the Montreal attacking band had an off day.
Andy Rose: 5
Was typically strong in the passing department but looked shakier in terms of positioning and had to try and make up for Ranko’s shortcomings. It wasn’t a performance that will fill Caps fans with confidence in either center back (as evidenced by the comedy of errors that was the ruled out goal).
Cristian Gutierrez: 5.5
Was a pretty quiet day for Guti and being paired with a fairly ineffective Teibert didn’t do him any favors in flexing the offensive muscles that he’s done so well to use this season.
Deibar Caicedo: 6.5
Had some nice moments to use his vision and create space for himself to move the ball up the pitch. Also some mystifying moments and times when he seemed to be overthinking things, such as when Dajome sprang him in on goal. But there is no denying that when the Caps had shots in this match, about 40% of the time they were coming after build up from the right side of the pitch — Caicedo’s side. That isn’t an accident and he deserved an assist for his troubles.
Janio Bikel: 5.5
Was not quite as buttoned up as usual, although he did a good job of countering the Djordje Mihajlovic threat, with the 22-year-old absent after being Montreal’s best player this season. His passing put the Caps in a spot of bother at times.
Caio Alexandre: 6.5
Another promising performance from the Brazilian, although he is still quite clearly not fully settled. Liked what he offered on the press and he is not shy about tracking back, which will endear him to the manager. Sprayed the ball around but didn’t really put it in any dangerous positions (no key passes), although this may have been a function of his deeper lying role.
Russell Teibert: 5.5
Not on the same page as Cristian Gutierrez and is just too conservative a player to be starting on the left flank. Was decent enough at moving the ball around but these were not searching, progressive passes and his lack of pace is an unfortunate contrast to Deibar Caicedo on the other side of the pitch.
Cristian Dajome: 8
A real nuisance for Montreal, even before the goal, as he forced Montreal to foul him three times in the first half, even before the second half penalty. Was cool as you like from the spot and had a clinical header for his second after a match against Colorado where he had some point blank chances saved.
Lucas Cavallini: 7
Still spending too much time dropping deep and not enough time camped out in the six yard box, with the team generally unable to get the ball that far. Had some nice ideas and picked out space in between the Montreal lines well (his run created the Dajome penalty) and his passing was improved today. After a year in which Cava threw his body around a bit too much, I liked how he used his physicality.
Ryan Raposo: 5
Had one really nice chance blocked by Rudy Camacho. Otherwise was a fairly meh substitute performance from Raposo, who still just doesn’t look comfortable out there.
Leonard Owusu: 6
Came on, picked up a yellow and more or less did the job of steadying the ship in the center of the park.
Derek Cornelius: N/A
Cornelius was the human victory cigar in this one, coming on after Marc Dos Santos was spooked by a Montreal goal getting ruled out for handball.