Home MLS Vancouver Whitecaps Camilo claims MLS scoring title with season-ending hat trick

Camilo claims MLS scoring title with season-ending hat trick

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The Vancouver Whitecaps won’t be competing for this year’s MLS Cup, but they finished their 2013 season in style with a 3-0 win over the Colorado Rapids at BC Place Sunday, thanks to Camilo.

The Brazilian’s spectacular hat-trick fired him to 22 goals, good for most in Major League Soccer, and a worthy winner of the Golden Boot.

He opened the scoring in the 43rd minute, blasting home from the spot after Kekuta Manneh generated a penalty after Marvell Wynne took the rookie down in the penalty area. Camilo looked as if he was going to allow Lee Young-Pyo to take the penalty but, after a discussion, the striker opted to take it to bring the score to 1-0.

The 25-year-old bagged his second of the match in the 74th minute, nutmegging Drew Moor on the left side of goal before slotting past Clint Irwin in the Colorado goal. Camilo capped off his magic season by beating Irwin again with six minutes to play, converting a through ball played forward by Russell Teibert.

“It’s very important for me, because no one knows how important it is for me, for my family,” Camilo told reporters following the game after winning the Golden Boot. “When I start the season, no one believes. Just me and my family and I believe in God, and I worked hard for that.”

The match was Lee’s last as a professional. The former South Korean international wore the captain’s armband on the night in recognition of that fact, and he received a standing ovation in stoppage time as he departed for rookie Erik Hurtado.

“I’m feeling so happy at this moment because it is exactly what I wanted from when I was young,” Lee said. “I will never forget the last two years in Vancouver in my life. This club will remain in my mind as my club at all the times.”

Lee revealed that there had been a discussion between head coach Martin Rennie, Camilo and himself over who would take a penalty if it was awarded. While it seemed Lee would get that honour, in the heat of the Golden Boot chase it was Camilo who ended up with the responsibility.

Irwin also had his moments of brilliance in the Rapids goal, most notably in a strong first half. The ‘keeper denied the Brazilian in the 10th minute by stopping Camilo in the area after the Brazilian got on the end of a pass from the left from Daigo Kobayashi. Four minutes later, Irwin batted away a Camilo effort that appeared destined for the top right corner.

Two Whitecaps defenders made key goal saving challenges in the match. Brad Rusin slid expertly to deny Edson Buddle tapping home a rebound from a shot from Gabriel Torres in the 27th minute, and Buddle was similarly denied by a sliding tackle from rookie left fullback Sam Adekugbe with a 63rd minute tackle in the six yard box. Adekugbe, an 18 year old graduate of the residency program, was naturally elated at making his professional debut.

“It was really exciting,” Adekugbe said. “Once I got a few touches on the ball I just felt confident. I was able to do some of the stuff I can do best. Overall, I think it was definitely a great experience.”

The Whitecaps finish their campaign with a record of 13-12-9, and team officials say the squad will stay to train in Vancouver for at least a week or two.

Club president Bob Lenarduzzi told the media to expect an announcement on the future of head coach Martin Rennie sometime early this week.

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