The Whitecaps played Sporting Kansas City for the first time since their playoff defeat last season. After the less than stellar run of form from the Whitecaps, many people’s hopes may have been tempered as to avoid any potential heartbreak. The lineup chosen by Sartini also raised a number of questions, but how did the players really do?
Thomas Hasal: 7.0
A clean sheet at home is not a bad thing to have, and the defense was certainly on top today, with attention drawn to Thomas Hasal and his saves. There wasn’t anything crazy asked of him tonight, but Hasal kept his cool and showed up when he needed to. With every game Hasal finds greater footing and this game is a testament to that.
Jake Nerwinski: 6.0
Nerwinski again proves why he is an effective centreback by supporting the other two defenders with a strong performance himself. Keeping Nerwinski restricted to a smaller area of the field allows him to be in control of where he places himself or how he approaches tackles. Nothing special to note, but a solid performance nonetheless.
Ranko Veselinovic: 7.0
Ranko was one of the highlights of the team today that cemented a clean sheet for the boys in White. Doing everything perfectly and more, Veselinovic won many duels and prevented SKC’s usually deadly front line from getting anything started. On top of this, near the end of the game where the tempo picked up, he tried out some advanced positioning and passing while also covering his defensive duties. Overall, the best defender on the pitch.
Tristan Blackmon: 6.5
Blackmon left it all on the field, both mentally and physically. He has established himself as one of the most consistent parts of this Whitecaps team with his awareness in his defensive positioning and being stuck on the ball. He absorbed attacks and made sure to put his body on the line for any ball that may was coming his way, as seen by the hit he took in the dying minutes of the game that forced a switch from the ‘Caps.
Ryan Raposo: 6.5
Scoring his first Whitecaps goal on his first start, Ryan Raposo showed what type of game he would bring to the table with more time given to him. He played the standard Raposo fair but the start allowed him to have synergy and keep tempo with the rest of the team. This in turn allowed him to raise his levels when the subs came in and mixed up the attack. As such, the linkup play between him, Cavallini and Baldisimo allowed him to finally add to his goal tally.
Sebastian Berhalter: 6.0
Sebastian Berhalter had a positive game for the minutes he was on the field for. Not fancied to be a regular starter when he was signed, the rotational lineup allowed for the American to be able to show his prowess in a situation where his position wouldn’t be the only one under scrutiny. The performance today should be able to show that he is a player to count on for the future.
Russel Teibert: 5.5
Within the midfield, Teibert did a decent job at making sure the Whitecaps were able to move the ball up and down the field, but as is often the case, his game was influenced too much by the players around him and he found his attacking edge when Baldisimo and Vite hopped on the field. This is fine, but on a personal level, he should have done more to make sure that the first half wasn’t so uneventful and taken more risks on the field.
Javain Brown: 6.5
Brown’s key feature this game was his long passing. It looked like he has grown in confidence with this aspect of his game and thus became an extra attacking threat. He took some of what would have been Gauld’s duties and allowed the Scotsman to join the attack himself. Let’s hope we see more of this version of Brown going forward.
Ryan Gauld: 6.0
Ryan Gauld did what Ryan Gauld does best, that being making great passes and building the Whitecaps’ attacking threats. Unfortunately, it didn’t amount to much and he was replaced by Vite leaving the Whitecaps fans with a lot of what if’s.
Deiber Caicedo: 5.5
In what seemed to be a theme for the team overall today was, Deiber’s best moments came near the end of his shift. The subs inspired the players to make better plays and Caicedo was no exception. He had a good game, just didn’t really do anything specifically great to leave an impression within the game. If he was able to have the energy of the end of his time on field for the entire game it could have been a different story.
Brian White: 5.5
Brian White played 57 minutes on the day. Nothing much to detract from his performance, his runs and position were good but he wasn’t able to make a difference on the scoresheet. It’s certainly a little disheartening to see that White was missing the spark that made him such a valuable piece of the team on his first start this season.
Lucas Cavallini: 6.0
A yellow card two minutes into coming onto the field seems like a bad omen, yet at this point it wouldn’t be a standard Cavallini performance without one. He had his chances but wasn’t able to put any into the net. Luckily, other the aspects of his game helped his teammates perform better and his passing and foul-drawing gave the Whitecaps many chances to attack. He wasn’t spectacular, but he didn’t really need to be, as someone else would end up making the difference today.
Michael Baldisimo: 6.5
The subs changed the story for the Whitecaps today. There was new life breathed into the team and many players looked to be hitting their best form once some fresh legs were introduced. Were it to be new ideas or just fitness, these changes worked in the Whitecap’s favour in a major way. Baldisimo was a major part of this, putting in key passes and showing up at multiple crucial places on the field when he was needed. It definitely looked like a throwback to what his form during the MLS is Back tournament, which hopefully is a permanent change going forwards.
Pedro Vite: 6.5
Vite, believe it or not, had that spark that Gauld was missing for most of the game and immediately made an impact with his dynamism and link up play with the players on the field. As mentioned before, he was able to improve the performances of multiple players such as Teibert, Caicedo, and the goalscorer Raposo. Vite is demonstrating why he may be too good to be a sub and instead get free reign to build up attacks himself.
Marcus Godinho: 5.5
The next two subs didn’t have quite that same impact, but it was more so for the interest of fresh legs and riding the wave of the goal. Unfortunately this meant that Godinho had to fill the shoes of Raposo, even if it wasn’t a like for like change. He did a fine job, but fifteen minutes isn’t enough to make a lasting impact.
Tossaint Ricketts: 5.5
The same story goes for Ricketts. Didn’t really offer much outside of a feel good substitution and some decent runs towards the end of the game.
Florian Jungwirth: N/A
Played for less than a minute after coming in as an emergency concussion protocol sub.
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