Thursday, June 30, 2011

Report Card: Whitecaps FC Versus TFC

The Whitecaps decide ahead of their match with TFC to ‘manage’ their lineup by making eight changes to the starting eleven.  While if it wasn’t for an ill-advised tackle by Greg Janicki, that led to a penalty kick, the Caps were close to getting a result against TFC due to their opposition’s lack of quality.  However they were on the negative side of a 1-0 result and are at the bottom of the MLS table with 14 points.


Eric Hassli- The French striker came off the bench at halftime when it seemed like the Caps had a chance at getting a result.  The service was lacking and Hassli did not attempt a shot on goal but he did make some good plays including a deep cross that almost found Khalfan at the side of the net. GRADE:  B-
Omar Salgado- After barely touching the ball in the first half, the 17-year-old found a little life in the second when Hassli was subbed in.  It is clear that he is too physically immature to play the lone strikers role in MLS at this point.  However, in the second half he almost scored when he created space for himself and fired his shot wide.  GRADE:  C+


Russell Teibert- It was very clear that Teibert was one of the better Whitecaps on the pitch versus TFC and is capable of beating players one on one.  He was his usual dangerous self but started showing signs that he can switch sides and be just as dangerous on the right side.  Next step is to gain the confidence needed to unleash his shot from time to time.  GRADE:  B

Shea Salinas- Another decent performance by Salinas on the wing but the Caps needed more from him in this game with so many non-starters in the starting eleven.  He showed solid pace down the right and left sides and while he started crossing the ball more, there was a lack of quality on the crosses that made it into the box.  GRADE:  B

Camilo- The Brazilian came on and was the second sub for the Whitecaps taking over at the wing position.  Unfortunately he did not make an impact off the wing and was unable to make any seriously dangerous runs into the box.  GRADE: B-

Jeb Brovsky- The central midfielder played in a withdrawn striker for the first time this year and while there 
was a solid work rate, Brovsky was unable to be the link between the midfielders and Salgado.  He continues to prove his versatility as he has now played in three different spots on the pitch and has the ability to play on the backline as well.  GRADE:  B-

Nizar Khalfan- As the last sub of the game for the Caps, Khalfan came on and put a scare into TFC with a couple of scoring opportunities.  However there wasn’t enough time for him to get into a flow and he started to turn the ball over after the first couple of chances.  GRADE:  C+       

Gershon Koffie- To no one’s surprise Koffie continued his stellar defensive play as he rarely missed an opportunity to dispossess the ball from an opponent.  However his decision making needs improvement when he goes forward with the ball, something that will improve with experience and more repetition for the 19-year-old Ghanaian.  GRADE:  C+

Peter Vagenas-One thing that was learned on Wednesday was that Vagenas is unable to hold up in the MLS anymore.  While he did complete a high number of passes against TFC, Vagenas only completed 50% of his passes in the final third, including a number of passes down the wing that were off the mark.    GRADE:  C+


Wes Knight- One of the few positives for the Caps was to see the improved play of Knight on the right side of the backline.  He made some dangerous runs down the sideline but poor service made it impossible for him to get to the ball even with his speed.  Hopefully the staff is able to look past the horrible give away he made that led to a TFC scoring chance in the first half.  GRADE:  B-
Michael Boxall- There was a lack of confidence in Boxall’s game with DeMerit, Rochat and Leathers all missing from the lineup.  While he did a good job clearing the box, the Kiwi was unable to push up forward and connect with the midfielder like he did when the veterans are on the field. GRADE:  C+

Greg Janicki- Of the three Caps who were on the roster before Soehn arrived in Vancouver, Janicki was the weakest player against TFC.  He was unable to hold his position and it was his unnecessary tackle on Soolsma that gave TFC a penalty kick and lost the Caps a chance for a result.   GRADE:  C

Blake Wagner- Not a very impressive performance from the former Generation Adidas player at the left back spot.  The difference in quality is vast when comparing Wagner and Rochat especially whether it’s going on the attack or when defending.  He seems to lack confidence everytime he handles the ball and his crosses lack quality.  GRADE:  C


Jay Nolly- After a spell on the bench, Nolly returned to the starting eleven to face TFC and except for a penalty kick, had a good game.  He wasn’t tested often as he was forced into only making one save during the 90 minutes.  However he did do a good job in coming off his line to catch or punch the ball away when necessary. GRADE:  B


The Whitecaps are putting a high importance on winning the Canadian Championship and it was confirmed when the starting eleven was announced.  Another item that was learned was that the Whitecaps are lacking quality on the bottom half of their 30 man roster especially when it comes to attacking.   The most distressing stat in the game is that despite having the majority of possession was that the team was unable to get a shot on goal.  The Caps now prepare for TFC again with a better starting eleven but can expect some players to return from the injury list for Toronto.  GRADE:  C

This is not the typical 1-10 player rating scale
A:  Superstar Performance
B:  Solid Starter’s Perfomance
C:  Should Be On The Bench
D:  Not MLS Quality

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