VANCOUVER, B.C – Vancouver Whitecaps Match Ratings at Montreal Impact
GK – Brad Knighton: 7/10 Knighton had to stretch to make a difficult save on Marco Di Vaio in the 19′. The former Juventus striker cut across the field, and delivered a low bending curl towards the bottom left corner. The Whitecaps keeper did a terrific job getting to the ball to prevent an early goal. Moments later Patrice Bernier had a shot that went inches wide left. Knighton didn’t get a good read on the ball, and was late to react. Luckily for him the opportunity was slightly off target. In his pink goalkeepers kit Brad Knighton was not tested often, but he was sharp, and ready when he needed to be. Montreal sent in many crosses throughout the match, and the Whitecaps keeper was able to snag all of them before the Impact could convert. With Montreal pressing in the second half Knighton stood his ground, and played a perfect game. Knighton came up with a save in extra time as Justin Mapp fired a slow dribbler that was bobbled but saved.
LB – Jordan Harvey: 7.5/10 Harvey was a bit of a surprise starter for Vancouver with Alain Rochat also finding his way into the starting XI. Harvey was tasked with keeping former Whitecaps defender Jeb Brovsky in check, and he did a bang up job. The Montreal full back has had a wonderful start to the MLS season, and Harvey showed he was up to the challenge of man marking him. The UCLA alum had a few questionable tackles, and was lucky to not have been carded, but for the most part he was solid at Left Back. The Whitecaps got a great showing from Jordan Harvey, and he was a big reason why they held the powerful Impact to a scoreless 0-0 draw.
CB – Johnny Leveron: 7/10 You could tell that Johnny Leveron, and his fellow central defender Andy O’Brien are starting to get used to playing with each other. With a huge language barrier to overcome both players might be expected to have communication problems with one, and other. This was not the case against the Impact. Leveron, and O’Brien are forming a sold, formidable duo inside the back four, and it showed with the Whitecaps completely silencing the power house Montreal Impact. Marco Di Vaio had a few chances but Leveron was not caught out of position. He closed quickly on his opponents, and knocked the ball away when Montreal advanced.
CB – Andy O’Brien: 7/10 The Whitecaps stalwart defender picked up the first yellow card of the night for Vancouver in the 49′ after a slight shirt pull on Bernier…. but that was his only blemish on the night. Overall he was fantastic for the Whitecaps, and he continued to show why he has been the most consistent Caps defender in 2013. O’Brien had a brilliant shot block in the 74′ that may have saved a goal being scored for the home side. Marco Di Vaio had a lovely chance to strike the ball past Knighton, but the big Irish defender got in the way, and stopped the attempt on target. With the Whitecaps slowing down, and looking exhausted in the later stages of the second half Andy O’Brien stood firm, and played with great poise, and strength.
RB – Nigel Reo-Coker: 7.5/10 The Whitecaps Captain surprisingly started at Right Back against Montreal, and did not look out-of-place. Reo-Coker is the same type of player no matter what position he plays. The always talkative midfielder was able to settle the play, and calm things down in the first half when Vancouver looked out of sorts. Reo-Coker, who turned 29 on Tuesday was dribbling past opponents, and looked like he had been playing at Right Back for years. He was winning challenges, and he led by example with his strong play. He got into an argument with Hassoun Camara in the 25′ when the French defender came in with a two footed tackle. Clearly not happy Re0-Coker exchanged words with him, and Camara was issued a yellow card by referee Silviu Petrescu.
DM – Brad Rusin: 6.5/10 Rusin made his first start of the year in the holding midfield position as the Whitecaps looked to park the bus for 90′. Rusin looked to have injured his ankle in the 15′ when Collen Warner tackled him. Rusin got up favouring his ankle, but was able to stay in the game. He was also down again in the 86′ of play with what appeared to be an injured left leg. Marco Di Vaio helped him up, and he continued on. For a player who has received plenty of criticism this year, Brad Rusin played very well in a position he has never be asked to play with the Whitecaps. Montreal didn’t score, and Rusin was solid in front of the back four for Vancouver.
LM – Alain Rochat: 7/10 Alain Rochat thrived as a left midfielder, and really showed some of his offensive ability. The Quebec, native had two of the best chances to score for the Whitecaps in the first half when he had a brilliant blast on goal from well out on 32′. Montreal keeper, Evan Bush did well to clear the ball away. On the ensuing corner Rochat got his head on the ball, but he could not convert as the ball was cleared off the line by the Impact. In front of more than 20 family, and friends Rochat had one of his best games in recent memory.
CM – Gershon Koffie: 7/10 Koffie earned his minutes, and fought hard for all 90. With the Whitecaps wanting to eliminate any, and all scoring chances Gershon Koffie delivered defensively for Vancouver. He was able to head the ball away countless times, and was in great position for much of the evening. The creative two-way player was asked to play more of a defensive game, and he responded with a strong showing. Koffie has his head in the game, and he was determined, and focused on protecting the Whitecaps half of the pitch.
CM – Matt Watson: 6/10 Having not played since the 1st leg of the semifinals again FC Edmonton, Matt Watson looked shaky in the opening forty-five. His passes weren’t crisp, and looked rushed whenever he got the ball. In the opening minute he was the recipient of a cross inside the Montreal box that he was unable to fully connect on. To make matters worse, Watson was the victim of a harsh challenge from Marco Di Vaio in the 33′. The Italian earned himself a yellow card after a dangerous two footed tackle that sent Watson flying. In the second half Watson took a knock to the back of the head, and had to be helped off the field. For a player that doesn’t get many minutes, the England native was a target of the Montreal Impact. Watson is not a strong threat to score, but he does bring a sound defensive performance when asked upon, and that’s what he did in Montreal.
RM – Russell Teibert: 5/10 Coming off his most prolific game in a Whitecaps uniform, Teibert had a somewhat of a disappointing game in Montreal. With the Whitecaps focused primarily on defense, the Niagara Falls, Ontario, native didn’t have as many opportunities to showcase his talents. With his confidence growing after each match Teibert is a dangerous threat to score every time he steps onto the pitch. Against Montreal, Teibert had a cross that was sent to Matt Watson in the opening minute, and a shot attempt that went well wide to the right of Evan Bush in the 63′. This was not the greatest stage for Teibert to showcase his ability, and thus he had a quiet game.
ST – Darren Mattocks: 4/10 As a lone striker up top with his team focused on shutting down the opposition Darren Mattocks didn’t do much of anything before Martin Rennie subbed him off in the 65.’ Mattocks looked tired, and uninterested. He wasn’t able to create any chances to score, and he didn’t make anyone around him better. This was a defense first effort by Vancouver, and Mattocks did not factor into this game.
ST – Corey Hertzog: 5/10 Hertzog came on for a lackluster Darren Mattocks in the 65′, and did not come up with any opportunities to score. The usual super sub did not have much of an impact, as Montreal carried much, if not all of the play in the second half. Hertzog couldn’t get forward because Vancouver never broke through for a counter attack.
RM – Erik Hurtado: 5/10 With the Whitecaps looking slow, and sluggish, and with the game coming to a close, Martin Rennie brought on the speedy Erik Hurtado for Alain Rochat with 11 minutes before full-time. Hurtado committed a foul in the 86′, and was lucky that Johnny Leveron was able to clear the ball out of danger. In extra time the Oregon, native had a shot from well out that was easily caught and saved by Evan Bush.
My Man of the Match: Nigel Reo-Coker