Sunday, April 24, 2011

Report Card: Whitecaps FC Versus FC Dallas

The unbeaten streak at Empire Field for the Whitecaps lasted for four games as FC Dallas defeated the MLS rookies 2-1 on Saturday.  Individual defensive breakdowns and finishing chances were the culprits for Whitecaps in their loss.  The Whitecaps will now face the hardest part of the schedule for the next three weeks when it comes to travel and fixture congestion.  The three weeks could extend to 43 days if the Caps are able to get past the Montreal Impact and advance to the Nutrilite Championship.


Camilo- He doesn’t shy away from the physical play but it does seem to be wearing Camilo down as the Brazilian is not showing the full 90 minute effort.  While he does have moments of brilliance during the game, including a shot that just missed the net, the Caps need more of a consistent game even if he still one of the better players on the pitch.  GRADE:  B-

Eric Hassli- The big French striker was his normal handful for the FC Dallas defenders and showed great first touch while displaying skill on the pitch.  Unfortunately for Hassli and the Whitecaps, the target man is being targeted by MLS referees and that could be a major problem going forward.  GRADE:  B-

Omar Salgado- Coming on as a sub in the final ten minutes, Salgado did not enough time to create any significant chances and was not dangerous enough in the box on corner kicks.  With Hassli gacing suspension he may see his first start against Columbus if Atiba Harris is unable to play.  GRADE:  C


Davide Chiumiento- The league leader in assists picked up another one on a pin point cross to set up Rochat’s goal in the first half.  In addition to the assist Chiumiento regularly displayed his wizardry on the pitch but was unable to handle the FC Dallas attack from their right side.  GRADE:  B

Terry Dunfield- Returning from a groin injury, Dunfield’s poise and passing made was huge for the Whitecaps in generating chances.  Dunfield marked Ferreira well and did not allow him to be a factor during the run of play.   His broken nose seemed to take something out of him in the second half. GRADE:  B

Wes Knight- After his best performance offensively a week ago, Knight did not register in the final third against FC Dallas.  He played well defensively slowing down the attacks of Shea and Benetiz down the left wing.  He may see a start at RB against Montreal to give Leathers a break.  GRADE:  C

Jeb Brovsky- The rookie making his third straight start played a consistent game which was helped by playing next to Terry Dunfield.  In the first half Brovsky picked up his first assist of his MLS career on the goal by Rochat.  GRADE:  C

Nizar Khalfan- Coming on as a sub in the 61st minute Khalfan’s announcement seemed to energize the crowd and from previous home performances who could blame them.  In this match Khalfan was unable to make a difference as he was unable to let loose on the left side with one of his typical runs.  GRADE:  C

Kevin Harmse- After Brovsky suffered his ankle injury Harmse came on in the 77th minute to play in the central midfield.  Harmse was unable to provide the spark a sub needs to and was generally invisible on the field.  GRADE:  C-


Alain Rochat- Despite being on the losing squad, Rochat was easily the best and most consistent player on the pitch.  In addition to his usual effective tackling, he made an important block early in the game, split two defenders to almost set up Camilo in the box and of course scored on a perfectly placed header.  He is single handily keeping the back four together.  GRADE:  A-

Michael Boxall- The rookie is becoming the biggest steal in the draft process, being drafted in the Supplemental draft.  It seems like he is learning a little from Rochat as there were a couple of occasion where he got passed opponents using his feet.  GRADE:  B-

Jonathan Leathers- Leathers had a solid game in the back four as he was able to handle Shea’s runs down the wing.  He did not seem to have as much luck on his runs up the right side which may be caused by being worn down from playing every minute this year.  GRADE:  C+

Blake Wagner- The Caps are asking Wagner to do more than he can do playing left back in the MLS.  His good plays are very few and Wagner looks uncomfortable in the position as he is more a natural midfielder.  He was unable to close on Avila which led to the winning goal.  GRADE:  C-


Jay Nolly- Starting in his sixth game of the year, Nolly had a solid game and made a couple starts.  He could have done better with the header off of John and wasn’t to find the ball on the winning goal.  Nolly may start to split his starts with Cannon as the schedule will see more games.  GRADE:  C+


Dunfield and Leathers
The Whitecaps were able to handle early pressure by FC Dallas to gain the early lead in the first half off a great header by Rochat.  The Whitecaps controlled the ball during the majority 1st half but there seemed to be no purpose to their possession.  Poor defending on an early corner in the second half led to the score being equalized as a FC Dallas player was able flick the ball to John for the score.  Terry Dunfield said after the game that the players were not on the same page as some were pushing for a second and some were hanging back.  There was little support for players like Hassli in the final third until the Caps fell behind in the last ten minutes.  GRADE:  C

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