Sunday, May 15, 2011

Report Card: Whitecaps FC Versus Revolution

The Whitecaps travelled across the continent to the east coast and dropped another result on the road losing to the New England Revolution 1-0.  This time they did without their top two strikers, best central midfielder, top playmaker and best defender as it was decided to give them a rest ahead of the first leg for the Nutrilite Finals.  The inexperienced lineup came close to securing a result but a penalty early in the second half cost the Caps any points.


Omar Salgado- The rookie was one of the best Caps on the pitch and had two of the best chances to put one in for the scoreless side.  The raw talent is definitely present in his attacking whether it’s a strike on goal with his leg or with his head.  Salgado just needs time to bring his experience level in line with his skills on the pitch.  GRADE:  B

Nizar Khalfan-  The super sub did not make a major impact coming off the bench for Omar Salgado in the 75th minute.  Khalfan did not link up well with Tan in the final twenty minutes as the two failed to find the back of the net.   GRADE:  C+

Long Tan- A lot is said of Tan’s work rate and how he connects well with the midfielders but there is a problem when it comes to his touch in the final third.  Tan is not on the same level with the other forwards on the team and the Whitecaps are in trouble if he is getting any more starts.   GRADE:  C


Gershon Koffie- After having a poor performance a week ago, the young Ghanaian had a bounce back week versus the Revolution.  Koffie was back to his old self as he tackling effectively in the midfield slowing down both Joseph and Felihaber and was making crisp passes going forward to the wingers and forwards.  GRADE:  B

Shea Salinas- One of the better Whitecaps in the first half Salinas led the attack down the right flank and was impressive with his runs and crosses.  He was failed by the lack of finish in the box by teammates.  Salinas was less effective in second half as the Revolution were paying more attention to him as well as he is not at full fitness coming off an injury.  GRADE:  B-
Russell Teibert- The third teenager in the starting eleven, Teibert had a solid game at the left midfield position.  He had some good battles with the Alston, the right back, as he was covered for Wagner on the defensive side as well.  GRADE:  C+

Jeb Brovsky- The Whitecaps started a young central midfield and Brovsky was definitely the weaker of the two.  While he may not have skill of Koffie and may give away the ball too easily, Brovsky gives the Caps a very high work rate.  He seemed to be the Revolution’s punching bag as he was a regular recipient of some hard tackles.  GRADE:  C+

Davide Chiumiento- They brought Chiumiento into the game with less than 11 minutes to go in the match as they were pushing for an equalizer.  While he started on the left side Chiumiento was drifting in the middle looking for space to work but as he was by far the most dangerous Cap on the pitch the Revolution defenders were paying close attention to him.  GRADE:  B


Jay DeMerit- It was a welcome sight to see DeMerit starting again as the American defender took the armband as Captain.  He did play the entire match, taken out in the 64th minute, but when he was on it was clear DeMerit was in charge as he barked orders and made some solid tackles.  GRADE:  B

Mouloud Akloul- Unlike last year, Akloul is showing why he was brought in to play in the MLS as a central defender.  He is usually in the right place at the right time which helps him in clearing the ball out of the box and was also solid in pushing the ball forward to the midfielders.  Akloul will only get better with his distribution as he plays more after having a year off with the injury.  GRADE:  B

Greg Janicki- Brought in as a sub for DeMerit, Janicki took over the armband and played a solid 26 minutes which isn’t easy when taking over at CB.  There wasn’t too much for him to do as the Caps were pushing forward looking for a score.  GRADE:  B-

Blake Wagner- There is a definite dip in skill at the LB position when Wagner is in for Rochat as the American defender does not play at the same level especially going forward.  Wagner did have a good game defensively as was rarely out of position and didn’t give the ball away in dangerous positions on the pitch.  GRADE:  C+

Wes Knight- Immediately following the game there was a lot of blame put on Wes Knight for giving up the penalty in the second half.  While it was a clumsy tackle, it was iffy call and the referee could have gone ahead and not called the penalty.  What was more disturbing was Knight’s bad decisions when taking on the wide attackers of the Revolution especially Teirney.  GRADE:  C-


Jay Nolly- There is no doubt that Nolly is getting better with every game and deserved another clean sheet as the penalty was the goal given up.  While he continues to make the big saves as well as coming off the line to clear the ball on set peces, Nolly will have to stay on his game as an off game will surely see Joe Cannon come in for a start.  GRADE:  B+


The Whitecaps are definitely all in to win the Canadian Championship that would qualify them for the Concacaf Champions League later in the year.  Of the players that were in the starting eleven against the Revolution only a maximum four will play on Wednesday against TFC.  They essentially started a reserve squad and because of this could not be expected to get a positive result from the game.  Most people did not expect this sort of rotation when the Whitecaps spoke of resting players and it brings into question of the coaching staff’s planning.  Instead of giving some of their starters a day off during this tough eight game stretch, they waited till the seventh game to give the majority a rest.

In this game the Whitecaps came up against a Revolution team that has struggled with chemistry when it comes to attacking the final third which helped keep the score close.  The squad was by far the youngest and cheapest starting eleven put together by the Caps this season.  Despite the lack of experience in the lineup the Caps controlled large portions of the match and generated some scoring chances.  The next two games for the Caps will be against their Canadian rivals Toronto FC in the Nutrilite Finals as the Caps will get have a full week off between games with nothing scheduled on the weekend.  GRADE:  C

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