Just when things were at their bleakest, the Vancouver Whitecaps showed signs of life.
While the visitors were unable to secure all three points in a 2-2 draw, taking a single point off the league leading Seattle Sounders is no small feat. It wasn’t a perfect perfomance, but there were some strong showings (and plenty of talking points throughout), so let’s get into it!
Maxime Crepeau (6.5) : Max was rock solid in this one and made some good saves, additionally, there’s very little he could have done about either goal - and this was proven by the post-shot expected goals metrics - which was an even 2.0.
Cristian Gutierrez (7.5) : The Canadian fullback was probably the most engaged player offensively for Vancouver outside of the front three, and it was good to see him get back to his early season ways. He had 2 key passes, 5 blocks, 2 tackles and 3 interceptions.
Andy Rose (6.5) : Not a lot to report here, but a pretty sturdy defensive showing. He recorded 2 interceptions as well as a key pass.
Erik Godoy (7.0) : Similar notes for Godoy here. He won all of his ground duels, passed at a rate of 98% (only one missed pass), and logged 5 clearances. Overall, these guys did a good job at CB, both of Seattle’s goals were moments of pretty high quality.
Janio Bikel (6.5) : The midfielder was solid in his old fullback role but definitely provides more, in my opinion, at the number six position.
Also, credit to Janio Bikel, he puts up a shift wherever he plays. Playing at RB today, he had 3 tackles, 1 interception and 7 clearances— Alexandre Gangué-Ruzic (@AlexGangueRuzic) June 27, 2021
He continues to be such a solid player for #VWFC
Russell Teibert (5.5) : Perhaps the most curious choice amongst the starters, Teibert continues to provide next to nothing in terms of progression. He was only ahead of Lucas Cavallini in progressive passing distance, and lost all four of his ground duels. Crossing from wide positions is all he really provides at this point.
Michael Baldisimo (6.0) : I think that Baldi’s performance shows where Bikel was missed in the midfield. The first Seattle goal was either a foul or a Baldi turnover depending on how you judge it, but overall the youngster struggled a bit defensively, as he was dribbled past three times. One the flip side, he was 9 for 9 on his long passes and continues to provide some really valuable line breaking balls for Vancouver.
Caio Alexandre (7.0) : The Brazilian is gradually finding his role in Vancouver and can progress the ball both at his feet and through the air. His vision in particular has been impressive, as exemplified on Dajome’s goal. Hopefully, the recent acquisition can add some finishing to his locker as well. An opportunity like his free header in the first half could have been the difference.
Take this Caio Alexandre pass and frame me with it in my grave, please and thank you— Alexandre Gangué-Ruzic (@AlexGangueRuzic) June 27, 2021
A great ball from him, and some quick-thinking from Cristian Dajome, and all of a sudden #VWFC are back in this game with Seattlepic.twitter.com/j9XkKXSAhl
Deiber Caicedo (7.0) : Great to see the young Colombian back in the lineup, especially in a front three setup. Much like Alexandre, it would have been nice to see him slot home his scoring chance near the end of the first half, but otherwise it was a really good showing. Deiber had 4 successful dribbles, 2 key passes, 1 shot and 2 interceptions.
Lucas Cavallini (6.5) : The frontman managed to bag a goal, even though it hit pretty much every part of his body in the process. It was good to see him get back to his goal scoring ways, but overall, his all-round game continues to be underwhelming. His defensive effort is admirable, but with another yellow card in this one, he’s just a single caution away from a one match ban.
Cristian Dajome (8.5) : The Colombian has the ability to take over matches at times, and he really broke open this one for Vancouver. As much as the ball from Alexandre was sublime, Dajome still had a lot to do in order to round the keeper, and then he backed it up with a wonderful cross to Cavallini for the go-ahead marker.
Credit to Cristian Dajome, he's quietly been the best #VWFC player this year. With 4 goals and 2 assists, he's now been involved in 60% of the 'Caps goals this year— Alexandre Gangué-Ruzic (@AlexGangueRuzic) June 27, 2021
Continues to be a sneaky good pickup for the 'Caps
Substitutes (6.5) : There wasn’t a lot of involvement from the Whitecaps subs on the ball as they largely bunkered and time-wasted in the final 15 minutes in order to eek out a single point. The being said, I thought that both Veselinovic and Metcalfe distinguished themselves defensively with some crucial interventions. I’d also like to see either Metcalfe or Owusu get the opportunity to start in midfield at some point.
Coaching (7.0) : Credit where credit is due, Marc Dos Santos identified the error in his ways (to some extent), and was bold enough to switch back to a 4-3-3 despite the overwhelming odds against his team. Hopefully, he and his staff can find a way to bottle some of that positive offensive play and carry it into the next weekend. That being said, the way the Whitecaps try to close out matches is troubling, but at least this is something the manager seems to be aware of, and is looking for ways to ameliorate.
That’s it from me, let me know your thoughts in the comments!