The Vancouver Whitecaps defeated the Seattle Sounders for the first time in half a decade with a fairly convincing 2-1 home win. Let’s look at how the individual players performed.
Thomas Hasal: 7.0
The Whitecaps did a lot of nervy defending in the second half and, though Hasal did not have a lot of direct saves to make, he controlled his penalty area very well. There’s a perception out there that Cropper is the goalkeeper that’s better at controlling the area but I don’t think that’s the case. Hasal has been pretty solid at dealing with crosses all year, it’s just the shot-stopping that has been an issue. But you could not fault him for the goal he conceded today.
Jake Nerwinski: 7.0
Nerwinski was very solid in a role that was somewhere between a right-back and a centre-back. He had a lot to deal with but he dealt with it all very well.
Ranko Veslinovic: 8.0
Veselinovic turned in another rock-solid performance capped with a very important goal-line clearance.
Triston Blackmon: 7.0
Lost out on the aerial duel that resulted in the Seattle goal but looked good driving the ball out of the back and made a few positive defensive plays as well.
Luis Martins: 7.0
They were raving about him on the broadcast and I thought they were maybe laying it on a bit thick but there is no denying he played his role effectively. Two key passes and a shot from the left-back (totally not a wing-back *wink wink) position is always a good thing.
Julian Gressel: 7.5
Gressel looked extremely effective in his totally not a wing-back (*wink wink) role. He had a fabulous goal, of course, but he looked threatening throughout.
Leonard Owusu: 6.5
Owusu still looked like a deer in headlights when dealing with dribblers and there were a couple of passes that made me wince. But he did some good recovering and was solid enough at progressing the ball to get the team by. He also almost scored a wonder goal so there were some positives for sure.
Russell Teibert: 6.0
He was fine but probably the least involved of any of the Whitecaps midfielders. There was lots of good hustling but a bit limited beyond that.
Ryan Gauld: 9.5
Just outstanding from Gauld. two shots and three key passes including an assist. He looked unstoppable in every transition moment, which really is Ryan Gauld at his best.
Pedro Vite: 7.5
Vite was more of a facilitator of quick moves than he was a direct shot creator but he looked pretty darn good at that role. He, of course, did manage to score a goal as well which is always nice. The biggest positive change brought about by the new shape, in my opinion, is that it allows the Whitecaps to get more runners in the box. Vite has been a big beneficiary of that, having scored two goals in a row making a run just behind Brian White’s.
Brian White: 8.0
White did a lot of thankless work in this game. He maybe should have had a goal but I could not say that the ball crossed the line with certainty based on the angles shown on the broadcast. He won five aerials and did a lot of running. A very good performance overall.
Subs and Others:
Vanni Sartini was pretty slow to go to his bench so not many of the subs had a chance to make a strong impression. Andres Cubas started off very strongly before being subbed with an injury. Hopefully, the two weeks between games allow him to recover in time. I thought Marcos Godinho was once again quite good coming off the bench as he continues to prove my doubts in him to be wrong.