Sunday, September 11, 2011

Report Card: Whitecaps FC Versus New York Red Bulls

The Whitecaps looked the part to win their first road game in the first half as they were moving the ball well, scored the opening goal and had an extra man going into the second half.  Unfortunately for the club the switch turned off ten minutes into the second half and the Red Bulls were able to find an equalizer and come away with a draw. 


Davide Chiumiento- After a number of substandard performances and stating that he was not at full fitness, Chiumiento displayed a high skill level and work ethic in New York.  His tally was goal of the week material and could have had a second but it was his work ethic that made him the best Cap on the pitch.  GRADE:  A

Eric Hassli- The big Frenchman was closely marked by Ream and Marquez and took a fair amount of punishment from some rough tackles.  He made a great flick on to Camilo early in the game which should have given the Caps an early lead.  GRADE: B

Long Tan- Brought on late in the game as a sub there was very little time for Tan to make any real impact on the match.  He had a few decent touches and most likely should have been brought into the game earlier based on how he performed in previous ones.  GRADE:  C+

Mustapha Jarju- It is clear the Gambian international is still not in full fitness after playing for the national team in African Cup qualifying.  Jarju has yet to establish his role on the team and maybe better off playing in a midfield role on the Whitecaps instead of playing as a striker.  GRADE:  C


Camilo- There seemed to be little rust for the Brazilian, who had three weeks off, as he should have had a goal in the first ten minutes. Camilo did set up the only goal with a great run to the byline before cutting the ball back to Chiumiento and almost won the game late just missing the far post.  GRADE:  B+

Gershon Koffie- It was a very neutral performance for the Ghanaian midfielder as he was not in an attacking mode but it could have been through design.  Koffie had a hand in slowing down the central midfield push through the first half and did have moments where his distribution was solid.  GRADE:  B

Shea Salinas- After scoring the winning goal against Houston, the midfielder had a less than spectacular performance against the Red Bulls.  He made some good runs into the box but was unable to make them count with his inaccurate passes and had scoring chance connecting on a cross with a header that sent the ball just over the bar.  GRADE:  B-

Peter Vagenas- There is no doubt that Vagenas plays a decent game in the midfield each week but he lacks any kind of presence on the ball which the opposition feeds on.  He would be a solid player off the bench but his time as a starter in MLS is rapidly coming to an end.  GRADE:  B-


Jay DeMerit- A very aggressive game for the Captain as he displayed his knack for very clean but punishing slide tackles which dispossessed the ball and left the player on the ground.  It was a performance that everyone was waiting for and the reason the organization made the effort to sign him.  GRADE:  B+

Alain Rochat- It was a muted but solid game by the left back turned centre back as his pairing with DeMerit has solidified the central backline.  The Caps will need to make finding a centre back to start a priority so Rochat can move to the outside and display his full skills on the pitch.  GRADE:  B

Jordan Harvey- There were few errors from the left back as he had to deal with both Lindpere and Richards on the wing.  There is still a lack of attack in Harvey’s game as he rarely ventured forward and when he did there was little to talk about.  GRADE:  B-

Jonathan Leathers- A surprise scratch from the starting eleven, Leathers came on as a sub for the injured Thorrington.  He was able to help keep the Red Bull attackers at bay while they looked for another goal and the full three points. GRADE:  C+

John Thorrington- A bigger surprise was that Thorrington was playing in the backline at right back where he was to blame for New York’s only goal.  He constantly drifted too forward forcing the remaininng three defenders to become stretched opening holes for Henry.  GRADE:  C-


Joe Cannon- It was another near perfect game for the veteran goalkeeper as he made several saves in the last ten minutes that helped preserve the tie.  Cannon’s ability to be vocal and keep the backline organized proved to be invaluable for the Whitecaps in getting the single point.   GRADE:  A-


In a game that seemed destined to become the Whitecaps first road victory of their franchise, it was poor decisions by the referee and their coach that cost them two points.  Of course it didn’t help that the players in the second half stopped playing and allowed the Red Bulls to dictate the game.  However, it was two decisions by each, referee and Soehn, that mainly contributed to the game ending in a draw.

The disallowed goal in the first ten minutes by Camilo should have never been waived off as it was clear that the defender slipped under minimal contact.  Also the referee sent the wrong man off as Rafa Marquez deserved a second yellow for his tackle on Hassli and the call on Solli was a makeup.  If sent off he would not have been on the pitch to cross in the ball that led to their goal.

It was clearly a mistake for Soehn to put a midlfielder like Thorrington at right back as the veteran looked lost on the goal and always drifted into the midfield instead of covering the right side of the backline.  In addition to that, the substitution of Jarju for Chiumiento was another mistake for Soehn as the DP looked out of it after playing his national side.  It would have been wiser to bring in Long Tan earlier especially considering what he has brought off the bench in his most recent games. 

With only two road games left, LA and Dallas, the Whitecaps will be hard pressed to win a match on the road this season.  However if the players can play like they did in the first 45 minutes over the full 90 there is a chance the Caps pull up an upset.  They will have a chance at that upset and their first road victory next week as they travel to Southern California to face the LA Galaxy.  GRADE:  B

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