How did Vancouver Whitecaps FC fare in the month of March? Here’s what the numbers tell us.
The ‘Caps are sitting on 10 points after the first five matches, which has them tied for the top spot in the Western Conference and tied for second in all of Major League Soccer. With a win on Saturday at Real Salt Lake, the ‘Caps would match their best-ever start in MLS.
Interestingly, all three of Vancouver's wins so far have been 2-1 results.
Kei Kamara has played four of five games to start the season (he was rested away at Atlanta). And he already has three goals, which is tied for the fifth best in MLS, and one assist. The charismatic striker, who also leads MLS with 14.04 duels won per 90 minutes, was billed as the perfect fit for Vancouver when the club acquired him this past offseason. We’re starting to see why.
Alphonso Davies appears to have taken his game to another level early this season. Not only does the 17-year-old Canadian have a goal and two assists, he’s also tied with Montreal’s Ignacio Piatti for the league-lead with 23 completed dribbles – defined by Opta as a successful attempt to beat an opposing player in a one-v-one situation while retaining possession of the ball.
Davies, who has spent a little bit of a time at left back this season, has also made significant contributions on the defensive side of the ball. The Edmonton, Alberta product is second in MLS with 55 duels won and tied for fourth with 15 tackles won. A duel is a 50/50 contest between two players, while a tackle is a situation when a player goes in for a challenge when the opposition has possession of the ball. In both instances, Davies is one of the of best in MLS at regaining possession for his team.
Felipe has clearly become an influential piece for Vancouver in midfield, both in and out of possession. The Brazilian, for example, played a key role in shutting down Crew SC’s Federico Higuain last weekend and he also leads Whitecaps FC with 162 successful passes on the season.
Jake Nerwinski is the lone Whitecaps FC outfield player to have played in every minute of every match so far this season – a total of 450 minutes played.
Carl Robinson has already started 18 different players this season, which is second to only New York Red Bulls, who are in the midst of a CONCACAF Champions League campaign. Robinson had made it no secret that he likes rotating his squad, particularly away from home, and he’s certainly had success doing so early in 2018.