It wasn’t a trophy-lifting display from the Caps Saturday night in Tennessee but it was a credible enough performance, as Vancouver shared the spoils 1-1 with Nashville SC. After winning the cup in the midweek, this one was ripe for a let off but the Caps did well to earn a road draw.
Which players continued their good form from Tuesday? Who left something to be desired? Keep on reading to find out.
Cody Cropper: 7
Had a nice save to deny Teal Bunbury, moments before the striker got the better of him but it was a defensive failure to clear their lines than anything that would fall at the feet of Cropper. Came up huge again in the dying moments of the match to deny Luke Haakenson a sure winner.
Tristan Blackmon: 6.5
Was a calmer performance from Blackmon and had some real license to push forward from Vanni Sartini. Was the most effective in distribution of all three centerbacks as well.
Ranko Veselinovic: 6
Fell asleep to allow Bunbury his goal — not challenging on a header like that is a problem when you’re as tall as Ranko — but had a generally inoffensive performance the rest of the way.
Javain Brown: 7.5
Not a perfect performance from Brown to be sure but he remains the Caps centerback I am the most comfortable with. Even when he gets out of position, he can recover well, such as a great last ditch challenge on a frustrated Randall Leal in the first half. His equalizer, while not the most artful, was clever all the same — though he may need to work on his celebration.
Ryan Raposo: 7
I was impressed with Raposo again, as he really seems to be settling into the wingback role by building a nice chemistry with his midfield and attacking band comrades (a lovely one-two with Andres Cubas comes to mind as an example). Had some useful possession recoveries and was strong on the press at the end of the first half.
Michael Baldisimo: 4.5
Got shredded by Hany Mukhtar on several occasions and generally looked a bit out of his depth defensively. Conceding four fouls, several of which were because Mukhtar got him out of position, is an example of this and he was ultimately subbed off after picking up a yellow so he would not suffer further discipline. Was hoping he would carry through from a decent sub performance on Tuesday but it wasn’t meant to be.
Andres Cubas: 7
Had some really nice ball movement, putting the switch on a couple of times and actually was tied for the highest number of passes of any Vancouver player. Remains dominant in the midfield and helped the Caps buckle down in the cagey first 20 minutes or so before they came into the match.
Julian Gressel: 6.5
Defensively, it was the best of Gressel, it was the worst of Gressel. Got beat by Mukhtar as well but also had a couple of nice duel wins 1v1. But you don’t sign Gressel for his defense, you sign him for his crossing and he brought that in spades with three key passes, the most this side of Ryan Gauld, He wasn’t overwhelming but he continues to show glimpses of how he can help bolster the attack.
Ryan Gauld: 8
A confident Ryan Gauld was a thing to behold and he is firing on all cylinders at the moment, continuing his fine form from the last several matches to not only notch the match winning assist but be the man of the match.
Pedro Vite: 5.5
Not quite dangerous enough from a chance creation standpoint and even though he showed some good ball movement there were a few too many errant passes. He was seemingly sacrificed for Dajome for tactical reasons as well, with Dajo playing further up off Brian White’s back shoulder.
Brian White: 6
Had a poor giveaway that led to the Teal Bunbury goal but got his licks in offensively, though mainly with shots from distance. As has happened so often this season, however, he would up on a bit of an island and the Caps couldn’t get him the ball as much as he would like.
Cristian Dajome: 6
Showed a bit more verve than Vite from the start but wasn’t really any better at integrating himself into the play (he actually got fewer touches than Vite did). Had a nice long range shot that tested Joe Willis, his most substantive contribution.
Leonard Owusu: 6
Seemed to get more license than Baldisimo to push up the pitch but didn’t have a super influential impact on the proceedings. Was a more buttoned up performance than what he has offered recently, however, with no major defensive errors.
Tosaint Ricketts: 5
Put himself in useful positions and then couldn’t quite take advantage of them — his fluffed cross on the stroke of stoppage time was an example.
Caio Alexandre: N/A
Didn’t touch the ball and didn’t do much but it was noteworthy he was brought on, as he increasingly seems as though he is not in Vanni Sartini’s plans.