Camilo shines again up top for Whitecaps FC

Brazilian enjoyed a strong performance on Saturday

VANCOUVER, BC – A couple of controversial refereeing decisions dominated the headlines after Saturday’s 2-2 draw between Vancouver Whitecaps FC and Portland Timbers, but it’s worth reflecting on the play of Camilo, who was a star for the ‘Caps in a rare spot as an out-and-out center forward.

His wonderfully taken first-half free kick (above) was just reward for a strong performance, and it was the latest goal in a strong season that has seen him score three times from six starts during the regular season. He also added an assist on Gershon Koffie’s goal against the Timbers, and he’s bagged two goals in as many appearances in the Amway Canadian Championship, which resumes May 29.

Saturday’s shift as a center forward was a first this season for Camilo, who typically plays an “inside left” under head coach Martin Rennie.

READ: Timbers fight back, earn road point in Vancouver

“They were pressing high, and therefore there was an opportunity for us to find him and his low center of gravity against two big [defenders],” Rennie said after the match. “I thought he would hold the ball up well, which he did. He’s a goal threat, which is important. … I think he did excellent tonight and he’s the top scoring player in the club’s history. And he showed why tonight.”

In an effort to rotate his squad to maintain an element of freshness in his group for all competitions, Renne left Camilo and a number of other players behind in Vancouver for the first leg of the Canadian Championship in Montreal last week.

READ: 'Caps lament blown call, bad defense at BC Place

“I think so,” Camilo said when asked if skipping out on that match helped his energy level on Saturday. “I think I stayed fresh.”

As for the more central role, it was a position the 24-year-old was happy to embrace.

“It’s a long time I didn’t played there,” Camilo said. “I do my best, hold the ball, play short – and I think we had a very good game.”