The Vancouver Whitecaps were looking for their first win on the road as they travelled to face the Timbers in Portland but in the end the club had too many passengers on this trip. The 2-1 score flattered the Whitecaps as their expansion cousins dominated, rarely allowing the Caps any chances on goal and constantly breaking down a leaky backline.
Camilo- It was an off game for the normally hardworking Brazilian striker and despite that he was still able to create a goal in the box by turning the Portland defender before scoring his eighth of the season. With him being more dangerous around the box, it may be time for Soehn to put Camilo back up top at striker where he can display his natural scoring ability. GRADE: B
Eric Hassli- For the majority of the match Hassli was the lone man on the island as there was a definite lack of service towards the target man. When he did get the ball he came close to making something happen displaying his skill in the final third. GRADE: B
Omar Salgado- The teenage striker came on late in the game and barely got a touch on the ball which was not a surprise considering how the game had previously gone. Salgado came close to getting a chance to tie the match but could not out race the goalkeeper to the ball. GRADE: C+
Gershon Koffie- It was an off game for the teenage midfielder but it can be expected for an inexpierenced player like Koffie. The Timbers did well to pressure him and not allow Koffie space on the ball while his tackling also was below his normal standards. GRADE: B-
Peter Vagenas- It was a very neutral game for the veteran who played his normal game of being the connection between the backline and the attackers. Unfortuantely when the players around him are not playing to their levels, the usefulness of Vagenas is diminished. GRADE: B-
Mustapha Jarju- Coming on early in the second half Jarju was unable to help create additional chances and has yet to find his true position on the pitch. He has played in the central midfield for the national side and may play it for the Whitecaps after appearing there in the reserve game against the Timbers on Sunday. GRADE: C+
John Thorrington- It was a first for the alternate captain as Thorrington was able to go for the full 90 minutes after having an injury plagued season. He still is not being used to his capability playing on the wing and may be better off moving GRADE: C+
Shea Salinas- A surprise nonstarter for the Whitecaps, Salinas came off the bench with less than half an hour for Chiumiento. He attempted to break down the Timbers defense but like most of his teammates Salinas was unsuccessful on this day. GRADE: C+
Davide Chiumiento- The Swiss international received his first start in sometime and could be rated as one of the most disappointing player on the pitch for the Whitecaps. Chiumiento looked slow and displayed little flair while handling the ball as he was consistently manhandled by the Timbers. GRADE: C
Jay DeMerit- Playing a full 90 minutes for the first time since early July, the captain displayed good energy and grit on the backline. While he was easily the best defender, DeMerit must take responsibility for the overall disorganization of the backline. GRADE: B-
Jordan Harvey- After a couple of poor performances, mostly playing part of the game as a center back, Harvey had a solid game playing the left back position. He showed some ability moving forward in the final third and was awarded with an assist on the Camilo goal. GRADE: B-
Michael Boxall- When the season started most people expected the supplemental pick to work his craft in the reserve league. That being said Boxall was caught with his feet in cement on the first goal, unable to close the gap on Chara, allowing the Timbers to take a very early lead. GRADE: C
Jeb Brovsky- Soehn decided to punish Leathers for his play the previous week by starting Brovsky on the right side but there was no improvement in the position. He was caught looking on the second goal unable to clear the ball out of the box and offered very little going forward on the flank. GRADE: C
Joe Cannon- Returning to the starting lineup after a couple of games from the bench, Cannon had very little chance on the two goals allowed. Similar to DeMerit, Cannon must take some of the blame for the disorganization by the backline that caused the defensive breakdowns. GRADE: B-
The match could not have started out worse for the Whitecaps allowing a quick goal within the first five minutes to the Timbers. It was clear the early goal took some wind out of the sales of the Caps as they never showed any fight to try to tie the score. The second goal just cemented the result considering how the team was playing although there was some consolation with Camilo’s late goal. The most telling part of the game was the last five minutes after the goal when the Caps failed to apply any real pressure on the Timbers to tie the score.
Once again the backline was unable to stay organized and were lucky to only be responsible for two goals against. It was surprising to see Tom Soehn start two players in Brovsky and Boxall as rookies in such an important derby match. It seemed like Leathers was being punished for a poor performance in last week’s loss to D.C. United but was this the week to take such a drastic approach? In Boxall’s case, he was playing his natural position while Brovsky was moved from his normal central midfielde position to the right back spot.
The Whitecaps put very little pressure on the Timbers in the final third and caused few problems for the goalkeeper. The midfield players once again failed to find the passing lanes and were unable to provide service for Hassli in the attacking areas. Changes in the midfield and tactics were made too late in the game to make a difference which caused frustration for Hassli who stormed off to the locker room after being substituted off.
The biggest question is whether the Whitecaps will have enough time and patience to try to turn around these issues consistently for the remainder of the season. Instead of winning the odd game, the Whitecaps need to pull together a run of positive results in order to gain the confidence of the supporters, especially with season ticket renewal kicking off. The players need to realize that not only are they playing for pride but for their jobs as their new coach will be arriving and be making the decisions on who stays and who goes. The organization will try to show some positives in their next match as they face the Houston Dynamo at Empire Field on Saturday. GRADE: C
This is not the typical 1-10 player rating scale
A: Superstar Performance
B: Solid Starter’s Performance
C: Should Be On the Bench
D: Not MLS Quality