The Vancouver Whitecaps come up short against Real Salt Lake

Posted: May 7, 2013 in Uncategorized

VANCOUVER, B.C – Vancouver Whitecaps Match Ratings at Real Salt Lake

GK – Joe Cannon: 6.5/10 The Whitecaps oldest player, had a relatively easy first half in net. Although Real Salt Lake had the better scoring opportunities in the opening forty-five, nothing on target was dangerous and a serious scoring threat. The lack of pressure, and coordinated attack eventually came back to haunt the Whitecaps keeper in the second half when Real Salt Lake scored the only two goals of the match. There was nothing Cannon could do on the poor defending that led to Luis Gil heading the ball off the left post and in. When Javier Morales struck in the 71′ Cannon was left out to dry by his defenders who were slow to react to the developing play up the field.

LB – Alain Rochat: 5.5/10  Rochat had a decent cross into the box during the final few moments of the first half. Kobayashi was his intended target, however like most of the crosses the Whitecaps delivered nobody could connect on the other end. Rochat was unable to get forward in the second half, and the Whitecaps offense struggled without his creativity along he left flank.

CB – Johnny Leveron: 6/10 Making his first career MLS start, Johnny Leveron looked quite comfortable, and locked in against Real Salt Lake. The Honduran defender was in solid position during the match, and his decision-making process when under attack looked as if he had been playing in MLS for 10 years. Leveron has the poise, and patience to be a great defender in MLS. With Brad Rusin out with a concession, Leveron stepped up, and acquainted himself just fine. He, and Andy O’Brien were a big reason why Real Salt Lake was unable to generate anything substantial in terms of offense in the first half.

CB – Andy O’Brien: 6/10 O’Brien had half a dozen key clearances in the opening first half as Real Salt Lake threatened with scoring chances. O’Brien has started every Whitecaps match this season, and he had another strong showing in Utah. In the 35′ he was able to leap, and get his head on a ball that was sent into the box from a Russell Teibert corner. He did not score as the ball sailed over the bar. The former English Premier League defender was caught out of position on the opening goal of the game when Luis Gil got behind him to head the ball off the post, and in to make it 1-0 Real Salt Lake. O’Brien appeared to be tiring as the game progressed, and his fitness could come into play further down the road if he continues to log heavy minutes on the Whitecaps back line.

RB – Y.P. Lee: 5.5/10 Y.P. Lee was given little, or no space to manoeuvre in the opening first half. Real Salt Lake did a great job of closing in on the South Korean whenever he looked to get forward with a great pass, or give, and go play. Y.P. Lee sent in a good-looking cross in the 14′, unfortunately it was slightly out of the reach of an oncoming Corey Hertzog. Lee, was unable to block the cross sent in by Joao Plata that led to the 1-0 goal by Real Salt Lake. Lee was also unable to get back on defense when the home side made it 2-0. Lee, Koffie, and several other players did not make it back in time to help out Joe Cannon after Joao Plata delivered a perfect pass to Javier Morales.

After the final whistle Lee talked about what happened on the opening goal.

“I think that today we lost because of me. I had to block the cross first and I didn’t and they (RSL) got the first goal. The first goal made everything different. It’s an individual responsibility.”

DM – Gershon Koffie: 5.5/10 Koffie had an attempt on target from well out in the 55′, which was easily caught by Nick Rimando. Koffie earned himself a harsh yellow card in the 87′ after a small bump with Morales. He was also slow to get back on defense earlier when Morales scored, and his offense was nowhere to be found when the Whitecaps did go forward. The midfield play by Vancouver was sloppy, and it looked like the team was lost. The midfield had a tough time distributing the ball up top, and “Gersh” did not have a good game.

DM – Nigel Reo-Coker: 7/10 Reo-Coker was a force on the pitch all match long. In the first half, his hard-nosed style of play earned him a yellow card from referee Juan Guzman, after a somewhat questionable tackle on Real Salt Lake striker Joao Plata. Reo-Coker came flying in feet first, and did appear to get to the ball before Plata. The Real forward went flying, and Reo-Coker was booked. Despite being carded, he was one of the best Whitecaps players on the pitch. He was sending in crosses, making great passes, and stealing the ball at every chance he could. Reo-Coker had a lovely ball across the goal mouth of the Real Salt Lake net in the 71′ that Corey Hertzog was unable to get his foot on. The Englishman showed up to play, and subsequently he was very involved for the visitors for all 90 minutes, and that is the true form of a captain when things aren’t going well.

Nonetheless, he wasn’t holding back in his criticism after the game.

“Best way to describe us was soft. We were a soft team. We don’t compete enough. We didn’t compete enough today and we were just soft and that’s the best way to put it. Being hard at football doesn’t mean going around and tackling and smashing people, being hard means competing and being hard to beat, hard to face as an individual, helping your teammate out. We didn’t do any of that today.”

LM – Russell Teibert: 4.5/10 The Canadian International did not have his best game of the season. Teibert was not able to connect with any teammates on his crosses, or the corners he took. The usually creative midfielder made poor passes that were picked off by Real Salt Lake, and he wasn’t able to get on a long run with the ball. To make matters worse Teibert picked up a knock early in the second half, and was playing with a noticeable limp. Real Salt Lake man marked him closely, and as a result Teibert was in a funk for most of the match.

AM – Daigo Kobayashi: 5/10 Kobayashi’s play with the ball was poor, and not what it needed to be against a tough opponent like Real Salt Lake. His crosses into the box were nowhere near Corey Hertzog or any other Whitecaps player. Kobayashi has shown that he can make brilliant plays, and take defenders on with great succession but that wasn’t what he did in Utah. The Japanese playmaker didn’t have his best game on Saturday night, and his give, and go plays were well read by Real Salt Lake, and cut off. He was lucky Martin Rennie didn’t decide to substitute him.

RM – Camilo Sanvezzo: 6/10 Camilo had a fantastic chance to score for the Whitecaps in the second half after Real made it 1-0. In the 58′, he had all the time in the world to score but his shot on target went slightly over the bar. Nick Rimando was in no position to make the save, and lucky enough for him the Brazilian missed the top left corner. Camilo likes to dazzle, and take charge when he gets the ball but that was not the case against Real Salt Lake. He didn’t play with the confidence, flare, and finesse that has made him one of the more consistent Whitecaps players this season. Martin Rennie used his first substitution of the game to take off Camilo off for Kekuta Manneh.

ST – Corey Hertzog: 6.5/10 Hertzog had some lively legs in the first half, but he was unable to connect on any of the crosses, and passes his teammates fed him. The balls sent in for Hertzog were either too far in front of him, or directly into the waiting arms of Real Salt Lake keeper Nick Rimando. The Bayern Munich supporter had the best chance to score for the Whitecaps in the second half when his shot got through Nick Rimando, and appeared to be going into the net. At the last possible moment Real Salt Lake defender Nat Borchers swooped in and kicked the ball off the line, and out of harms way. Hertzog was buzzing, and you could sense that he was going to score if he could just get a foot to the ball… for the most part he was a man on his own stuck on a deserted island with no ability to radio for help.

Substitutions:

RM: Kekuta Manneh: 5/10 Manneh had a decent opportunity to score for Vancouver, however the young rookie waited and took too much time before shooting. His attempted on target was easily blocked, and cleared away by Real Salt Lake.

ST – Darren Mattocks: 4/10 Mattocks, and Heinemann came on one minute apart in the second half as Martin Rennie looked to get something going on offense. Mattocks was sat in favour of Corey Hertzog, and he did not show any flashes or reasons to suggest that Rennie should have been questioned for that decision. Mattocks is in a deep slump, and he looks like a completely different player from the guy that led the Whitecaps in scoring last season.

ST – Tom Heinemann: 5/10 Heinemann was the victims of a two footed tackle by Chris Wingert in the 79′. With the Whitecaps crosses falling well short of their intended targets Heinemann was brought on for his height, and leaping ability in the box. Vancouver could not capitalize on his attributes, and score a goal. He tried to set up Darren Mattocks in the 81′, but with Chris Schuler all over him the Jamaican could not get a shot on target off.

My Man of the Match: Nigel Reo-Coker

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