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Vancouver Whitecaps atone for midweek sins, but still eliminated from playoffs

Los Angeles, CA, USA; Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder Jordon Mutch (77) celebrates with his team after a goal during the second half against Los Angeles FC at Banc of California Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

After a decent performance against LAFC, the Vancouver Whitecaps somewhat atoned for their midweek 4-1 defeat against Sporting Kansas. But, the Canadian team was officially eliminated from the 2018 Major League Soccer Cup nonetheless.

Real Salt Lake City’s midweek 4-1 victory over the New England Revolution meant the Whitecaps only had a slim mathematical chance to reach the postseason. After going down 2-0 against LAFC, the Whitecaps got back into the match to finish 2-2, but failed to gain the necessary three points to keep that miniscule playoff chance alive.

Alphonso Davies will be missed

The No. 1 reason for the Whitecaps’ comeback during the match was Alphonso Davies.

The 17-year-old winger missed the midweek game against Sporting Kansas City, and without him the Whitecaps were toothless. Against LAFC it was a different story. 

Davies showed all sorts of trickery to terrorize LAFC’s backline. He had a team-high rating of 7.80 out of 10 on the statistics page Whoscored.com.

With the Whitecaps eliminated, Davies will play his last game for Vancouver next week. Davies will without a doubt receive a big send-off, but at the same time, many fans will ask the following question: Can the Whitecaps truly replace Davies?

Change is coming

Davies will not be the only player leaving the Whitecaps at the end of the season. 

The firing of head coach Carl Robinson three weeks ago means the squad will see a significant rebuild starting after next Saturday. 

Some of those changes will also be influenced by what the management, and the potential new head coach, has seen from the team since Robinson has been fired. Since then, the Whitecaps have lost two games, beaten Toronto FC and now drawn LAFC. 

What about Kendall Waston?

Only a few players have performed up to the standards required to compete in this league. Among them are Yordy Reyna, Alphonso Davies and captain Kendall Waston. 

Davies will be gone and Reyna will without a doubt receive offers from bigger clubs as well. Waston, in the meantime, has one year left on his contract, but a tweet posted Sunday cast some doubt over his future at the club.

The tweet shows Waston together with his son overlooking Vancouver.

“Sometimes a change is good, but sometimes it can be wonderful. #PursueYourHappiness,” it read.

What does the cryptic message mean? We are likely to find out soon, after the season officially ends.

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