The Whitecaps may have been playing like a team unpossessed, but sticking the ball in the pokey is all that matters come the full time whistle.
Robert Earnshaw knows exactly how to do that, as he’s shown countless times now in his career, and especially on his debuts. That was a highlight, as was Nicolas Mezquida’s wonderful free kick opener, but Aaron Campbell looks over “The Good, The Average and The Bad” from the ‘Caps 2-1 Cascadia Cup win over the Timbers.
The Great Dane David Ousted
A great showing by Ousted, he stepped up when his team needed him to get the three points from their Cascadian rivals.
On the goal you could put a little bit of blame on him for his lack of rebound control, but there is no way that shot should have been given up by Steven Beitashour (Spoiler Alert – see “The Bad” below). He stood on his head a few times to keep the score tied 1-1 to give the team the chance they needed to win the game.
There was an interesting exchange between him and Octavio Rivero on the Portland cross that just missed the far post. Instead of running out after the play and yelling at his defenders, as we have seen him do numerous times, he went up to Rivero and didn’t start yelling but showed him what he did wrong and what he would like him to do next time. Then on the next corner, after he caught the cross that was whipped into the box, he gave Rivero a pat on the ass for standing his line and not letting Borchers run straight to the post.
Ousted has been great this season (3W-0D-1L – 1.00GAA – 2CS). Really, out of the 4 goals he gave up you can only blame him in the first Altidore one from the first game versus TFC. Other than that it has been lack of defending in front of him and a penalty kick.
Erik Hurtado’s First Start Of The Season
Carl Robinson gave him a shot with the suspension to Kekuta Manneh to show what he can contribute to the squad.
Other than a few crosses into the box where there were no Whitecaps players around to convert it, you really didn’t notice him that much on the pitch. Sure he had a few runs into the box that should have created scoring chances, but his passes were either picked off or too far behind the intended target striker.
In my opinion he didn’t do enough to continue being the starter over the young Manneh. He just didn’t show he deserves the spot moving forward.
The Defence Of Steven Beitashour
Another game, another time Beitashour gets beat down the wing and the Whitecaps get bested for another goal. On the Adi goal, not only did Beitashour pinch too far in the middle of the pitch but he then couldn’t recover in time and got beat down the wing where Portland got the shot on net. Ousted couldn’t control the rebound and Adi was able to beat the sprawling Ousted and tie the game up.
This is an ongoing problem for the right-back. Time and time again he is too far in the middle of the pitch, not fast enough down the wing and doesn’t stop enough crosses into the box.
With Ethen Sampson being loaned to USL today, it means Beitashour has the job moving forward (which is of course as we’d all expect) but he will have to improve so the Whitecaps don’t drop two points with a tie or lose all three on a sloppy goal.