On Wednesday, I wrote that during the season the Impact will lose some games they deserve to win and will get points from some games they deserve to lose. This Saturday was one of those games that we deserved to win but sadly were only able to pull 1 point from the match. The Impact's performance was impressive. We largely dominated one of the best squads in the MLS this year. The Colorado Rapids came into Saputo Stadium with a full week's rest and 3 consecutive wins. They also had one of the stingiest defences in the entire MLS in the lead-up to Saturday's game. The fact that the Impact were able to pierce Colorado's defence twice was a remarkable feat. Unfortunately, Montreal's defence also gave up 2 goals to lead to the Impact's 2nd straight draw of the 2016 season. Here are my player ratings for this week's draw against the Colorado Rapids.
Evan Bush: The Impact's keeper is one of those rare players that has the ability to change the outcome of a game all on his own but, this week, Bush did not have a huge impact on the outcome of Saturday's match. On the Rapids 1st goal, Bush was helpless to prevent Shkelzen Gashi from netting his goal from point blank range. Colorado's 2nd goal was scored from inside the 6 yard box and was nearly impossible for the keeper to prevent. Bush did complete 5 saves (in the 18th, 29th, 39th, 62nd and 83rd minutes) but I found he lacked a certain aggressiveness in his box that led to more scoring chances for the Rapids. Performance Rating: 7/10
Maxim Tissot: The young Canadian has taken advantage of the injuries to the other fullbacks (Donny Toia and Hassoun Camara). On Saturday, Tissot made his only shot of the match count. The 24 year old from Gatineau Quebec fired in a long distance rocket that was just skimming a few inches above the ground before it buried itself into the back of Colorado keeper Zac MacMath's net in the 49th minute. Tissot's defensive play also stood out. He accumulated 7 interceptions and 4 recoveries on the left flank of the Impact's defence. Tissot is definitely my nominee for player of the game. Performance Rating: 9/10
Laurent Ciman: The 30 year Belgium did not have the best performance of his stay in Montreal this Saturday. We have come to expect flawless play from Ciman so whenever he commits a mistake, it sticks out like a sore thumb. The Belgium international had 6 interceptions and a shot but most people will only remember his missed intervention in the 46th minute that permitted Gashi to net the Rapids 1st goal of the game and equalize the score line. Performance Rating: 7/10
Wandrille Lefèvre: The Canadian has made the most of Victor Cabrera's recent mistakes. Wandrille was placed in the lineup for the Impact's midweek matchup in the Big Apple and he impressed Mauro Biello enough to receive a 2nd consecutive start. Lefèvre's defensive statistics were quite impressive. He had 6 interceptions, 7 clearances and 8 recoveries and only 1 tackle lost. Performance Rating: 8/10
Ambroise Oyongo: There are 2 components to a fullback's game: they must defend their flank as well as contribute to the attack by crossing the ball from their wing into the penalty area. On Saturday, Oyongo fulfilled his defensive responsibilities quite well although his lack of pressure permitted Mekeil Williams to whip in the cross that Gashi buried to equalize the score. Oyongo did have an impressive 7 recoveries and 5 clearances as well as 2 tackles. Offensively, Oyongo was not very present. In fact, he did not have a single cross into the box. Performance Rating: 6.5/10
Patrice Bernier: The Impact's captain received a vote of confidence from the coach with his 2nd consecutive presence in the starting 11. The veteran's role in Saturday's match was to patrol in front of the Impact' back four to help out when needed. Bernier was also the focal point of the Impact's transition play. The captain had a nearly flawless game with only 1 missed pass and 1 foul committed. He also had 4 recoveries, a clearance and a successful tackle. Performance Rating: 7.5/10
Kyle Bekker: Yet another young Canadian received the nod to play in Saturday's match. Bekker was teamed up with captain Bernier to play holding midfield over Eric Alexander and Callum Mallace. Bekker was supposed to play in front of Bernier as the more offensive holding midfielder and hopefully contribute to the attack. Offensively, Bekker was not at his best but he was still able to manage a shot on goal. His delivery on set pieces was nothing extraordinary. All in all, I did not find Bekker to be very visible on the pitch. He was not overwhelmingly involved in either the defensive or offensive effort. It is important to note that holding midfielder is not his natural position. I think he would be most useful in the middle of a 4-3-3 (the 1st 3) or playing as a #10. Performance Rating: 6/10
Well, those are my player ratings for the keeper, the back four and the holding midfielders. Stay tuned to MRS for the ratings on the attacking 4 and subs. Thanks for reading and if you have anything to say, feel free to leave a comment.
Question of the Week:
With a fully healthy line-up, what is your ideal holding midfield duo?