Reyna, Mutch, Kamara - celebration - Unity
Bob Frid/Vancouver Whitecaps FC

Anatomy of a goal: Reyna's sublime pass unlocks Fire defence

VANCOUVER, BC – Carl Robinson called Yordy Reyna the best player on the park in Saturday’s 3-2 win over Chicago Fire at BC Place. And that says a lot, because Kei Kamara and Alphonso Davies weren’t too shabby themselves.

All three players were lights out in the victory.

And they each had a big role to play in Vancouver’s opening goal of the evening, which featured one of the best passes you will see this season.  

Let’s break it down. The play starts with Doneil Henry getting stuck in on Bastian Schweinsteiger, winning the ball and setting the ‘Caps off into transition.

There’s still a ton of work to do from here.

At this point, the Fire have six men behind the ball. And the ‘Caps are really only attacking with three: Reyna, who is carrying the ball up field, Davies, and Kamara.

This is where the fun starts.

Reyna spots Kamara making a diagonal run in behind and proceeds to deliver an inch-perfect pass that breaks both of Chicago’s lines and effectively eliminates all six of their players in the picture. Reyna’s vision was spot-on, and his execution even better.

You won’t find many passes better than that one.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Kamara attempts to round the goalkeeper and Davies follows the play, skipping past a pair of defenders before playing a short pass to Reyna. The Peruvian’s shot is saved, but Kamara bangs in the rebound. Here's the goal in its entirety. 

There’s so much to like here.

Henry’s tackle, Kamara’s run, and the fact that Davies and Kamara never gave up on the play, to name a few. But Reyna’s pass was truly sublime.

After his performance on Saturday, Reyna is now tied with Nicolas Lodeiro and Sebastian Giovinco for fourth in MLS with 10 big chances created this season – a “big chance created” is when a pass leads to a situation “where a player should reasonably be expected to score, usually in a one-on-one scenario or from very close range.” The only players with more big chances created are Miguel Almiron, Romell Quito and Federico Higuain.

When he’s in form, he can be one of the best attacking mids in MLS. And Saturday was Exhibit A.

“He was terrific,” Robinson said. “We missed him last week. And I let him know. He did his extra work … but with players I try to get them to start the game very well. If they start the game very well, it sets the tone and puts you in a good frame of my mind.”

“Yordy was happy leading up to this game, I could sense it in the warmup he was happy, and the first two minutes he was playing with a smile on his face. And it’s great when you play with a smile on your face. You have the ball, you move the ball, you create chances, you dribble past two, three, four men like he did at certain times tonight, and you create those killer passes. He set the tone in the first two minutes and I thought was the best player on the field.”