Sunday, June 12, 2011

Report Card: Whitecaps FC Versus Seattle Sounders

It may have been another draw for the Whitecaps as they faced the Sounders at Qwest Field but there were definite signs of improvement that can be carried over for the rest of the season.  While the Caps did go from a one goal lead to being down a goal in a four minute period, the team showed get resolve by moving quickly down the field and then Hassli scoring the equalizer on one of the best goals scored this season.  The match ended in a draw with the Whitecaps getting a positive result on the road at Qwest Field to open the MLS version of the Cascadia Rivalry.

Disclaimer:  These are not the typical 1-10 scale that players are usually rated with.


Eric Hassli- Even before his strike to tie the score, Hassli was having a fantastic game scoring a cheeky penalty in the first half.  He had great touch and held the ball well waiting for his teammates but everyone will remember this performance for the second goal which is being labeled as the goal of the year so far.  GRADE:  A

Davide Chiumiento- It was a better showing for Chiumiento than how he played against Real Salt Lake but the playmaker still seems to be lost playing as a forward.  There still needs to better connections between the central midfielders and Chiumiento which will help their possession of the ball.  GRADE:  B


Camilo- While it hasn’t been the smoothest transition from forward to winger, Camilo’s run into the box in the first half earned the Caps a penalty kick which was converted by Hassli.  His defensive play out wide is improving but he must raise the quality of his crosses to keep the defenders honest.  GRADE:  B+

Shea Salinas- This was the most consistent effort over the full 90 minutes by Salinas as the midfielder did not tire like he has in his last few starts since coming back from injury.  He almost opened the scoring in the first fifteen minutes when he was sent in alone on Keller but sent the ball wide of the net.   GRADE:  B

Jeb Brovsky- A solid performance by Brovsky as he showed poise in the midfield and his long ball to Camilo started the play that eventually earned the Caps a penalty.  On the first goal by the Sounders Brovsky did not press enough which allowed the defender to cross the ball into the box with ease. GRADE:  B

Gershon Koffie- The Ghanaian midfielder showed signs of returning to form as he disrupted the midfield play of the Sounders and was able to maintain possession, especially in the first half.  However there were too many moments when he made some poor decisions distributing the ball ending opportunities for the Whitecaps to add to the lead.  GRADE:  C+

Peter Vagenas- Coming on as a substitute in order to provide some leadership in the midfield, Vagenas was unable to provide any poise, especially on the second goal allowed when after passing the ball off to Brovsky, the MLS veteran was unable to take a return pass and just turtled allowing Alonso to take the ball and beat Joe Cannon to put Vancouver behind in a matter of minutes. GRADE:  C

Micheal Nanchoff/Bilal Duckett -  Both players came late in the match to provide fresh legs in the wide midfield positions.  It seemed that the two combined for less than five touches between them as it was the Sounders applying the pressure late.  GRADE:  INC


Jay DeMerit- It may seem like a broken record but DeMerit continually is proving his worth as a captain and the first ever signing for the MLS side.  Demerit’s positioning was flawless and he constantly won balls in the air clearing the box on a regular basis. He just makes it look too easy that eventually it seems like the American defender will be taken for granted.  GRADE:  B+

Alain Rochat- The lack of defensive awareness by Camilo on the left side is cancelling Rochat from moving forward with the attack.  When Salinas switched over to the left, Rochat started attacking a little.  Defensively there is little to worry about Rochat as his combined positioning and ball skills are the best among defenders.  GRADE:  B

Jonathan Leathers- Returning from a couple games off due to injury, Leathers reclaimed his spot on the right side of the backline.  Like Rochat, Leather did not foraward much but it was his defensive play that had been missed the previous two games.  GRADE:  B

Mouloud Akloul- The majority of the game goes by for Akloul on the backline fairly easily, as he is able to mark and clear the ball from the defenders, there are moments when he makes everyone hold their collective breath.  One of those moments were converted when on the first Sounder goal the ball glanced off of Akloul’s head right to Rosales.   GRADE:  B-


Joe Cannon- Getting his third straight start since Soehn took over, Cannon has responded with good performances equal to Nolly if not exceeding.  While he made a spectacular save off of Alonso he was caught in no man’s land on the first goal from Rosales of the Sounders.  GRADE:  B


The Whitecaps showed a lot of positives coming out of the 2-2 draw with Seattle, a result that many would have taken going into the game.  Their designated player came off another suspension to score a brace including a goal that will be talked about all year.  The two wingers were becoming more and more dangerous, especially Camilo moving out wide, while their backline continues to stay organized with Cannon displaying more and more confidence.  It was Vancouver’s finest opening 45 minutes they’ve had since joined the MLS as they started to maintain.

It was a good solid performance for the Sounders in the midfield which meant it would slow down the players in the middle of the pitch by putting the Whitecaps asleep.  They needed to press the Sounders on the first goal instead of sitting back and absorbing the constant pressure of the team on the attack.  The second allowed goal was either a miscoomunication or the inability of Vagenas to take a return pass. 

If the Whitecaps can take the positives and improve on the negatives they will be in position to take three points in their next match.  Another full week off for training will allow the team to learn and practice their new tactics that Soehn is trying to implement.  The Whitecaps will try to exact some revenge for their 1-0 loss in their second match of the season against the Phialdelpa Union which takes place of any strike.   GRADE:  B

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