Sunday, July 10, 2011

Report Card: Whitecaps FC Versus Colorado Rapids

With half of their team out of action due to injury and suspension the inexperienced Whitecaps came up short in their first trip to Colorado losing 2-1.  It was fourth straight one goal loss in league and fifth straight overall and while each of the games are close it comes as no consolation.  The losses keep piling up and the club’s aspirations of making the playoffs are looking doubtful.


Camilo- Once again the Brazilian striker was a consistent threat for the Whitecaps and easily the top performer for the match.  Camilo made a great run into the box and showed poise getting around the goalkeeper for the goal.  He's also playing a better team game as there were a couple instances where he looked for and found teammates with his passing.  GRADE:  B+
Long Tan- The substitution of Tan at halftime changed the flow of the Whitecaps attack in the second half.  He was able to hold up the ball effectively for his teammates and was instrumental in the buildup of their only getting his first MLS assist. GRADE:  B-

Omar Salgado- In his second consecutive start, Salgado struggled against the physical Rapids backline as he seemed to wear down quickly.  He was officially taken out due to tightness in his hamstring but he would not have lasted much longer if there was no injury. GRADE:  C+


Nizar Khalfan- With each start it’s clear that Khalfan is becoming more and more comfortable with his play in the MLS.  The midfielder is now a threat in the final third as he is longer just hugging the sideline but is playing more centrally where his perfectly weighted pass sprung Camilo for the only Cap goal.  He also tracked back to contribute defensively recovering the ball on more than one occasion.  GRADE:  B+

Gershon Koffie- After a brief spell where he struggled with his play, Koffie has returned to his impressive early season play.  The teenage Ghanaian displayed his tackling ability, had improved distribution and even ventured into the final third getting a couple shots on goal.  GRADE:  B

Peter Vagenas- The MLS veteran did a solid job in the central midfield coming back to get the ball from the backline.  The majority of passes attempted by Vagenas were outside the final third as he rarely ventured forward.  He was bowled over a couple of times including once that led to the first Rapid goal.  GRADE:  B-

Micahael Nanchoff- Making his first career and lasting a full ninety minutes was an important step for Nanchoff, the eigth overall pick of last year’s draft.  The lack of training time, due to injury, with his teammates showed as he wasn’t in sync all the time, especially with the long pass and crosses, but he was a natural passer and was great when in tight areas.  GRADE:  B-

Jeb Brovsky- The Colorado native made his appeareance late in the game in front of a large number of friends and families.  While there was little time to make an impact, Brovsky did complete a couple of key long passes and helped break up a number of attempted attacks by the Rapids.  GRADE:  C+


Alain Rochat- It was another instance where Rochat played a solid game and made it look easy as well while defending a difficult group of forwards.  His tackling was strong as it usually has been and he was pushing the ball forward on the attack through the middle.  GRADE:  B

Jordan Harvey- An impressive performance by the new acquisition especially considering there was very little training with the team.  He held his own on the left side defensively and had a couple of overlaps when he switched to the attack phase.  GRADE:  B

Jonathan Leathers- It was a little more difficult for Leathers who had to deal with a bigger and more physical player in Folan who played on the left side of their three man front.  It forced Leathers to hang back in the on defensive side as he did not make regular runs down the sideline.  GRADE:  B-

Michael Boxall- After a number of solid games, the first pick in the supplemental draft had an off game dealing with the bigger, faster and more experienced Conner Casey.  Boxall allowed the striker to get away from him on the first goal and couldn’t get his head to the crossed in ball. GRADE:  C+

Greg Janicki- Coming on as a sub in the second half for Boxall, Janicki was put in a difficult position marking Casey.  On the second goal the defender was caught looking and allowed Palguta to get away from him to score the second goal on the rebound.  GRADE:  C


Joe Cannon- The wily veteran had a good game between the posts, especially coming off the line to punch out a couple of crosses.  Cannon had very little chance on each goal but may have been able to clear the ball out further past the Rapids defender on the second goal.  GRADE:  B


The Whitecaps went into the game against the Colorado missing three of their better players due to injury with Hassli, Chiumiento and DeMerit missing in action.  If you add long term injured Atiba Harris and John Thorrington with suspended Shea Salinas that’s six potential starters unavailable which is not a good formula going into a match no matter who they face.  Despite these missing players the team kept the game close although they never were a danger to getting a result against the Caps.

In this game the loss was because of a couple breakdowns which allowed the Rapids players to get a gift goal that was easy to convert.  The Caps were not able to handle the more physical Rapids lineup as Conner Casey was too difficult to handle in the box and their midfield caused turnovers, especially on the first goal. 

On the positive side the strong play of Camilo continued as he scored his sixth goal in league play and seventh in all competitions.  The goal was an impressive one as it started with Rochat in his own end and within four passes Camilo was rounding around the keeper.  Other standouts in the attack included Khalfan and Koffie in the midfield while Long Tan energized the team off the bench.  The Whitecaps now have a week off as they prepare for their toughest home test this season as one of the better clubs in MLS in Real Salt Lake come to Empire next Saturday.  GRADE: B-

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

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