Home MLS Vancouver Whitecaps Red-hot Camilo keeps scoring, red-hot Whitecaps keep winning

Red-hot Camilo keeps scoring, red-hot Whitecaps keep winning

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The Vancouver Whitecaps propelled into third place in Major League Soccer’s Western Conference on Sunday, in large part due to a pair of goals from Camilo in a 3-1 win over the Chicago Fire in front of 20,206 at BC Place.

The Brazilian opened the scoring on 66 minutes, beating Shaun Francis one-on-one after receiving a long kick from goalkeeper Brad Knighton. Then Camilo rifled his shot past a helpless Paolo Tornaghi in the Fire goal.

The goal and the assist marked the Whitecaps’ 100th of each, respectively. Considering Camilo has played with the ‘Caps for their entire MLS existence, the strike understandably meant a lot to player.

“It’s very important for me to be on the club history,” Camilo said of scoring the milestone goal. “And I hope to continue like that.”

Knighton was equally chuffed to snatch Vancouver’s 100th league assist. It was only his second in the league after picking up his first in last weekend’s victory over the Seattle Sounders.

“It’s great,” Knighton said. “Coming to claim the ball and seeing Camilo one-v-one, it was just – put it up there and hope and pray – and Camilo did the rest.”

Camilo’s goals mean the forward now has 29 of Vancouver’s 100 goals in league play since joining MLS in 2011 – Sunday’s efforts also mean the diminutive attacker now leads MLS in the Golden Boot race with 12.

Although the player himself insists he isn’t aiming for individual glory – he just wants to play for a winning team.

“For me that is not important,” Camilo said of the race for the Golden Boot. “More important for me is that our club gets up on the table. We are third place [in the Western Conference].

“We play as a club and I’m happy to help the club.”

And the team is happy to receive that help. The 24 year old is on a rich vein of form which has seen him score 10 goals and three assists in his last nine matches, and looks unplayable at times for opponents.

“Once he got squared up against I think it was [Bakary] Soumare, I was really confident he was going to score,” head coach Martin Rennie said following the victory. “As soon as he gets squared up in the box he’s really deadly…Camilo’s on a fantastic run.

“He’s the top scorer in Major League Soccer at the moment I believe, and it makes a big difference to any team when your strikers are scoring.”

The Whitecaps also benefitted from some excellent play from rookie Kekuta Manneh. The Gambian came on as a substitute with the match scoreless and ended up setting up Camilo for his second goal before bagging his own for his team’s third on the night.

“At that point we were playing quite well,” Rennie said of Manneh’s introduction. “It gave us a little bit more width. He stayed wide a bit more naturally. The main thing is he’s got penetrating pace. He can go past people, he can run behind people, and I think at that point we were much more penetrative in the way we were playing.

“I thought the weight of his pass for Camilo’s goal was really fantastic, and then his trickery to score his first was excellent. So, I just think he’s a really talented player. There’s no question about it and we just want to keep introducing him into the team little by little.”

Knighton stormed down the tunnel following the match, after Patrick Nyarko was allowed to score unmarked in the area – but Rennie said he was happy to see his goalkeeper upset about the error.

“I think we should have done more to get that clean sheet,” Rennie said. “I would expect him and others to be disappointed with that goal that we lost, but it doesn’t really take the shine off a fantastic win for us.”

The Vancouver Whitecaps, now 9-5-5, are back in action on the road on Saturday, when they travel to StubHub Center to play the defending MLS Cup champion LA Galaxy.

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