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Camilo wins final Player of the Month award for 2013

Camilo

Camilo

Even after the Whitecaps have wrapped up their playoff-less season, Camilo continues to earn the accolades.

On Thursday, Camilo won his second Player of the Month honour of the MLS season. He got the most first-place votes out of the membership of the North American Soccer Reporters.

Camilo’s been player of the week four times, player of the month twice, and he’s won the Golden Boot as the top scorer in MLS. Had the Whitecaps made the playoffs, even the play-in game, we’d be talking about the Brazilian as the leading MVP candidate. Instead, that vote is wide open.

Camilo scored six times in October, including a hat trick in the final regular-season match of the season after the Whitecaps had already been eliminated from the playoffs.
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Camilo’s crazy strikes earn him his third Player of the Week selection of 2013

Camilo

Camilo

You know that you’ve had a special game when you score a spectacular free-kick goal from outside the area… and that’s NOT the goal everyone is talking about.

But that’s the case with Camilo, the Vancouver Whitecaps forward who has been named the MLS Player of the Week for the third time this season. He got the most first-place votes from the membership of the North American Soccer Reporters.

Camilo scored his 17th and 18th goals of the season on Sunday, both of them equalizers, in a 2-2 draw with Portland at BC Place. Now, the draw didn’t help the Whitecaps very much; Vancouver is six points adrift of the Western Conference’s final playoff slot with just three games left on the schedule.

But, heck, Camilo’s goals were simply spectactular. The 30-yard free kick strike. Meh. Just a sign of what was to come.
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Camilo’s amazing brace puts shine on disappointing draw for Whitecaps

Camilo

Camilo

A Camilo brace wasn’t enough for the Vancouver Whitecaps on Sunday, as they drew 2-2 with the Portland Timbers at BC Place.

The game’s most frantic moments occurred during a four-minute spell around the 75th minute, as Donovan Ricketts stopped Kekuta Manneh from close range before denying Camilo seconds later.

Camilo would score though a minute later, picking the bottom left corner of Ricketts’ goal from a dead ball 30 yards out to bring the score level at 1-1 and cancel out Darlington Nagbe’s 41st-minute opener.

Will Johnson fired the visitors ahead in the 77th minute, hitting a shot into the bottom left corner of David Ousted’s goal after a neat cutback from Nagbe on the right side of the area.

Ricketts stood tall again with two saves in stoppage time, pushing a zipping Lee Young-Pyo effort over the bar before leaping to his right moments later in a separate attempt from Darren Mattocks.
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Urruti traded away from TFC less than a week after Payne leaves the team

Maximiliano Urruti

Maximiliano Urruti

Boy, you get the feeling that the drawn out pursuit of Argentine forward Maximiliano Urruti was a Kevin Payne pet project, don’t you?

Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment President Tim Leiweke has said that he likes to let the “smart guys in the media” try to speculate on the motivations for the decisions made at TFC. But the decision to trade Urruti to the Portland Timbers less than a week after Kevin Payne was relieve of his duties as TFC’s president and general manager certainly hints that the Argentine was far more a Payne guy than he was a Ryan Nelsen or Leiweke guy.

On Monday, TFC announced that it had traded Urruti to Portland in exchange for the the Timbers’ first-round pick in the 2015 draft and Nigerian forward Bright Dike, whose career has been slowed by knee problems. Dike has scored six times in 23 MLS games as a member of the Timbers. TFC also gets allocation money which will likely help mitigate the transfer costs of bringing Urruti to MLS. TFC also gets an international roster spot for the rest of its meaningless 2013 season.

But, when you think of the months and months Payne and TFC spent chasing Urruti, the back-and-forth between Newell’s Old Boys and TFC over Urruti’s status, the reports and false reports about Urruti being in Toronto, it just seems so darn sudden that, with just two sub appearances under his belt, he’s gone.

“We received an offer from Portland that we could simply not pass on.” Those are Nelsen’s words.
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Toronto FC’s defenders give away four cheap goals to the Timbers

Rodney Wallace

Rodney Wallace

The Vancouver Whitecaps continued their slide down the Western Conference table with a loss in Dallas Saturday, but there is a silver lining out there for the fans in British Columbia.

Toronto FC began the post-Kevin Payne era with a resonating 4-0 loss to the host Portland Timbers. Yes, Whitecaps supporters will be unhappy to see a Cascadia and conference rival pick up maximum points and also pad the vital goals-for column. But, if this game was any indication of how Toronto FC will play out the string, the Whitecaps have to be hopeful that they can maximize their draft position in 2014.

That’s because the Whitecaps, thanks to the deal that brought Eric Hassli to Toronto last year (in the pre-Kevin Payne era, for those still keeping track of TFC’s “eras”), have the Reds’ first-round pick in the next draft.

Here’s how it breaks down: Toronto FC is stuck on 22 points, with seven left to play. D.C. United, dead last in the league, has 14 points and a game in hand on TFC. DCU burns that game Sunday, when it faces Chivas USA; the Goats are tied with TFC for the second-worst record in the league.

So, either Chivas or D.C. or both will gain ground on TFC this week.
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Keane named MLS Player of the Week; The 11 went with Plata

Robbie Keane

Robbie Keane

Los Angeles Galaxy striker Robbie Keane figured in all of the goals scored by his team in this past weekend’s 3-0 win over the rival San Jose Earthquakes.

The Irish Designated Player sent teammate Landon Donovan in alone, then scored on a penalty kick and a volley to finish the rout of the Quakes. That two-goal, one-assist night earned him the MLS Player of the Week Award, after the votes from the members of the North American Soccer Reporters were counted.

The Galaxy is five points behind Real Salt Lake for the Western Conference lead, and overall lead on the MLS table, too. But the Galaxy has two games in hand, so it looks like those teams will go down to the wire to determine who will earn home field advantage throughout the playoffs, including the MLS Cup if either teams survives.
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Harvey’s header allows Whitecaps to escape Portland with a point

Jordan Harvey

Jordan Harvey

A Jordan Harvey header secured a 1-1 draw for the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday in their road match with the Portland Timbers at JELD-WEN Field.

The left fullback, scoring his fourth goal of the campaign, redirected home a Camilo corner kick. The goal marked Vancouver’s first direct corner kick conversion since captain Jay DeMerit’s headed goal against Chivas USA on March 17, 2012.

The set piece goal, scored by Harvey in the 69th minute, cancelled out Ryan Johnson’s headed goal from a Diego Valeri 20 minutes earlier, and came at an opportune time as the ‘Caps found themselves outplayed and outpossessed for big chunks of the match — Portland finished the game with 57.9 per cent possession.

“We usually do set pieces right at the end [of training],” midfielder Matt Watson said on the post-match radio broadcast. “This week we did them a few more times, you know, and just really focused on the delivery. Runs and things like that. So I mean, just doing that little bit of extra work – we definitely haven’t scored too many from set pieces. We really wanted to take full advantage.
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Highlanders and Chill bring Canadian content to PDL final four

Sergio Campano Franco

Sergio Campano Franco

Entering Sunday’s round of PDL playoff matches, four of the remaining eight teams came from Canada.

At the end of the day, two of the Canadian sides remained standing. The Thunder Bay Chill and the Victoria Highlanders will carry Canadian soccer hopes into the PDL’s final four championship weekend.

The Chill routed defending PDL champion Forest City London 3-0 in Thunder Bay Sunday to take the Central Conference title. The Chill not only had home field advantage in its favour; the Chill side had fresher legs. The PDL playoff format isn’t ideal — with the Sunday conference final following the semifinals played on Saturday, giving the teams absolutely zero chance to recharge their engines between do-or-die matches. And, on Saturday, FC London needed extra time and kicks to win its semifinal while the Chill got its semifinal wrapped up in regulation.

London came out the stronger side, but as the first half went on, the home side showed it had the better legs. Spaniard Sergio Campano Franco chipped the keeper in the 33rd minute to give the home side the lead. Nine minutes later, Paul Dillon found the net to make it 2-0.
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Haworth’s hat trick powers Fury towards PDL Conference Championship series

Carl Haworth

Carl Haworth

In an interview with The 11 (CLICK HERE), forward Carl Haworth spoke about his hopes of graduating from the Ottawa Fury’s PDL side to its inaugural NASL squad for the 2014 season.

It’s hard to imagine Haworth doing any more to impress NASL squad coach Marc Dos Santos than he did in the PDL Northeast Division championship game. Haworth scored the first three goals of the match — one of them on a penalty that he drew— as the Fury cruised to a 6-0 win over GPS Portland Phoenix. In hockey, Howarth’s feat would be called a natural hat trick — heck, it works for soccer, too.

The win sends Ottawa to the PDL Eastern Conference championship; it will meet Reading United in the semifinal this weekend.
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Johnson represents the Can-Con on MLS Fan XI

Will Johnson

Will Johnson

Before being summoned to captain the Canadian national side at the Gold Cup, Will Johnson had played every minute of the Portland Timbers’ first 17 games of the season. The Timbers lost just one of those matches. Johnson scored six times, already twice the amount of his previous MLS career-best for a season.

And Johnson was the only Canadian content (Canadian player or member of a Canadian team) on the Fan XI, announced by MLS on Sunday. Ten of those players — voted in by the fans — were revealed on Sunday. An 11th will be selected through a video-game promotion done in conjunction with EA Sports’ FIFA Soccer 13.

Those players will be part of the squad that will represent MLS at the All-Star Game. Roma will provide the opposition on July 31 in Kansas City. But, this isn’t a guarantee that Johnson or the other nine players named today will be starters — that’s up to All-Star coach Peter Vermes.
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