Oh well. Only one more game to get through before this season can finally be laid to rest for the Vancouver Whitecaps.
And, tempting though it may be to look away from the horror show of a year, that means it’s time to look upon all the horrors to have been performed in our name.
Or, in other words, time for the player ratings for the season.
Let’s start with the goalkeepers and full backs.
Stefan Marinovic- What can we say about Marinovic? Seriously, what can we say?
Marinovic is an oddity for a goalkeeper in that he doesn’t have any defining characteristics or on field personality or anything of anything really.
Does he even exist when we aren’t watching him play?
His first full season in Vancouver has been marked by injury and a startling inability to prevent the opposition from scoring less than two goals and while the defensive frailties are not solely his responsibility he’s been unable to offer any degree of organization for the players in front of him.
Marinovic almost never makes a terrible mistake and almost never makes a game winning save. He just is.
Brian Rowe- Rowe stepped in for the games where Marinovic was missing and it didn’t make much difference. The team still conceded the obligatory two goals most of the time and while Rowe was less decisive than Marinovic in commanding his area the transition between the two was sadly seamless.
Jake Nerwinski- The young full back fell victim to the increasingly bizarre selection strategy as the season progressed. Just when it seemed he was set for a run in the side he was left on the bench for enough games to allow him to lose his match sharpness.
By the end of the year he had reestablished himself as the first choice right back but never quite lived up the standards he set last season.
His defending will always be a little suspect, a bad decision here a moment’s hesitation there, but this was offset by his attacking threat.
This season though he’s offered little of value in that area.
And when he has got forward his delivery has been poor (ironically he was one of the best crossers of the ball last year) possibly because he’s trying just too hard to get the delivery right. Maybe the whole back line have had to think too much about what they’re doing?
Nerwinski will always be a trier and the hope is that a new coach will use him in a way that magnifies his strength and limits his weakness (Hint. Playing as a wing back).
Season Rating- 4.5
Brett Levis- In some way just seeing Levis get a run of games and earning the start at left back is a kind of triumph after the injuries he has suffered.
But he’ll need more than that if he is going to be a regular in 2019.
Firstly he needs to figure out his inability to get through the full ninety minutes (It has to be psychological at this stage surely?) and secondly he needs to find a level of consistency that has eluded him thus far.
But Levis will always be a trier and the hope has to be that a new coach will use him in a way that magnifies his strength and limits his weakness (Hint. Playing as a wing back).
Sean Franklin- A stop-gap replacement for Nerwinski who probably played two or three games too many to the detriment of team cohesion.
Franklin did nothing too terrible but was still part of that defence so let’s not get carried away.
Marcel de Jong- This has been a season in which de Jong has very much regressed.
He began the year as the first choice left back and put in a few of his typically solid performances before losing his way.
Put some of that down to injury and put some of it down to being part of a disorganized back line but he still made too many unforced errors for such an experienced player and he’ll do well to convince the new man that he still offers value to the team next season.
Next time out it’s the central defenders. Yikes!