On Tuesday night in Seattle, the Vancouver Whitecaps were thoroughly trounced by the Sounders, with the match ending by a final score of 4-0. While I think many among us were hesitant about the Whitecaps’ chances in this match, I don’t think many of you, myself included, were expecting the Whitecaps to come out of the gates as listless and undisciplined as they were. The lack of sharp passing, as well as organization both in and out of possession was evident from the opening moment, and it was clear the Whitecaps never really got off the bus to start this match.
Now, none of this is to say that Vancouver is a terrible team. Overall, they’ve been playing some competitive football over the past month and I don’t think this loss changes that. However, it’s clear that when Vancouver faces quality opposition, especially on the road, the margins are very thin. Ultimately, Vanni Sartini’s game plan in this match appeared to rely on the Whitecaps keeping things close early and seeing if they could unnerve Seattle as the match went on. Unfortunately, when you concede a penalty in the opening five minutes the walls start closing in very quickly, and the Whitecaps were simply never able to settle themselves.
Ok, let’s get on to player rankings, I won’t take too much of your time with this as I am sure this is not a match worth re-living too many times.
Cody Cropper (2.0): This was the USL Vet’s first bad match in a Whitecaps shirt. Obviously the fourth goal was a tough look, but he also looked less assertive in the box overall, one of the things I’d liked most about Cropper so far. Who should keep the net when Hasal is fit? Let me know!
Jake Nerwinski (2.0): Overall I thought the left hand side of the pitch was a weak point for Vancouver. Jake didn’t make any big errors, but it’s clear this back three, as currently assembled, struggles against more dangerous teams.
Ranko Veselinovic(2.0): Hey, Ranko has been great for the most part but this was a bad match for him. Overall he was just way too passive which showed itself on many of Seattle’s big chances and goals. His goal-line clearance saves him from being the lowest rated defender.
Erik Godoy (2.5): Godoy was ok, although I would still accuse him of being overly passive, especially in and around his own box. It’s never a good night when you ship four goals.
Marcus Godinho (5.0): The Canadian was one of the few Whitecaps who brought danger to the attack, with two key passes. Godinho lacks polish at times but at least the intent is there. He obviously fits Vanni’s system, although obviously there’s a bigger question of if they should keep playing this system.
Florian Jungwirth (1.0): Flo’s drop-off this season has been pretty shocking. It was crazy to see the difference in the German’s effectiveness against passive teams like RSL and SKC versus Seattle, who really put Flo under pressure. It did not go well.
Luis Martins (3.0): If I could sum up what I’ve seen from Martins so far in a Whitecaps shirt it would be “meh”. While Gutierrez, Brown, Raposo and Dajome all have their flaws at wing-back, at least they bring a unique skill set to the table. I haven’t seen that from Martins yet.
Ryan Gauld (2.0): It was a step backwards for Gauld who continues to struggle to stay in form. His midfield cast didn’t help but his passing and movement didn’t really help either. He also lost a lot of 50/50’s in the midfield.
Leonard Owusu (1.5): Another halftime sub for Leo. I’d really like to see him have some success, but if he couldn't get something going at home against lesser teams, it was always going to be a tall task in Seattle. His involvement in the game, or more appropriately lack thereof, was notable.
Deiber Caicedo (5.0) : The diminutive Colombian is trying to do the right things and often this leads to good chances. Unfortunately, the Whitecaps didn’t get the ball to him in the right pockets in this match, and overall, Vanni has struggled to create a role that gets the most out of him, despite the fact that he seems to be one of Vanni’s favourite players.
Brian White (3.5): 19 touches is not a lot to write about. White had to drop so deep at times that he never really got into the game. The early deficit also didn’t help bring out the best in him. Not much more to say really.
Substitutes: I don’t have a ton to offer on the substitutes as I’m not going to put too much stock in a match that was already over. That being said, I’d like to see Alexandre, Cubas and Dajome all start on Saturday in Dallas, even if some of them can only go 65 minutes. Time to start playing players at their natural positions.
Alright, that’s all from me. What did you think?