Thursday, May 19, 2011

Report Card: Whitecaps FC Versus TFC 1ST Leg

The Whitecaps had hoped to make things easy for themselves going into their first leg of the Nutrilite Canadian Championships against TFC.  They even gave their two best strikers, best central midfielder, best playmaker and best defender the day off last weekend against the Revolution.  Despite the domination of the match by the Whitecaps they could only muster a single goal in the second which was equalized ten minutes later by the visitors.


Eric Hassli- Vancouver’s designated player looked like the player from early in the season before the suspensions started affecting his game.  Hassli is finding the balance between playing a physical and avoiding fouls and cards.  His goal was a perfect strike and displayed why the Whitecaps chose him as their first DP.  GRADE:  B+

Camilo- After getting the weekend off the Brazilian striker was also back to playing his attacking game as he came close several times to getting a goal.  Camilo hit the woodwork twice on shots from inside the box, missed a header from less than a yard out, and should have earned the team a penalty if not for an obvious missed call by the referee.  GRADE:  B

Omar Salgado- The rookie looked dangerous when he came on for Hassli as a second half substitute as he had a couple of chances in the air in addition to a one on one with Frei minutes after coming on.  There was a mistake made by Salgado on the one on one as he had two teammates to the right open in the box and a simple square ball to them would have netted the Caps a second.  GRADE:  B

Nizar Khlafan- Coming on for Camilo late in the half, Khalfan saw another game at the forward position playing alongside of Salgado.  He played more of a playmaking role and wasn’t able to muster any scoring chances for himself.  GRADE:  C+


Gershon Koffie- This match may have been the teenager’s best of the season so far as Koffie looked strong in the midfield and took the ball from the TFC midfielder with ease.  The Ghanaian also started pushing forward as he connected well with forwards as well as making a couple of his own attempts on goal.  GRADE:  B+

Davide Chiumiento- It was another game in which the Swiss midfielder was consistently dangerous in creating scoring chances for the Whitecaps. TFC defenders were unable to handle Chiumiento as he drew many fouls and when he did find space he was able to bring the ball and setup Hassli for first goal.  There was a miss chance in the box when Chiumiento fired a sitter high over the crossbar.    GRADE:  B+

Shea Salinas- One of the three starters who was in the eleven versus the Revolution was a threat again on the right wing.  Salinas gave Dan Gargan fits as he was a constant threat in the first half for the Whitecaps.  He still is not at full strength as it was obvious he was tiring in the second before taken off late in the half.  GRADE:  B

Russell Teibert- The Canadian teen came on as a sub for Salinas and pressed the defenders from the left side.  While he did not make a major impact in his limited minutes, Teibert made some good runs which forced a couple of corners.  GRADE:  B-

Terry Dunfield- The Canadian international midfielder played better than a week earlier against San Jose but it would have been impossible to play worse.  While he did not play last week, Dunfield did make the trip to the east with the teams so he did get a full rest.  There were no major mistakes made this time but he still had difficult time on the pitch and it showed with the frustration he displayed towards the referee and teammates. GRADE: B-


Jay DeMerit- As he played for a full 90 minutes since the opener DeMerit was a physical presence as well the leader on the pitch that the first unit missed the majority of the season.  He came close a couple of times on set pieces as one header was cleared off the line and in the second he headed the ball across the net.  GRADE:  B

Alain Rochat- While it wasn’t his best game as a Whitecap, Rochat played a solid game defensively as he was able to shut down Soolsma for most of the game.  He did produce much going forward until late in the match when his header in injury time just missed and went into the side netting.  GRADE:  B

Jonathan Leathers- After getting two games off in a row Leathers returned back to his right back position with the task of slowing down rookie sensation Joao Plata.  He not only slowed him down but made the winger a non-factor for the entire match.  GRADE:  B

Greg Janicki- The American defender was given the start in place of Mouloud Akloul and played a decent game except for the goal where he allowed Maicon Santos to slip from his mark.  Despite that gaffe Janicki did a good job of clearing the box when the few times TFC were able to get a cross in.  GRADE:  B-


Jay Nolly- Another great between the posts by Nolly as he continues to display his command of the box as he comes off the line to cut off angles and to grab the ball in the air and along the ground.  There wasn’t anything that the goalkeeper could do on the Maicon Santos goal.  Nolly is slowly establishing himself as one of the better MLS goalkeepers as well.  After allowing nine goals in his first four matches, Nolly has now given up seven goals in his last eight matches with three of those seven coming from penalty kick.  GRADE:  B+


Everything except two important aspects of the match went right for the Whitecaps in their match with Toronto FC.  While they did control the tempo of the game and outworked their opponent, they could not finish TFC as the game had the potential to be very lopsided.  A couple of positives that can be taken out of this match by the Caps are the return of both Hassli and Camiloto to their striker’s form as both had multiple chances near or in the box.  It also saw their captain, Jay DeMerit, play a full 90 minutes for the Whitecaps FC for the first time since opening day.  While TFC will have to travel to Colorado to play a league game before meeting the Whitecaps next Wednesday at BMO Field for the second leg.  GRADE:  B+

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