Coach: Frank Klopas – 6/10
Honestly I’m getting a little tired of seeing the same formation with Oduro up top. In essence, IMFC have been playing a "False 9" offence of late, with the Ghanaian playing more on the wing than the center. It’s made it fairly easy for opposing teams to defend against, as the Impact constantly play the safe ball to the outside instead of attacking through the middle. After conceding cheaply twice, the match unsurprisingly turned in IMFC’s favor with the inclusion of the 3 subs. Jackson’s presence in the middle gave the Impact’s offence some height and strength but also an actual game plan. Maybe Oduro’s 2 goals against NYCFC gave the coach the impression that he was working at striker, but to me that game just an aberration.
K: Eric Kronberg – 5/10
Kronberg didn’t have much to do in the game. He did well on Mattocks’ semi breakaway in the first half, when he came out quickly to stop a potential shot, but was very poor on the Morales’ goal. He was very slow to notice the danger to his right, and also could have built a better wall on that side.
CB: Laurent Ciman – 7/10
Strange game for Ciman. He did not seem his usual self at times on Wednesday. In the first half he made a bit of a wild tackle on the Impact endline that he got away with a bit, and then seemed to fall asleep on Vancouver’s opening goal, losing Mattocks in his blind spot, or so it seemed. He then made a rather reckless challenge that led to Morales’ free kick goal. Just when it seemed like it was going to be the worst game of Ciman’s Impact career, he headed home an absolute beauty of a header to get IMFC on the board. Go figure.
CB: Wandrille Lefèvre – 7/10
Pretty solid game overall for Wandrille Lefèvre. He always seems to play a poised, solid game with Ciman by his side, and Wednesday’s match was no different. Didn’t have a lot to do defensively, but made his mark with good positioning and some heady distribution. What I like about Lefèvre is that he always has his head up when he gets the ball, and is always looking to release a player down the wing. Connected with Romero and Oyongo on a couple of really well weighted balls in this vein.
LB: Donny Toia 7.5/10
Doing ratings for Toia has always been very trying, because there is never much to talk about. The guy just plays solid defence; there’s not much else to say. I liked that he got himself a bit more implicated on the offensive side of the pitch against Vancouver, and I think he will continue to improve in that regard.
RB: Ambroise Oyongo 7.5/10
Ambroise Oyongo really is a complete footballer. He gets after it on defence and is a constant threat down the right flank. Could improve a bit on his decision-making skills in and around the opponent’s box, but with no really goal presence in the area, I’ll give him a pass for now. I think everyone will begin to improve his decision-making skills when Drogba arrives…
DM: Marco Donadel 7.5/10
Marco was generally very effective in this game, and slowly I see a player who is beginning to provide some leadership on the pitch. On Wednesday I saw a player that had a calming presence in the middle of the pitch, and one who made the right pass time and time again. Could have been a bit more forceful on the Whitecaps first goal, but he decided not to leave his feet to make a tackle, for better or worse. Besides that, he made a number of excellent crosses and corners, which finally led to fruition on Ciman’s goal.
DM: Nigel Reo-Coker 6.5/10
Defence and energy-wise, I thought this was one of the better performances we’ve seen from Reo-Coker this year. He was wayward on several passes, but in his defence they were homerun balls that were intended to stretch the defence. If they would have worked, they could have resulted in A1 scoring chances. His one mistake, where he received a pass a bit awkwardly then held onto it too long, could have been costly, but overall I thought the good outweighed the bad for the Englishman. He harried the Vancouver players in the middle of the park all night long, and won back a lot of balls as a result.
CAM: Johan Venegas – 6/10
The Costa Rican still looks like he’s trying to figure out where he fits on this team, and what role best suits him. He played as a CAM on Wednesday, but floated around a lot, often ending up on the left side. He has really good feet and does a good job of shielding the ball from defenders. Displayed some nice creativity with his passing, but is not quite on the same page as his teammates.
LM: Maxim Tissot – 6/10
Not a bad outing at all for the Montréaler, as he almost opened the scoring early on with a shot/pass that went off the far post. Tissot will never wow you with his ball skills, but he has good awareness and makes good runs, and simple, precise passes. Like Mapp, he’s a nice changeup at wing compared to the more flamboyant Duka, Romero and Venegas.
RM: Dilly Duka – 6/10
At times I really enjoyed Duka’s performance on Wednesday, and at other moments was disappointed. He displayed excellent feet on more than a few occasions, easily beating a defender with a slick turn or dancing around another with ease, but he failed to capitalize on these maneuvers. Both he and Venegas struggled with their decision making, often holding on to the ball too long only to make a simple, predictable pass out wide instead of into the middle.
Striker: Dominic Oduro 6/10
You can’t really fault Oduro much; he’s definitely trying hard out there, but it’s just hard for him to make something happen when defenses like Vancouver sit back and wait. He’s not going to win a header against the likes of a Waston, and when he tried to make diagonal runs in the box to free himself, his teammates ignored him. I hate to say it game in, game out, but the striker role just doesn’t suit him.
Subs: Mapp, Jackson-Hamel, Romero
To put it simply, the offence was going nowhere until these 3 players entered the fray. I was most impressed with Jackson-Hamel, who did an excellent job of being active in the box. His movement in around the box was too much for the VWFC backline to handle, to the point where he managed three clear cut chances to score, one of which he capitalized on.
Mapp looked a little slow out of the gate, but as I mentioned before, he has the football knowhow to make a beautiful play look simple. Such was his pass to Jackson-Hamel that resulted in a goal.
After receiving a nice through ball by Romero in the box, he made a quick, short pass to a dangerous spot in front of goal where two Impact players were lying in wait. What’s smart about the pass is that its not to a player in particular, it’s to a spot that is extremely dangerous. Too often do we see IMFC players hold onto the ball too long, looking to pick out a perfect shot or pass. What’s needed is quick thinking more often than not, to shoot or pass before the defence has time to set its feet. Mapp showed a football IQ on that play that has been seriously lacking on this team up front.