Thursday, May 12, 2011

Report Card: Whitecaps FC Versus San Jose Earthquakes

Many people in Vancouver, including myself, thought this match was a very good opportunity for the Whitecaps to pick their second win of the season.  The Earthquakes came into this game struggling to score goals and with the improved defensive game the Caps had played in previous games most thought it was a done deal.  The Whitecaps now have one win and one loss to go with four draws at Empire Field which they will return to next Wednesday for their first leg with Toronto FC


Camilo- While the Brazilian striker seemed non-existent in the first half as he was unable to create chances for himself or the team.  The second half was different as Camilo started making his runs at defenders including one that led to a free kick near the end of the game which eventually led to the tying goal.  GRADE:  B-

Eric Hassli- There is no doubting the skill of Hassli but he seems to lack that last touch inside or near the box.  He’s struggling with the lack of quality services from the midfielders and shows very little chemistry with Camilo.  He left the match because of an injury and it is not known whether the injury affected his play.  GRADE:  C+

Omar Salgado- Coming off the bench as a substitute, Salgado attempted to go for glory right away as he unleashed his left foot on the net early on.  Beacause of his lack of experience, he still makes mistakes when finding space in the box when on the attack.  GRADE:  C+


Davide Chiumiento- In the first few games there were questions about Chiumiento’s lack of fitness.  In the last three matches Chiumiento has proven his endurance level as he lasted every minute.  He was one of the most dangerous Caps on the pitch.   GRADE:  B+

Shea Salinas- While Salinas was not as effective starting as he was coming off the bench, there is no doubt that the speedster is great at breaking down fullbacks while on a run.  He delivered some solid crosses as well as bringing the ball into the box on his own.  GRADE:  B-

Russell Teibert- The young Canadian came on and switched sides with Chiumiento as Teibert took up the left midfield spot.  Teibert showed his pace down the left wing and made some solid crosses into the box.  He will see his minutes manged by the Caps as the club doesn’t want to over work the young Canadian. GRADE:  C+

Terry Dunfield- The tough schedule seems to be affecting Dunfield mentally rather than physically as the midfielder made several mistakes.  His worst series of touches came late in the first half when Dunfield made the wrong decision three straight times giving the ball away including the third one that led to only goal for the visitors.  GRADE:  C

Jeb Brovsky- There is definite hustle in Brovsky’s play as he gives full effort when playing in the central midfield.  His overall play may have suffered from Dunfield’s poor match as well as a lack of chemistry between the two central midfielders.   GRADE:  C


Alain Rochat- The only Cap that has been on the pitch for every minute this season, Rochat makes it look very easy from the left back position.  After DeMerit was brought in the Caps had a three man backline which allowed Rochat to move up in the attack even more creating more pressure on the San Jose defense.  GRADE:  B+

Greg Janicki- Voted the Man of the Match, Janicki played another solid game covering for his fellow defenders in the air and on the ground.  His run into the box in injury time, on the only Vancouver goal, fooled San Jose goalkeeper Jon Busch in thinking that there would be a deflection on goal which allowed the ball to make it to the back of the net.  GRADE:  B

Mouloud Akloul- The French defender is becoming more of factor every week as his timely tackles have helped clear danger for the Whitecaps.  There may be a time when Akloul overextends and misses a key tackle but his fellow defenders will be there to bail him out.  GRADE:  B

Jay DeMerit- The Captain made his return with about fifteen minutes to go and made an instant impact as he got into the game with his typical sliding tackle.  DeMerit was very vocal organizing the backline and his insertion allowed others to join the attack.  The only question remains is if DeMerit will be ready to start on the weekend or for next week against TFC.   GRADE:  B-

Wes Knight- After making seven appearances at the right midfield position Knight was moved to the back line giving Jonathan Leathers a day off.  He looked more comfortable making some early runs overlapping Salinas and sending in some crosses.  Knight did an admirable job defensively on the very dangerous midfielder Ryan Johnson.  GRADE:  C+


Jay Nolly- Another strong performance for last year’s Division 2 Goalkeeper of the Year who seems to get more and more comfortable each week.  The score that was given up was because of a broken play that Nolly had very little chance on.  Nolly made a great save off of a Wondolowski free kick, was strong in his angles and came off his line to snatch the ball regularly.   GRADE:  B+


There was one definite spot on the pitch that let the entire team down when it comes to the draw with the Earthquakes.  The central midfield, consisting of Dunfield and Brovsky, struggled to get on the same page as they were unable to find the attacking players going forward with their passes.  The lone goal by San Jose was scored after Dunfield, who normally is very reliable, gave up the ball three straight times to the opposition which on the third time was passed right to Cronin.  The American midfielder fired the ball on net but was deflected by Nolly right to Johnson who fed the ball back into the box where it was guided in by Wondolowski.

The other part of the team that continues to struggle is the starting duo up front as both Camilo and Hassli have gone more than a month without scoring a goal.  On the other hand the backline with Nolly are on the same page and have become more organized and tighter in their play.  Strong play also continues from both wing positions with Chiumiento, Salinas and Teibert offering solid contributions in this match.  The Whitecaps now travel east to face for the second time this season, the New England Revolution, who drew the Caps 1-1 with the tying score coming late in injury time for the Revs.  GRADE:  C+

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