The travel problems Vancouver Whitecaps had getting to Orlando, which included an overnight stay in Dallas after they missed their connecting flight, all seemed worthwhile when Octavio Rivero turned like a corkscrew to head home his 96th minute winner at the Citrus Bowl.
Back to back road wins, and clean sheets, and Rivero making it three goals in his first three MLS games. So many talking points and Aaron brings you his latest “The Good, The Average and The Bad” to address some of them.
Diego Rodriguez stands tall
Talk about coming into a hostile environment to be welcomed into MLS. 31,000 fans wanting you to fail, booing every time you touch a player and don’t get called for a foul. Even with all of that Rodriguez played an excellent game. He partnered well with the other centreback Kendall Waston. Waston isn’t always the easiest player to play with. He can be a little too aggressive sometimes and that will leave a lot on his partners shoulders to cover for him. Rodriguez was able to be sound defensively and was able to stand tall during crosses and corner kicks that were sent into the box.
He was calm with the ball and made sound passes that got the ball away from Orlando’s strikers and kept the pressure off David Ousted.
With all the travel this season he showed Carl Robinson he can be called upon at any time when Kah needs a rest, although he may just have staked a claim to the starting spot in the process.
The play of Gershon Koffie
Had a great first 30 minutes where he was able to get under Kaka’s skin and get him upset. Getting a finger wagging from one of the world’s greats must be right up there in his footballing memories! Then he got a silly yellow card and had to settle down with his play so he wouldn’t pick up a second one.
In the second half he settled in nicely and was very sound clogging up the middle of the pitch with Laba. With Teibert away with Canada next week, Koffie will get a chance to build upon his play and make it hard for Robinson to take him out when Teibert is back, but he has to control his aggression or risk becoming a liability.
Sam Adekugbe’s tender ribs
After his MLS ‘Team of the Week’ performance last week, would people continue to talk about him this week? Unfortunately yes, and he will be talked about for all the wrong reasons. He ran into a mountain of a man in Donovan Ricketts and paid the price.
The reports from the Whitecaps are that his ribs are not broken but severely bruised. That’s somewhat good news, compared to what it could have been. After he was taken out of the stadium on a stretcher it looked really bad and Robinson said after the game they were wanting to make sure his lung was ok.
So partly good news in no break, but bruised ribs can take a time to heal as well. Also with the fact he was called up by Canada for next week the injury will take away his chance to represent his country. Tough for Sam and the Whitecaps.