VANCOUVER, B.C – Vancouver Whitecaps Match Ratings vs LA Galaxy
GK – Joe Cannon: 7/10 The Whitecaps no. 1 keeper had a comfortable game, and was not under siege very often. Cannon had to dive to his left to make an early save on a header in close from Jose Villarreal. The LA Galaxy could never get their offense going, and Cannon was not tested often enough. The lone goal by the visitors came off a header from Gyasi Zardes in 86′ via a cross from Villarreal. The veteran MLS goalie had no chance on the play, as Zardes was able to get between Johnny Leveron and Andy O’Brien to slot home his 1st MLS goal. LA had 9 corners during the match but only 2 official shots on goal. The high-powered LA Galaxy offense didn’t show up, and Joe Cannon played well.
LB – Alain Rochat: 6/10 Alain Rochat was able to hold the ball on the few occasions that he ventured forward, and when LA attacked the Whitecaps he was solid on his own side of the pitch. He didn’t try to do too much, and that is one of the keys to being a sound, and reliable defender.
CB – Johnny Leveron: 6.5/10 Leveron made his first MLS start at home at BC Place Stadium, and he did not get off to a good start. In the 3′ he picked up a yellow card after a tough challenge on Galaxy forward Jose Villarreal. He played well for the rest of the match, and was able to avoid being sent off. Leveron, and O’Brien did a fantastic job controlling the box, and defending when the Galaxy looked to score. LA had most of the possession in the first half, but did not create anything substantial in front of Cannon. The Honduran defender had a terrific game for Vancouver, and his only blemish came when an unmarked Zardes scored to make it 2-1 late in the second half.
CB – Andy O’Brien: 7/10 Andy O’Brien was brilliant at the back for the Whitecaps. He was able to get in front of the LA Galaxy players whenever they looked to score, and he showed that he can elevate his game when a top team like LA plays Vancouver. He cleared the ball out of danger right away, and avoided dribbling around with it into any danger. O’Brien was an anchor on defense for Vancouver, and he has been the best Whitecaps defender all season.
RB – Y.P. Lee: 6.5/10 Lee was able to use his speed, and smarts to create plays in the midfield, and a long the flank as Vancouver looked to counter-attack throughout the match. The South Korean star was able to read the play, and make lovely passes that LA couldn’t get on top off. Y.P Lee was solid defensively and LA wasn’t able to take advantage when he ventured up the pitch.
DM – Jun Marques Davidson:7/10 Davidson earned a surprising start for the Whitecaps against the offensive minded LA Galaxy, and he came through with a great game. Sitting back as a holding midfielder in front of the back four, the Japanese import did a bang up job protecting them, and annoying the heck out of Landon Donovan. Jun shadowed Donovan all over the pitch, and completely shut him down. The former Everton man (Donovan) commented on that following the game.
“They made a concerted effort to keep players around me. Their defensive midfielder was kind of shadowing most of the game, and with their center backs. That happens from time to time, and when that does happen we have to do a better job of going at other people creating spaces, and chances.”
CM – Gershon Koffie:7.5/10 Koffie had two wonderful chances to score in the second half. The first came off a scrambled play to the left of Carlo Cudicini when Camilo, and then Darren Mattocks both failed to get a shot off. With Cudicini down, and looking to grab hold of the ball Koffie came in and fired off the back of the Italian keeper. On the subsequent corner, Russell Teibert’s kick came right to Gershon, who tried to score on first contact. His effort went well over the bar in the 57′. Not being undeterred he decided to be play-maker, and delivered a beauty of a pass to Russell Teibert on his second goal of the game. Koffie stopped on a dime, and laid a perfect pass to Teibert who had a sitter waiting for him to blast the ball past Cudicini. Gershon read the play beautifully, and made Omar Gonzalez look terrible. Koffie was going all game long, and he was a big reason why Vancouver scored 3 goals against the defending MLS champions.
CM – Nigel Reo-Coker: 7.5/10 Once again Nigel Reo-Coker was the best Whitecaps player in the first half, and throughout the game. He made brilliant passes, won the ball off Galaxy defenders and drove up the field. Nigel’s ability to read the play, and react before things unfold is what sets him apart from many MLS players. He delivered a beautiful cross into the box in the 36′ that was deflected on goal by Galaxy defender Omar Gonazalez. Cudicini had to make a terrific save to keep the scored 0-0. Reo-Coker leads by example, and finally in the second half his teammates got going, and helped him out. The London man picked up an assist on Russell Teibert’s first MLS goal, and was happy for him after the game.
“Very happy for him, very proud of him. I’ve seen how hard he works since I’ve been here and seen what he can achieve. He didn’t start today’s game. And this is how football changes, I’ve told him this is how football changes. Daigo went off in the first 10 minutes, and he came on and scored two goals.”
AM – Daigo Kobayashi: 5/10 – Kobayashi had to leave the game with an ankle injury in the 14′, and was replaced by Russell Teibert. In the few minutes that he did play Kobayashi was playing well. He was making great decisions with the ball, and was involved in the play when Vancouver got forward. Following the match Daigo Kobayashi was seen leaving BC Place on crutches.
ST – Darren Mattocks: 7.5/10 Darren Mattocks received a huge cheer from the 21,000 fans in attendance when he finally scored, and ended his scoring struggles. The Whitecaps had a throw in, and the ball bounced around after Koffie, and Harvey failed to do anything with it. Mattocks slotted the ball right between Cudicini’s legs for his 2nd goal of the season. Earlier in the match the Jamaican striker was not short on scoring opportunities in this match, and could have scored sooner if he had not shot directly at Cudicini. Mattocks looked disinterested in the first half, but his play improved in the second 45′ and he rewarded his team with a back-breaking goal in stoppage time.
ST – Camilo Sanvezzo: 5.5/10 Camilo did not look like himself during most of the match, and he struggled to get any real type of offense going for his team in each half. His customary cut into the middle of the opposition box was not seen, and he didn’t shake, and bake any LA Galaxy defenders. The visitors didn’t give him much room to manoeuvre and the Brazilian was not a factor. To make matters worse he was stretchered, and substituted off in the 78′ with a suspected ankle injury.
AM– Russell Teibert: 8.5/10 Teibert came on for the injured Daigo Kobayashi in the 14′ and had his most outstanding game for the Whitecaps in his young career. He made terrific passes, and his crosses connected with his teammates when they entered the LA Galaxy box. Teibert took all of the corners for Vancouver, and with his Mom, Dad, and Sister in the crowd Russell Teibert gave them memories they will always remember. He opened the scoring in the 63′ with a beautiful goal. He came down the right flank, and cut across the LA Galaxy box. With nobody marking him he took a brilliant shot that found its way past Carlo Cudicini. This was Teibert’s first career MLS goal, and the first by a Canadian Whitecaps player since Terry Dunfield in the inaugural season. The magic man for Vancouver wasn’t done scoring, and he added his second of the game in the 76′. Gershon Koffie made a lovely drop pass, and an on coming Teibert smashed the ball past Cudicini. He picked up a yellow card for lifting up, and almost removing his shirt. Following the game Teibert had a smile that would stretch across the entire country of Canada if possible.
“It feels great. I was overwhelmed when I scored the first goal, and the second one came and the feeling was extraordinary. Scoring my first two goals in front of my family was huge. They supported my dream to become a professional athlete since I was young, so it’s a little gift for them.”
LB: Jordan Harvey: 5.5/10 Harvey came on for defensive purposes in the 78′ for the ailing Camilo. However, Harvey didn’t appear to be interested in playing any defense. He assisted on Darren Mattock’s goal, and he was unable to block Jose Villarreal’s cross that resulted in Gyasi Zardes scoring. Harvey got up the field with regularity, and played well in his limited time.
CB – Brad Rusin: 5/10 This was Rusin’s first game back since suffering a concussion. He did not play away to Real Salt Lake on May 4, and Martin Rennie likely brought him on to give him a few minutes to get his legs under him before Vancouver decides to use him away to Montreal in the Voyageurs Cup 1st leg on Wednesday.
My Man of the Match: Russell Teibert