What we learned vs. Portland Timbers

The legend backs Camilo for MLS Most Valuable Player

Camilo scissor kick vs. Portland - TWO ONE

Photo Credit: 
Bob Frid/Vancouver Whitecaps FC

Our ‘Caps came from behind twice in a thrilling 2-2 draw with Portland Timbers on Sunday to keep their Cascadia and playoff hopes alive.

So, what did we learn?

Camilo's spectacular scissor kick brings the crowd to its feet 

MVP

There’s no doubt in my mind that Camilo has to be in the running for the league’s Most Valuable Player award in the 2013 season.

It’s not just because how many goals he has scored (18 in MLS play – just one behind league-leader Marco Di Vaio), it’s the type of spectacular goals he keeps conjuring up. His second goal against Portland will no doubt be the frontrunner for MLS Goal of the Week and probably even Goal of the Year. He was also named MLS Player of the Week for the third time this season.

The little magician was at his best in this game, running at defenders, trying to find space to shoot, and never giving the Timbers a minute’s peace. He could have thought it was not his night when denied a certain goal midway through the second half.

Instead, he brought his team level with a spectacular free kick and set the crowd alight with another bit of magic just a few minutes later, as he hung in the air and scissor-kicked the ball into the back of the net.

The goal helped the ‘Caps earn a point and confirmed that he should be in the running for MVP.

Ricketts with a double save to keep the 'Caps off the board

Hot goalie

It has to be said that our performances have not always been up to scratch and the players are the first to take responsibility when they have let the fans and themselves down.

However, we have been at the mercy of several spectacular saves this season, including LA Galaxy goalkeeper Jaime Penedo’s potential Save of the Year, and for a while it seemed like every goal we conceded was up for Goal of the Week.

In the first half on Sunday, Darlington Nagbe scored from all of 30 yards in the top corner to put the Timbers ahead with a Goal of the Week candidate.

In the second half, as the ‘Caps were putting the Timbers under pressure, their goalkeeper Donovan Rickets pulled off a double save – first on substitute Kekuta Manneh and then denying Camilo on the rebound. It wouldn’t be a surprise if the save put Ricketts on the Save of the Year ballot alongside Penedo.  

If that was not enough, he did it again in stoppage time with a stunning save on a Manneh volley from the edge of the box that would earn his team a 2-2 draw.

There are some things you just can’t account for as you head into a game, and running into a hot Ricketts was one of them.

Highlights: Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2-2 Portland Timbers 

Character

There was a lot of pressure on the coaching staff and players coming into this game and although we didn’t get the win, I think they responded well and put on a show for the fans against one of our arch-rivals.

The ‘Caps dominated the first 20 minutes and most of the second half and played some of the best soccer at BC Place this year. If it wasn’t for an outstanding goalkeeping performance, they would have walked away with three points.

The team did everything in their power to win this game, but sometimes you don’t get what you deserve for your efforts. This was a game where they had to show their character and they did just that in abundance.