In their final home match at Rio Tinto Stadium, Vancouver Whitecaps FC earned a late 2-2 draw against Minnesota United FC thanks to a brace from leading goalscorer Cristian Dájome.
Let's have a closer look at Dájo’s first goal against MNUFC, which featured plenty of great build-up play from the ‘Caps.
To follow along, watch the goal below.
THE FORWARD PASSING
In the buildup to the goal, there’s two passes that stand out to make the move happen.
The first is a first-timed, line-breaking pass from ‘Caps midfielder Michael Baldisimo, who finds striker Brian White in the pocket all strikers dream of operating in.
Baldisimo’s pass eliminates Minnesota’s entire midfield from the play and puts pressure on their centreback pairing to step up to challenge White for the ball.
It’s important to note how smart the ‘Caps played themselves out of pressure, surpassing the tight marking of six Minnesota players.
Moving on, the second important pass from this play is the assist from midfielder Russell Teibert.
After laying the ball off for Baldisimo to make the pass to White, Teibert moves with the play and finds a nice pocket of space for White to touch the ball back to him.
The long-time ‘Caps man then plays a perfectly-weighed, first-time ball in behind the Loons backline for Dájome to chase onto.
These are two very simple passes but important ones making the play that much easier to create.
Also of note, the ‘Caps made four passes before Dájome got in on goal in five seconds, making quick use of their possession and moving the play forward in an efficient manner.
“It’s a passage of play we’ve been working on in training this week. It went from Baldi to me, back to Baldi to Brian. Dájo made a great run while Brian got it back to me and I put it in for Dájo. It came off and it was a great goal from us,” said Teibert post-match.
As mentioned in the last section, Baldisimo’s pass eliminated Minnesota’s midfield from the play, meaning at least one of their defenders would have to step up and put pressure on White.
In this case, Minnesota defender Brent Kallman decided to challenge White, leaving tons of space in behind for Dájome to perfectly time his run into.
It all happens thanks to the ‘Caps ability to play quickly out of pressure, forcing the opposing defence to make decisions in tough spots and Dájome taking notice of the space to make his run.
Deiber Caicedo also deserves some praise, given he dragged Minnesota right back Romain Metanire and midfielder Jacori Hayes into pressuring Teibert and Baldisimo in the ‘Caps half to open up the space for Dájome to run in behind.
THE FINISH (AND THE CELLY)
Make no mistake.
Dájome’s goal isn’t an easy finish to execute, especially when you consider he’s on his off foot, has to keep an eye out for the incoming Minnesota defender and whether the goalkeeper’s coming out of his goal or not.
The Colombian makes no mistake, calmly nestling the ball into the bottom corner with ease to give the ‘Caps the 1-0 advantage.
Also, we got to talk about his celly - just look at the passion on Dájo’s face.
It’s safe to say Dájome’s putting the rest of the league on notice in his second MLS season, with his latest brace and recent form showing how key he’s become to the ‘Caps offence.
The Colombian winger now sits tied for fifth in the league in goals, with eight tallies so far this season.
Dájome also became the third quickest ‘Caps player to reach eight goals in a single season, achieving the feat in 16 games behind former strikers Kei Kamara (15 games) and Camilo Sanvezzo (14 games).
Dájome and the ‘Caps will play the first of a three-game road swing against fellow Western Conference side LA Galaxy at Dignity Health Sports Park next Sunday, August 8 in Carson, California. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. You can catch the match live on TSN1 and AM730, with the pre-game show starting at 4:30 p.m. (TV) and 4 p.m. (radio). All times in PT.