Whitecaps (versus Toronto) Player Ratings
by Harjeet Johal
GK - Joe Cannon - Cannon made some great saves in the first few moments of the game. He wasn’t tested often, but when he was he came up with a needed save. Toronto doesn’t have a lot of scoring threats, and Cannon was able to stay focused and locked in for whatever attempt on goal he might face. The eldest member of the Whitecaps had a great game, and deserved his clean sheet. It will be hard for Brad Knighton to return to the net if Cannon can stay healthy and continue to play at a high level. 7.5/10
LB – Alain Rochat - Rochat had a bit of trouble with Toronto FC midfielder Reggie Lambe. Rochat committed a few fouls early in the game. None earned him a yellow card but for Whitecaps fans it was unusual to see Rochat struggle with an opposition player. He settled down and had a much better second half. 6/10
CB – Jay DeMerit - DeMerit lasted only 8 minutes. The captain went up for a header and came down on the pitch awkwardly favouring his left leg. It’s suspected that he has re-injured his ailing Achilles tendon, which had been bothering him all pre-season. (No mark awarded)
CB – Andy O’Brien - O’Brien had a steady game, and was quickly able to adapt to his new centre back parter Brad Rusin. O’Brien’s biggest contribution to the game came when he lobbed the ball up the pitch. Y.P. Lee eventually got the ball and that led to the lone goal of the game. 6.5/10
RB- Y.P. Lee - The Whitecaps best defender in 2012 picked up where he left off last season. Y.P. Lee looked smooth and ever so comfortable at his familiar right back position. He got forward at just the right times, and covered himself defensively when needed. His ability to read the play before it happens is a gift that few players have. Y.P. Lee earned the second assist on the game wining goal but it was his effort that setup up the masterful passing play that led to Koffie’s goal. For a 35 year-old player Y.P. Lee looks like he could play for another 10 years and not lose a step. 8/10
LM – Kekuta Manneh - Manneh had some great bursts of speed down the left side. He gave Toronto FC fits at times. The young 18-year old needs to work on his play with and without the ball after he sprints past defenders. Manneh gave the ball away numerous times and he needs a lot of work on the defensive side of the game. He offers plenty of reward for the Whitecaps but his lapses on defense could cost the Whitecaps points down the road. 6.5/10
CM- Jun Marques Davidson - Davidson played the role that Alain Rochat found himself playing much of last season. Davidson played in front of the back four and did a spectacular job protecting the back line from any Toronto FC attack. His effort may not be reflected on the official match report, but Davidson did a bang up job in the defensive half of the field for the Whitecaps. 7/10
CM – Gershon Koffie - Fresh off of signing a contract extension this week the Ghanaian midfielder showed fans why he’s worth every penny.
Koffie scored the only goal of the game from just inside the box in the 58th minute.
Daigo Kobayashi put the ball on a platter for Koffie and he blasted it past helpless goalkeeper Joe Bendik. 7.5/10
RM - Daigo Kobayashi - Like most of the Whitecaps Kobayashi got off to a lackluster start. He seemed to jell a lot better in his surroundings as the game progressed. Kobayashi played a significant part in the Whitecaps goal.
Y.P. Lee did all of the work but it was Kobayashi who was able to sneak into a position that allowed him to perfectly setup Gershon Koffie. Kobayashi has the ability to create a lot more scoring opportunities for his teammates as the season goes on and tonight was a teaser into what the talented Japanese attacking midfielder can do. 7/10
ST – Kenny Miller - Kenny Miller wore the captain’s armband when Jay DeMerit left the game. Miller missed the target on the few scoring chances he was involved in. He did run around the pitch a lot and he looked a lot more interested in playing compared to last season. The boo birds weren’t out to get him, but they will if he doesn’t contribute to the offense like he is expected to do. 6/10
ST – Darren Mattocks - Mattocks is the go to guy for the Whitecaps and in the first half he was going absolutely nowhere. When Nigel Reo-Coker came on in the second half Mattocks played a lot better. Reo-Coker setup up Mattocks on a few occasions but he could not convert. Mattocks is a very talented player, and many think he will lead the Whitecaps in scoring this season but if he needs another player to get him going that is a troubling sign for the Whitecaps. 6/10
CB Brad Rusin - Rusin came on for the injured Jay DeMerit in the 8th minute and looked liked he had been playing in the Whitecaps back four for years. The smooth centre back from Crown Point, Indiana cleared the ball away and used every part of his 6’4″ frame. This was Rusin’s first time playing in MLS and he showed that he belongs in this league. 7/10
CM – Nigel Reo-Coker - Reo-Coker made his MLS debut at halftime coming on for rookie Kekuta Manneh. Reo-C, as it says on the back of his kit had a quite the convincing game. Reo-Coker curled some crosses into the box and had a calming effect in the midfield.
You could clearly tell that South Londoner has all the talent and quality about him that makes him an exceptional footballer. When Nigel Reo-Coker is on the pitch he makes everyone else on his team look a lot better. The Whitecaps woke up from their afternoon nap when Reo-Coker came into the game. 8/10
ST – Erik Hurtado - Hurtado made his MLS debut for the Whitecaps in the 75th minute when he came on for Daigo Kobayashi. Hurtado is one of the fastest players on the team and he was able to get forward and use his speed in the limited time he had on the pitch.
His best chance to score came in the 88th minute when the ball came to him all a lone in the Toronto box. Hurtado got a touch but his shot was blocked by a Toronto FC defender. Hurtado may have taken just a little too much time. That’s something he will have to adjust to in MLS. 6/10
My Man of the Match: Y.P. Lee