VANCOUVER — The Vancouver Whitecaps’ final game of the season was all about Alphonso Davies. The 17-year-old played his last game for the Caps in Vancouver’s 2-1 win over Portland on MLS Decision Day.
With Vancouver having crashed out of the playoffs and opponent Portland Timbers already qualified for the MLS Cup playoffs, the Whitecaps marketing team directed all attention on young star Davies.
The hashtag #FarewellPhonzie was used ahead of the match and was among the topics trending in Canada ahead of and during the game against the Timbers.
“Super proud of Alphonso, I know you guys are too,” Russell Teibert told the media following the game. Davies also gave the team talk in the pre-match huddle. “I didn’t even hear it. It sounded like some sort of rap song. He was hyped up for the game, and it was awesome,” Teibert added with a smile on his face.
On the pitch, Davies was certainly on fire scoring both goals for the Whitecaps. “I say it was the perfect ending; I was able to get two goals,” a rather humble Davies told the press after the match.
Alphonso Davies last scored two goals against Minnesota United, just days after the transfer to Bayern Munich was announced. Now against Portland in his last game before making the move, Davies scored twice again.
“Coming into this game, knowing it is my last game for Vancouver, I wanted to leave with a positive feeling,” Davies added.
⚽️Alphonso Davies scores twice for #VWFC
— Manuel Veth (@ManuelVeth) October 28, 2018
What’s next for Whitecaps?
That positive feeling was certainly echoed by the club and the supporters in and around BC Place on Saturday afternoon. But at the same time, the club has to ask itself whether it meets the expectations of the supporters when the biggest positive on Decision Day is saying goodbye to your biggest star.
“It is a good day to be a Whitecaps player and fan,” Teibert said, while also offering criticism.”We have a good group of guys in the locker room. But we didn’t make the playoffs, so some things need to change.”
“We should be a team that possesses the ball. What you saw tonight was a confident team. We should be a team that can make the playoffs,” Teibert concluded.
There is no doubt that there will be a major rebuild at the club over the summer. That rebuild will also include a new coach, with the likeliest candidate being Los Angeles FC assistant coach and Montreal native Marc dos Santos.
Davies passing the torch
Part of that rebuild will likely include talented striker Simon Colyn. The 16-year-old native of Langley, BC, made his debut against Portland, fittingly coming on for Alphonso Davies in the second half.
Started with @WFCAcademy and now he's here.
— Vancouver Whitecaps (@WhitecapsFC) October 28, 2018
“It was exciting, excited to be out there and just experience it, once I got on the field I just focused on keeping the ball and passing it to my teammates,” a seemingly excited Colyn told the press following the game.
Asked whether it was a passing of the torch Colyn said: “I thought it was a cool moment. He is what I was or rather he is what I am a couple of years ago, and I inspire to be like him.”
Colyn looked fantastic in his debut and within moments of coming on Colyn almost scored his first MLS goal.
“To go around him, to go over the top of him, then I got mixed in the middle, and it didn’t work out so well…” Colyn said when asked about his one-versus-one situation against Portland keeper Jeff Attinella.
With Colyn the Caps have another fantastic talent in the pipeline, and with experience, the 16-year-old will likely find the right solution when going one-versus-one goalkeepers in the future.