They can't seem to give us a comfortable win, can they? It's always last minute, always with drama, an in this case, with some spectacular goals. Let's see how they did individually. Per usual, 1-10 rating system, starting from the back to the front:
Chris Seitz- 6.5, He was definitely up to the tasks when challenged. He had little shot on the goal, and that was not really anything he could do about it other than a dangerous run off his line. He didn't kick any balls out of bounds and had some great saves.
Michel- 4, He was not up to the task. He was caught out of position on the goal and drifted too much into the middle. While his free kick service was good as always, there is going to come a point very soon where his limitations on the field are going to override his contribution with his feet. The biggest problem is turnovers. He can't seem to keep the ball in our possession. He even had a turnover on a throw in. That's... wow. Even if Benitez didn't have the goal, I'd still call for a benching.
Matt Hedges- 7, Hey, you know that 2nd leading goal scorer in MLS, Camillo? He was a non-factor all night. Why? Hedges. Hedges shut him down, made sure he only got one chance, and was just solid all around with clearances. My only gripe with his game in general is that you never see him beyond the halfway mark except on corners.
George John- 6.5, Part of the reason Vancouver could not get the ball out of their half most the night was John's cleaning up their clearances. He was active and was part of the shut down middle that kept Vancouver's most dangerous guys out of the box. My only knock is that he was part of the group that lost Kobayashi on the goal.
Kellyn Acosta- 6.5, Finally saw him get beat a couple times. His slight frame means all the technique in the world can help defeat larger guys, but not 100% of the time. Still, he's 18, and has a lot of time to muscle up. His defense was again solid, and he got forward very well with some nifty moves. UPDATE: rtschaefer convinced me that Acosta's grade should be raised. His "work rate" necessitated a reevaluation, as did the fact that no serious pressure came from his side. This is a rarity.
Andrew Jacobson- 5, For him this was a very good return. He didn't disappear as usual, and had some very good distribution and some very bad distribution. You'd want him to put more pressure on the guys coming forward, but that's just not in his game. Frankly, he shouldn't be this hard to replace. Maybe when Luccin is game fit we'll see what he's got, and then it's AJ and Michel fighting for minutes.
Erick- 6.5, There was a lot of spectacular in his game, but there was a lot of frustration for me too. His bad clearance led to the goal. His shots were either badly blocked or so far off the mark it was disturbing. But the guy is a freaking brick wall in the midfield. He can clean up anything that's coming forward. It's fun to watch really. Now just get him to settle when presented with an offensive chance and you've got something there.
Jackson- 6, This guy was part of the keying of the offence again. No frustration in his game tonight, but he was definitely making life dangerous on his end. Problem is how he left Acosta out to dry a lot on the defensive end. I may be misremembering, but there was a time where Kellyn was stuck on a 2 on 1 situation and no help arrived. I thought it was Jackson's duty to get down there, and he didn't.
One thing I've noticed about Jackson though is that he has no left foot. He had great opportunities passed on because his confidence ( I assume) in that foot is next to nothing. And if I'm noticing this, I don't see how others arent.
David Ferreira- 5.5, He disappeared from the offense for stretches at a time. A lot of this had to do with the successes on the wings, but it didn't seem like he was orchestrating a lot out there. That mostly came from Watson, Castillo, and Jackson. This was his worst game since he woke up, and I hope it doesn't become a pattern. Even so, Mauro can get it done.
Je-Vaughn Watson- 7.5, His third straight best game of the year, and this time he was constantly dangerous. He had almost 0 turnovers, and showed that he can be an offensive force in the middle. I spoke with some guys on twitter, and this is his natural position. Which begs the question, WHY THE HELL WAS HE PUT AT DMID IN THE FIRST PLACE?!? He's obviously an offensive mid, and playing him that out of position was criminal! This only applies if he continues though. Maybe this was an aberration.
Still though, for this game he was penetrating, dangerous, and had a great rapport with Castillo that led to some great chances. He's worked his way into the offensive rotation.
Fabian Castillo- 6.5, proved that he should be the partner in the 2 of the 4-4-2 when blas gets back. He's a force in the final 3rd exemplified by his much better decision making down there that led to two assists. The problem was his the middle third where his countless turnovers had to be cleaned up a lot more. Some killed build ups, and others led to a breakaway or 2. But he's gotta be on the field and will be a part of this team for years.
Jair Benitez- 7.5, Wow. What a goal. That was Beckham in his flop cut good. More importantly, he shut down the attack on his side. He demonstrated with his run ups that he is more dangerous than Michel, and a better defender. He's earned the next start.
Eric Hassli- 6, To paraphrase Jeff from the first episode of Community, "Hassli, I totally see your value now!" His insertion in the game changed the attack completely. He was a bruiser out there, he moved, and he looked like he should be the first guy off the bench over Cooper just by fighting for possession. He set up Castillo's run very well just by regaining possession, which is something I don't see possible in Cooper's game. This will be a fun debate to have. Still not worth the money.
Mauro Diaz- 8, MOTM. Holy crap. I think his goal was better than Jair's. Guy goes airborne and volleys home a ridiculous goal that SHOULD be a candidate for GOTY. Sadly for him, Jair's goal will get more votes on GOTW. More than this, he was a force in the middle from the moment he stepped on to the field. The guy is our super-sub and instant offense. He'll be fun to watch when they can get him a full 90.
Schellas Hyndman- 7.5, My best score for Hyndmann to date. He figured out how to use Watson. He saw Michel as a detriment and got him out of there. His sub of Hassli definitely changed the dynamic and put the Vancouver backline on its heels. Bringing in Mauro gave us pressure up the middle. He was prescient, made smart subs, and put the right guys in the right positions. The only issue I have is finding a place to hide Michel, as his service is needed, but everything else is just not working.