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Report Card: Whitecaps vs. LA Galaxy

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MLS: Vancouver Whitecaps FC at LA Galaxy Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

A 1-1 draw on a hot southern California evening belies what was all crammed into this match. Ranko Veselinovic’s first MLS goal? Check. Russell Teibert coming on and it ... kind of working out? Surprisingly, yes. A debut for Ryan Gauld? Oh yeah. What does this mean for player ratings? Well, read on and find out.

Maxime Crepeau: 6.5

Was caught awkwardly on the goal but wasn’t the biggest offender in letting Cabral get so wide open. Big save to deny Grandsir after a botched corner, despite heavy traffic in front of him. Made a horrendous decision shortly thereafter to come out on another set piece but recovered well for a double save. Gave everyone a heart attack late by nearly giving away a penalty. Overall an inconsistent return from international duty.

Jake Nerwinski: 6.5

Had some serious problems coping with the pace of the Galaxy early on the left hand side of the pitch. Had some good moments of recovery, however. Ironically looked much more engaged when Teibert came on. Nerwinski gets some leniency for playing out of position and generally acquitting himself well, especially in the second half

Erik Godoy: 6.5

Thought he read the game well early and his defensive IQ was a lot better today than it has been in recent matches. Had a couple big moments late and generally handled a pacey, tricky attacking band from the Galaxy well.

Ranko Veselinovic: 7.5

Was majorly out of position on the opening goal but generally looked in control at the back. Used his height well to poke a nice header home to equalize and atone for any sins at the back. Was one of his better matches in a Caps jersey even beyond the goal; aside from a couple brain farts, he looks much more self assured in the back with five clearances.

Javain Brown: 7.5

The Galaxy spent a LOT of time on Brown’s side of the pitch early and he seemed up to the task of cancelling them out, not a small thing given how lively Samuel Grandsir looked. Had most of the Caps’ dangerous crosses in (not off set pieces) to boot. He plays with the confidence and smarts of a player with much more MLS experience and he was up there with Bikel in the man of the match discussion.

Patrick Metcalfe: 6

While it was a bit of a surprise to see him starting, I thought he did OK in what often amounted to a libero role that allowed Bikel to push forward as the match went on. Earned another look, although it is hard to see his minutes growing given the glut of midfielders the team has at the moment. Would like to see him become more physical and aggressive — perhaps a loan move would be good to help him find his feet a bit.

Janio Bikel: 8

Pretty effective at sliding from attacking to defensive duties and back again. Was willing to make some daring runs that even the attacking band players were unwilling to make. His passing was pinpoint again and he ate up a lot of second balls to fuel counter attacks. Was the engine for this team and really was the reason the Caps looked better in the second half, as he was given more license to roam. Love him still managing to get stuck in, despite playing further forward. Becoming borderline undroppable.

Caio Alexandre: 5.5

The fact that the Galaxy dominated possession really cut down on his most effective attributes and this wasn’t one where Alexandre looked particularly assured in tracking back. The halftime sub was perhaps a bit harsh, as he hit on 50% of his long through balls when given the opportunity but this was a match which conspired against the Brazilian in many ways.

Deibar Caicedo: 6.5

Looked dangerous at times but the lack of his Colombian counterpart on the opposite side really telegraphed that the Caps were going to try and play through Caicedo and the Galaxy were able to adjust. Exceptional service to find Ranko on the Caps’ goal. Not his most complete match but still helped cause a lot of pressure for the Galaxy backline in the early second half.

Lucas Cavallini: 5

Spent a lot of the match dropping deep (again) and that tactical decision really boxed in Cava’s utility (again), with one particular turnover coming to mind in particular. The apparent no-contact injury at the end of the first half will be what really concerns Caps fans, however (although his attempted bicycle kick shortly thereafter underscores that it might not be as serious as previously feared). Hopefully the striker’s insistence for a quick sub is more precaution than anything else but it wasn’t the return to the lineup the Caps wanted.

Brian White: 6

The main involvement for White in the first half was a half chance where Javain Brown tried to play White in, with the forward appearing to beat Jorge Villafana. But his relative lack of pace let the fullback get a recovery challenge in and push the chance away. It isn’t really White’s fault but this chance (and his performance) underscored what Caps fans already knew: this team needs Cristian Dajome in this role to truly fire on all cylinders offensively. Looked a lot more engaged after Cava came off and he moved into the lone striker role.

Ryan Raposo: 6.5

Liked the adjustment where Marc dos Santos had Raposo play further forward than White was, making things almost like a 4-4-2 at times and helping Raposo bring the same kind of energy that Dajome often does to the match. Seemed a kindred spirit for Gauld at times and got a good lick in on Bond at one point. A nice sub appearance overall.

Russell Teibert: 6

One on hand, Teibert’s energy and ball winning abilities helped open up a lot of chances in the second half. On the other hand, I almost smashed my laptop on a couple occasions based off of Rusty’s decision making.

Ryan Gauld: 7

Nice to see an under-the-radar signing get his debut, eh? In seriousness, there were moments where Gauld showed the type of vision, attacking verve and passing instincts that the team so desperately needs. Clearly still working his way into things, as he couldn’t quite latch onto a Brown cross. Love the cheek to try and chip Jonathan Bond (and almost pull it off). The tantalizing taste of what Gauld has to offer makes his full debut all that much more eagerly anticipated.

Leonard Owusu: 6.5

Was nice to see Leo after a couple matches where he probably should have been given a look. Really helped to progress the ball and move it from side to side. Seemed to have good intuition, despite being out of the lineup for awhile. Hopefully this is enough to help work his way back into MDS’ good graces.

Bruno Gaspar: N/A

Has to be weird for Bruno to spell Javain Brown for a cup of coffee at the end of a match when everyone had to have figured the roles would be reversed based on the preseason depth chart. In any event, not much to see here.