After a hot start, the Caps fell back to earth somewhat in the second half, drawing 2-2 with LAFC at Banc of California Stadium Saturday. It was still a good result for Vancouver, although one would have loved to see them push on for a third goal sooner. Caps fans will prefer it to past performance against LAFC, especially given the free flowing first half. How does all this filter down to the report card? Read on ...
Thomas Hasal: 7
His rocky first half back to the starting role seems a long distant memory — Hasal looked every bit a starter last night (and in recent matches). His distribution continues to frustrate me a bit at times but that’s a pretty small nit to pick.
Cristian Gutierrez: 8
Was an excellent two-way performance from Guti. Largely pocketed Carlos Vela (goal notwithstanding) and was unfazed when LAFC trotted out their own high press. His inch perfect assist showed that he didn’t sacrifice anything on the attacking end and his team-high touches show that the Caps are not looking back in using him as an attacking fulcrum.
Erik Godoy: 7
Was perhaps Godoy’s best match of the year so far. While he has looked shaky working back from injuries at times, I thought he was up to it last night, limiting the most dangerous team in the league to a lot of low quality chances.
Ranko Veselinovic: 7
Much like the entire backline, was caught napping on the Vela goal but aside from that it was a pretty capable game from Ranko, who appears to have supplanted Andy Rose as the first choice CB partner to Godoy. Six clearances is an excellent night at the office, as Ranko was pretty effective at using his physical advantage against a more slight LAFC attacking band His passing abilities may well limit his ceiling for now, however, particularly if he keeps wandering forward.
Javain Brown: 7
Brought it almost from the first whistle, with a nice dispossess inside the first minute. Supplied some dangerous balls and had some nice link of play with Cristian Dajome. Was equally solid in defense and Diego Rossi was an afterthought for much of the evening.
Janio Bikel: 8
Many have long hoped for Bikel to show progression from defensive midfielder destroyer to more of a number 8 role that saw him return to the level of ball distribution that he showed in Europe. Well, that has slowely happened over the last few games and Bikel really blossomed Saturday, switching roles with Baldi and pinging balls around without missing a beat. Bikel was at 85%ish for his passing accuracy and completed five of his six long balls — excellent numbers and signs of a ruthless performance.
Michael Baldisimo: 7
On first glance, it was a quieter night from Baldi but I thought he was a key part of how good that midfield three looked. He has really seemed to embrace the slightly deeper role Marc dos Santos has asked him to play.
Caio Alexandre: 7
Was good on the press and putting himself and his teammates in good positions. Perhaps wished he did more to convert the good chances that came his way. Still showed the type of vision and fluidity in his passes that the team was hoping for when they signed him. A honorable mention for his pressing abilities.
Deibar Caicedo: 7
On a field of higher priced talent for LAFC, Caicedo seemingly felt he belonged right there with them in terms of quality — his confidence is at an all-tie high and it is showing for the Colombian. Lots of flicks and tricks but he worked hard on the press and was good value for the goal, even though it was a tap-in.
Brian White: 6
Another match, a similar story for Brian White — excellent hold up play and the kind of distribution that instantly put the wingers into dangerous positions. But was largely silent otherwise
Cristian Dajome: 6.5
Was a bit of a sloppy night for Dajome but his passes often showed dangerous intent, such as his through ball that wound up at the feet of Caicedo for the first goal. Was a clinical finish off a wide open look to put the Caps up 2-0 and it continues his trend of set piece quality this season. While he loves to make dangerous runs and he again pressed his rear end off, it is somewhat alarming that he turned in another match with around 50%-ish pass completion.
Russell Teibert: 4
Came on and was thoroughly Rusty in every way (Passing a ball all the way back on a counter attack? Check.). In fairness to Rusty, he was not the type of player to bring on immediately after conceding an equalizing goal.
Tosaint Ricketts: 4
My meh ratings of both these guys is more of a reflection that they were not the subs I would have liked to have seen in the circumstance. Tos didn’t offer much and we’re still waiting on Theo Bair to get some sort of look.