Sunday, June 26, 2011

Report Card: Whitecaps FC Versus Sporting KC

The Whitecaps seemed like they were going carrying momentum from draw with Seattle and last week’s win over Philadelphia but it was not to be as almost the entire team came out flat to begin the game.  While they did open the scoring against the run of play, with Camilo’s header off a free kick, the pressure that Sporting KC applied was relentless.  The game also changed when at halftime it was learned that both Jay DeMerit and Davide Chiumiento had suffered 1st half injuries that made leave at the break.

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


Eric Hassli- Another good performance by the designated player could have been better if he received any decent service.  Hassli had to create his own opportunities coming close to tying the game earlier in the second half but was thwarted by Nielsen. He did try to make a difference by coming back and clearing the ball out of the box off of a corner kick.  GRADE:  B

 Davide Chiumiento- After a great performance by Chiumiento against Philadelphia, the Swiss international failed to duplicate his performance.  While his free kick did find the head of Camilo for the opening goal of the game, it was an inconsistent first half for the playmaker.  He did not play the entire match as he had to leave the game at halftime due to tightness in his hamstring.  GRADE:  C+


Shea Salinas- One of the better Caps on the night Salinas, unlike many of his teammates, showed great energy on the wing.  He did a great job cutting into the middle whether from the left or right wing and he also did a great job tracking back into the box.  GRADE:  B

Terry Dunfield- It was another solid performance by Dunfield in his second game since returning from international duty at the Gold Cup.  He played more as a defensive midfielder, which best suits him on the pitch, but did attempt to get in on the attack including a chance in the box.  GRADE:  B

Camilo- The Brazillian had an up and down game for the Whitecaps as he scored the only goal for the team but also was the cause of defensive breakdowns which were rescued by Joe Cannon.  He moved off the wing to a striker position in the second half when Chiumiento left the game.  GRADE: B-

Russell Teibert- The Homegrown product came into the second half for Chiumiento to play on the wing for Camilo, who moved to striker, and he immediately did a better job defensively.  He also made a couple of decent runs, passed the ball efficiently but did look lost when he switched to the right side.  GRADE:  B-

Jeb Brovsky- After a good performance last week, the Notre Dame product had a difficult time making any kind of impact in this game.  He was unable to keep possession and was unable to clear ball out of the box on the second goal.  GRADE:  C+

Nizar Khalfan- The man who set up two of the goals in the previous game could not duplicate the magic in this one.  He came on for Dunfield in the central midfield and was unable to make any impact giving the ball away and unable to make a tackle.  GRADE:  C


Alain Rochat- Playing a more defensive role, Rochat rarely moved forward and with DeMerit leaving at halftime he was moved over to the middle.  He made all the right plays around the box and cleared the ball out on a regular basis.  GRADE:  B-

Jonathan Leathers- The defender had to play both side of the backline as Leathers switched from the right to the left side at halftime. He had one minor hiccup when he allowed Bravo free to head the ball into the middle of the box on the second KC goal but otherwise played a solid game.   GRADE:  B-

Jay DeMerit- The captain had a hard time in this game and it may have been the groin injury that affected his play.  His forward passing was off and went to the ground too quickly, on the penalty, which allowed Bravo to tie the game.   GRADE:  C+

Michael Boxall- After the last couple of games it seemed like that Boxall was solidifying his spot next to DeMerit but the Kiwi international had a poor performance.  In addition to his lack of distribution he was made to look foolish by Omar Bravo on the play that lead to the PK.  GRADE:  C

Billal Duckett- Duckett was brought into the game to replace DeMerit at halftime to play and right back and the Notre Dame graduate certainly got an education.  He gave the ball away too much and was unable to handle Bravo when the Mexican international made his runs to the box.  GRADE:  C


Joe Cannon- There was no doubt that Cannon was the man of the match of the Whitecaps as he helped keep the game close when they could have been down by two or three by halftime.  The MLS vet made six saves including two point blank saves in the first half.  The goals scored on him were from a penalty kick and a shot from point blank range that went through the wickets.   GRADE:  B+


It was another disappointing effort by the Whitecaps on the road as they began the game sluggish and were unable to reclaim any kind of flow to their game.  The Caps could not connect with each other moving up the field and did not provide quality service to Hassli in the final third.  In fact when they lacked ideas when they did get into the final third as most of their shots were from distance and did not trouble Jimmy Nielsen.  The Whitecaps were unable to apply pressure on the KC players as they came up the field and made it too easy for them.

On the defensive side the team had trouble with the width that their opponents created as they were stretched out to the max.  They failed to remain compact in the midfield as in the first half Camilo was not tracking back to cover which allowed KC a couple of great opportunities.  The rookies on the backline, Duckett and Boxall, had games that proved they are still very green for the MLS.

It was a game where the hot and humid conditions affected the Whitecaps more than the Sporting side used to the climate.  They were unable to take advantage of a team that was playing their third game in seven days and made five changes to their starting lineup.  The Caps now move onto to face Toronto FC twice in a week with the first being a chance to pass in the MLS table and the second being a chance to lift the Voyageur’s Cup and represent Canada in the CCL for the first time in their history.  GRADE:  C+

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