Sunday, June 5, 2011

Report Card: Whitecaps FC Versus Real Salt Lake

Even if there was no mid-week match prior their tilt with RSL and they had their DP Eric Hassli available to the starting eleven, there would’ve been little chance to post a victory at Rio Tinto stadium.  It certainly did not help that this was their second match of the week and Hassli was unavailable but the Vancouver players needed to show more of an effort and that was more troubling.  After playing the poor man’s Real Salt Lake, with former assistant Robin Fraser coaching Chivas, the Whitecaps met the real thing and could overcome all the lost possession.


Camilo- The Whitecaps returned Camilo to the striker position with Hassli on suspension and he did not get the service in the right positions.  At the half he was switched to wing but it did not change anything as the Brazilian could not get the ball in the right spots to make things difficult for the opposition’s defenders.  He will most likely return to wing with Hassli's return to the starting eleven next week.  GRADE:  B-

Davide Chiumiento- While everyone, including myself, was clamouring for Chiumineto to play a central role but at this point it is not working through two games.  It could have been missing a large target forward like Hassli that allowed the RSL defenders to tighten the space for playmaker but it was a problem against Chivas when Hassli was there for seventy minutes.  GRADE:  C+

Omar Salgado- Coming in at halftime for Teibert, Salgado was put in the lone striker position and looked confused for most of the second half.  Just as Camilo experienced in the first there was a lack of service from the midfielders for the strikers and the one chance Salgado had, on a cross, he missed the ball in the box.  GRADE:  C


Gershon Koffie- One of the few players that showed up at Rio Tinto, Koffie was the only midfielder that was able to get possession back for the Caps.  With Dunfield at the Gold Cup, Soehn needs to find Koffie a quality partner in the central midfield or continue to lose the battle to control possession.  GRADE:  B

Alex Morfaw- This grade might be skewed by the fact that Morfaw replace Vagenas at halftime and it was night and day when comparing the two.  While he did give the ball away in a dangerous early in the half, Morfaw was able to settle down and showed a solid work rate on the pitch.  GRADE:  B-

Shea Salinas- After having a very good preseason and some solid games after returning from his early season injury, Salinas is now showing that while he has a lot of flash there is a definite lack of finish in his game.  When having the ball in the box Salinas was unable to make either that last pass of finish the play himself for a score.  GRADE:  C+

Russell Teibert- The player that came into the starting eleven for the suspended Hassli was Teibert in the midfield.  Even though he was one of the more dangerous players, and there weren’t many, in the first half but was taken out of the game at halftime for Salgado.  GRADE:  C+

Micheal Nanchoff- Making his debut in the MLS, the eight overall pick Nanchoff came into the game as the Caps looked to add in an extra midfielder late in the match.  He had some good spells taking a number of free kicks that helped their chances to score but his overall game in the run of play did not make any major impact in the game for the Whitecaps.  GRADE:  C

Peter Vagenas- When you are starting in the central midfield and your name is rarely called by the announcer, you did not play very well.  Vagenas was taken out of the line-up by Soehn and I know it may be too early but this signing might not last through the summer.  GRADE:  C-


Jay DeMerit- The captain was one of the better Whitecaps on the field on the field as he helped organize a very shaky backline.  DeMerit was a rock in the box as he was able to cut off multiple players from attempting to walk towards goal with the ball.  GRADE:  B

Alain Rochat- While he did not have a poor game it wasn’t at the same level that many in the organization expect from the team’s starting left back.  With about five minutes to Rochat, who had been quiet for most of the match, just missed an attempted long distance shot that would have brought the Caps within one.  One of Soehn's main priority should be to get Rochat involved offensively into the match.  GRADE:  B-

Mouloud Akloul- After reclaiming his starting role and then having a good game against Chivas the French defender regressed against RSL.There were a few times that Akloul was beaten by the ball carrier but he was able to make up the ground and prevent anything from affecting the score line. GRADE:C+
Bilal Duckett-  He was another player who had a good game in Chivas and then crashed and burned against the the Real Salt Lake opponents.  He was not marking very well yesterday and he allowed whoever he was marking on the left side to make easy runs into the box.  GRADE:  C-


Joe Cannon- If it wasn’t for Cannon the scoreline could have looked a lot worse as he made a numerous number of high quality stops to give Vancouver a chance to get a result.  The goals he allowed were unstoppable shots from in close and despite those two allowed it could’ve been four or five goal margin victory for Real Salt Lake. GRADE:  B+

Despite gaining a draw against Chivas, the Whitecaps seemed to have regressed to playing a confused plan on the pitch in their last two games.  With the changes in tactics and formation implemented by Soehn since he took over, the Whitecaps seem to be in a preseason mode learning the new system.  The club has a full week for training in order grasp the new sytem  as they return to Vancouver to train and then travel to Seattle, in one week’s time, to face their Cascadia rivals.  GRADE:  C

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