Vancouver Whitecaps vs. DC United: 5 Thoughts on Wednesday's Win
In front of an energetic crowd at BC Place, the Vancouver Whitecaps (6-16-10) defeated DC United (9-11-11) 2-1, earning their second victory in a row for the first time and severely damaging DC's playoff hopes.
The goals came in quickfire fashion from forwards Camilo Sanvezzo and Long Tan. With less than a minute gone in the first half, Jordan Harvey thumped a cross into the DC penalty box for Camilo to poke into the net, adding to his team-leading goal tally.
Not to be outdone, with only a few minutes gone after the restart in the second half, Alain Rochat thumped a ball into the DC penalty box for Long Tan to strike home.
And although DC managed to pull a goal back through Brandon McDonald, the Whitecaps stood their ground and held on for a memorable victory.
Here are five thoughts on the game.
Me Love You, Long Tan
The dragon has been unleashed.
23-year-old Long Tan, the first Chinese-born player in the MLS, scored his first goal of the season early in the second half. The expression on his face was one of jubilation, and the crowd rained adulation onto him.
It was a long time coming, for Tan was an offensive force throughout the whole game. His strength and movement on and off the ball were key to setting up Vancouver's attacks. In fact, it was his run that drew DC's defense away from Camilo that allowed the Brazilian to score in the first minute, so it was well deserved that he got on the score sheet himself.
Before the game, the Whitecaps aired a short video interview with Tan where the striker said he loved the city, loved sushi, and love to score goals.
And Vancouver found itself a new folk hero.
When he came off for Eric Hassli, the attacking dynamic changed quite a bit, so it will be interesting to see how Tommy Soehn and, later, Martin Rennie handle the striker selection.
The Lethal Left: Jordan Harvey and Alain Rochat
Pushing Alain Rochat back onto the left of defense, and by extension pushing Jordan Harvey up to midfield, is looking more and more like a stroke of genius.
Both goals came from crosses thumped in from the left side. But regardless of that, both men looked sharp, lethal and composed all throughout the game. They closed in on attackers when needed, bombed up the field with courage and tracked back when necessary.
Alain Rochat was as imperious as ever, but the real surprise was how comfortable Harvey looked in midfield. I wouldn't be surprised to see him running up the wing for a long time to come.
Has Jeb Brovsky Found His Niche?
Jeb Brovsky, starting in place of incumbent right back Jonathan Leathers, is clearly still learning the defensive duties that come with being in that position.
Nevertheless, the young converted midfielder built on his solid performance last week and turned in an even better one on Wednesday night. He showcased his passing and crossing ability, connecting well with Gershon Koffie and John Thorrington on a number of occasions, and even managed a dangerous-looking cross or two.
Incoming head coach Martin Rennie may still purchase another right-back for next season, but Brovsky is looking more and more likely to stake a claim for himself.
Where Is Davide Chiumiento?
For a while, early in the season, it looked like Swiss-Italian playmaker Davide Chiumiento would be one of the Whitecaps' most indispensable players.
But Wednesday's game marked the second match in a row that Chiumiento wouldn't even get a sniff of the pitch. In fact, unlike in the game against Real Salt Lake, Chiumiento never even made the bench against DC.
To make matters more interesting, the postgame show mentioned that the team's assists leader (he has nine) may not even make the trip out to Dallas with the team for the next game.
Have we seen the last of the talented playmaker?
Will Camilo Sanvezzo Win the Golden Boot?
By scoring in the first minute of the game, Brazilian striker Camilo Sanvezzo notched his 12th goal of the season, putting him two goals back behind leaders Dwayne DeRosario (DC United), Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls) and Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes). He is also level with Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy) and two goals ahead of teammate Eric Hassli.
With two games left to play, can "The Magician" surge ahead of the pack and claim the golden boot in his first season with the Whitecaps?
With the way the team is playing at the moment, he just might.
So there you have it, five thoughts on a great night in Downtown Vancouver.
After proving that the win against Real Salt Lake was no fluke, do the Whitecaps have it in them to keep their momentum going and end the season on a high note?
We'll find out this Saturday as they face a tough away match against FC Dallas.