Wednesday night in Ohio, the Vancouver Whitecaps played through adversity and earned themselves a critical road point by securing a 2-2 draw against FC Cincinnati. The match was by no means a perfect showing, but the Whitecaps did just enough with the players they had available to remain competitive and keep themselves within striking distance late into the match where Tosaint Ricketts and Cristain Dajome were able to provide an equalizer.
Ok, time to dive into the player grades.
Cody Cropper - First and foremost, I hope Cropper is doing alright after the scary collision with Javain Brown, that is never something you want to see when a player lands on their neck like that. Equally, I’m not sure how or why Cropper was able to stay in the match until halftime, but I digress.
In terms of the keeping itself, I took some stick for being critical of Cropper last time out but I feel like those sentiments were vindicated by Cropper’s performance in this one. While neither of the goals conceded were errors, strictly speaking, neither were hit with much pace and neither found side netting. Defensively, he was not provided much support, but both of those shots were very save-able, particularly the first one coming from the very edge of the area with no traffic. 4.0
Javain Brown - Similar to Cropper, I hope that Javain is recovering well. For what it’s worth, I thought the Jamaican was very sharp up until the collision, bringing a physical edge against Cincinnati’s dangerous attackers and winning a number of key 1v1’s. 6.0
Erik Godoy - The Argentine had several moments where he looked a bit rusty or unsure of his positioning and he was caught reaching on the first Cinci goal, even though his midfielders did him no favours. He did settle in somewhat, but still not a great showing. 4.5
Tristan Blackmon - I thought the American started off the game with a lot of intent, especially on the ball where he worked well with Dajome. Defensively he was decent but there were a few moments where there was a lot of open grass between himself and Godoy. 6.0
Florian Jungwirth - I think everyone knew when they saw the lineup that this midfield was going to be a challenge. Jungwirth simply doesn't have the motor to keep up in transition defensively and this hurt the Caps on a number of occasions. I do have to give Flo some credit though as he went the full 90 minutes in a match where depth was really thin. 4.0
Russel Teibert - Similar to Flo, Teibert did not have much juice at either end of the pitch and the two centre-mids were probably not helped by being paired with one another. 4.0
Cristain Dajome - I still can’t endorse Dajome at wing back but this was probably the best he’s looked at the position since last season. He didn’t give away much defensively and was crucial to both Vancouver goals. Not much more you can ask for. That being said, what on earth was Cincinnati doing on the second Vancouver goal? There were two players walking back near the edge of the box and neither bothered to track Dajome! 8.0
Ryan Raposo - I’m probably the biggest Raposo homer in this market but I’ll admit I wrote this article and only afterwards did I realize I had left Ryan out. That about sums up the Canadian’s performance in this one, he did the job but wasn’t super notable. If you’re into the counting stats, he did have two key passes, so that’s something. 6.0
Pedro Vite - The lack of service in this match really didn’t help Vite find his mojo, but we also saw some of the bad habits which Vanni Sartini has bemoaned from Vite. Specifically, the youngster switched off after a giveaway in the lead-up to the second FC Cincinnati goal and while the loose pass is something you’re willing to live with, the lack of tracking back is probably not. 5.0
Ryan Gauld - One of the better games I’ve seen from Gauld in a while. He always looked dangerous on the ball in transition and probably could have been more dangerous had he and Cavallini been on the same page more often. A goal always helps boost the confidence as well. 7.0
Lucas Cavallini - This looked a little bit more like the Cava of 2020 and 2021 to me. He was frustrated with the lack of service and I didn’t see the same level of off-ball work we were noting at the start of the year. This is something Sartini noted after Minnesota as well, so it’s worth continuing to watch out for. 5.0
Jake Nerwinski - His stint lacked the same catastrophic outcomes as Minnesota but there were still some heart-in-mouth moments: once where he was dribbled past in the midfield leading to a good Cinci chance, and another where Brenner almost capitalized on a very weak back-pass to Boehmer. 4.0
Isaac Boehmer - A huge credit to the youngster who probably wasn’t anticipating being thrust into action. We saw the shot stopping ability he’s always possessed but also a better command of the area than I was expecting. The aggressive punch early on really stood out to me: it’s moments like that Boehmer has struggled with at the developmental levels. 6.5
Brian White, Tosaint Ricketts, Caio Alexandre, Michael Baldisimo- I’ll group these four together because there wasn’t a ton of action between them and so the ratings are based on a pretty minimal sample size. Brian White saw very little of the ball but he always does a good job leading the team from the front line. Tos, meanwhile, continues to provide extraordinary hustle and goal contributing value for how little he plays. As for Caio, he completed every pass and had 11 touches, so I guess that’s a step in the right direction? I don’t know what to make of him right now. Lastly, it was good to see Baldi back in action and his passing is always sharp but physically it’s still a struggle to win contested balls. 6.0, 7.0, 6.0, 6.0
As always, let me know what you thought of the match and which individual performances stood out to you!