VANCOUVER, B.C – Vancouver Whitecaps Match Ratings at New York Red Bulls
GK – Brad Knighton: 8/10 Knighton made a great save off Fabian Espindola in the 15′ as the Argentine broke down the left flank for a shot on target from a sharp angle. Knighton was the best Whitecaps player in the opening half, and if it wasn’t for his strong play New York would have had an early lead. The Whitecaps keeper was able to stop Thierry Henry from chipping him, and he also made a diving save on Jonny Steele. With Vancouver sitting back, the Caps goalie was in a the zone when called upon There was nothing that could be done to prevent the Red Bulls lone goal. Steele had his shot go off Klazura, and Knighton was not in position to make the save because of the late deflection. Otherwise, Knighton was fantastic in net, and his outstanding play early on helped the Whitecaps earn their first MLS road victory of the season.
LB – Jordan Harvey: 8.5/10 Harvey received a lot of criticism after he failed to score in stoppage time against the Montreal Impact in the Voyageurs Cup final on Wednesday night. The sure-footed left back not known for his scoring had a beautiful chance to win the cup for Vancouver but he missed the net completely. Looking to redeem himself against New York, Harvey made the most of his opportunity to score. Eric Alexander had his clearing attempt go right to Harvey, and he blasted the ball top corner past Luis Robles. Harvey made no mistake, and equalized for Vancouver knotting the game at 1-1, and silenced the critics in the process.
CB – Johnny Leveron: 7.5/10 The Honduran defender made his return to MLS play after sitting out the Whitecaps 2-2 draw against Portland 2 weeks ago because of suspension. Leveron had a free kick just before the final whistle in the first half. Although he did not hit the target, his confidence in taking the kick was evident as he fired just over the top right corner. Leveron was terrific in his own end of the pitch, as he defended well against Henry, and Espindola limiting their chances to convert.
CB – Andy O’Brien: 8/10 Andy O’Brien continued to show why he has been the best Whitecaps defender all season long. Going up against Henry, and Espindola, the Irishman did well to limit the duo’s chances to score. He led the Whitecaps on the field with his outstanding play throughout the match. He headed, and cleared the ball out of danger many times, and when he was caught out of position Henry, and the Red Bulls weren’t able to take advantage. O’Brien has been the anchor at the back-end, and the Whitecaps would be a different team for the worse without him in their lineup.
RB – Greg Klazura: 6.5/10 Klazura had some great runs in the 1st half down the right flank. His crosses into the box were intercepted by New York, but Klazura played with a lot of energy, and tempo in his first career MLS start. Luck was not on his side in the 2nd half because Klazura was the victim of an own goal. Jonny Steele had his shot on target deflect off Klazura, and past Brad Knighton. To make matters worse the former Notre Dame stand out had to leave the game minutes later with a leg injury. It was not the best MLS début for Klazura, but he did show flashes of promise in the 1st half. If he has the right character, he will realise than a freak own goal and a freak injury do not mean too much in the long run for his future MLS career.
LM – Alain Rochat: 6.5/10 Rochat was danced by Juninho in the 1st half, and the Brazilian had his shot from distance miss the target just by inches. Alain Rochat can’t allow himself to be caught out of position by the opposition, and Juninho almost made him pay. His tough game continued in the 2nd half when he had his ear clipped by the boot of a Red Bulls player. After getting some repairs he was able to stay in the game. Rochat was gassed, and had little energy left after his knock. Martin Rennie subbed him off for Daigo Kobayashi in the 77′.
CM – Jun Marques Davidson: 6.5/10 Espindola whacked Davidson in the face late in the 1st half, and play was stopped. Davidson was able to continue on without injury. His play was a bit of a roller-coaster ride. Davidson made some ghastly give-aways, and failed to clear the ball at time when he should have. However nothing came back to bite him in the ass. Going up against the likes of Espindola, Henry, and McCarty proved to be a challenge, and for the most part Davidson’s play settled down, and Vancouver got going once they played with the ball, and got forward.
RM – Matt Watson: 7.5/10 Watson made his second MLS start of the season, and looked great. In the opening half he was able to steal the ball, and setup Kenny Miller for a scoring chance. His play in the midfield was terrific, and he helped the Whitecaps rebound after a sloppy 1st half when New York was dominating possession. Watson was sound, and his play without the ball was key for the Whitecaps as they defended late with 1 goal lead.
AM – Russell Teibert: 7/10 Teibert had a frustrating game early on, and was unable to get anything going offensively. New York had most of the possession in the first half, and the Canadian had few opportunities to showcase his skills. Russell changed his fortune in the 2nd half when the Whitecaps offense started to take shape. Russell’s play improved when New York went down to 10-men, and he was instrumental in the 2-1 Vancouver goal. Teibert delivered a fantastic cross that was headed home by Miller. Teibert had been working on connecting with Miller on previous crosses but nothing worked until the 83′. In stoppage time Miller tried to return the favour when he setup Teibert. Unfortunately his shot on target went well over the crossbar.
AM – Camilo Sanvezzo: 6.5/10 Camilo had a free kick, and also took two corners for Vancouver in the opening forty-five. His accuracy was not at it’s best as nothing came from those opportunities. Camilo’s best chance to score came in the 69′ minute when Russell Teibert found him with a brilliant ball. His shot to the bottom left corner was stopped by Luis Robles. Kekuta Manneh came on for Camilo in the 87′.
ST – Kenny Miller: 8/10 The Whitecaps captain had a quiet 1st half, and his only opportunity to score came from a weak attempt on goal that went wide. Miller looked to be frustrated throughout the game, but his persistence, and professionalism paid off in the 2nd half with the winning goal. Russell Teibert sent in a cross, and Kenny Miller was quick to his feet to get past his defender, Kosuke Kimura to head the ball home past Robles. This was the first Caps goal of the season off a direct cross. Kenny Miller bagged his 3rd MLS goal of the season, and Vancouver now has a 3-0-0 record when Kenny Miller wears the captains armband this season.
RB – Y.P. Lee: 7.5/10 Lee was supposed to have this game off, but he was called upon in the 57′ when Greg Klazura had to leave with an injury. The veteran defender showed no rust, and stepped right into play with ease. His cross into the Red Bulls box eventually found its way to Jordan Harvey who scored. Lee didn’t get as much rest as he probably thought he would, and he showed that he doesn’t need much of a break to keep up his great form.
AM – Daigo Kobayashi: 5.5/10 Kobayashi came on for a struggling Alain Rochat, and provided a boost off the bench when many of the Whitecaps players looked spent, and exhausted. With his ankle injury still not completely 100% the Japanese native was still able to contribute as Vancouver looked for a second goal.
RM – Kekuta Manneh: 5.5/10 Kekuta had a chance to give the Whitecaps a 3-1 lead in the 88′, however his chip on goal was cleared by the Red Bulls once the ball got past Robles. The speedy Gambian rookie spread the field, and helped Vancouver push forward even after scoring the go ahead goal.
My Man of the Match: Kenny Miller