Tag Archives: Alphonso Davies

Loons Desperately Singing Take Me Home

Bridget McDowell - Minnesota United FC/mlsfemale
Official Minnesota United FC Reporter

By Bridget McDowell // @BCMcDowell

Weekly Update

Minnesota United FC returns home to Minneapolis on Saturday. With any luck, TCF Bank Stadium will be the site of a renewal of the Loons’ playoff hopes, all but dead after having a homestand winning streak snapped in last weekend’s 4-2 loss in Vancouver.

There were bright spots on Saturday:

– #Ibsonity returned. Midfielder Ibson scored in the 82nd minute and renewed some life in Minnesota’s half.

Forward Abu Danladi, after nearly two months on the injury list, came off the bench in the 87th minute.

– Danladi promptly scored. It was his first goal of the season and leveled the score. (Watch the goal and read a breakdown of the play, as described by Danladi to MNUFC’s Steve McPherson, here)

– We got to watch some brilliant play (and some brilliant goals) from a homegrown 17-year old bound for the Bundesliga.

And, of course, not-so-bright spots:

– #Ibsonity took a dark turn long before Minnesota’s first goal when a classic Ibson backheel was performed at a far from ideal moment. The Caps accepted the turnover at midfield with no complaint and went on to score.

– The aforementioned Bundesliga-bound youth was Alphonso Davies.

– Alphonso Davies currently plays for the Vancouver Whitecaps.

– Davies notched two assists on the night.

– Davies also notched two goals of his own.

– 4-2 Vancouver.

There’s obviously more to United’s home-turf success than the proverbial “Home Field Advantage.” It looks more and more like there is an extremely negative away mentality that overrides every ounce of chemistry and connectivity in the Loons from one end of the pitch to the other. With a heavy away schedule over the next six weeks or so, they need to find a fix to have any chance at a playoff run.

First though, United needs a win at home against a team that is right on their heels. The Seattle Sounders are unbeaten in their last six matches, most of which they played on the road. Tenth place Seattle is just one point behind eighth-place Minnesota, with one game in hand (and a significantly lower goal differential).

In addition to the typical imbalance of the scales, United has the added disadvantage this week of two mainstays missing training (and recovery time) for the All-Star Game. Defender Francisco Calvo started at left wingback on Wednesday night and put in a solid 30-minute shift against Juventus. Midfielder Darwin Quintero was one of the final wholesale subs late in the evening but immediately added some flavor to the game. Unfortunately, he quickly learned that MLS keepers have apparently shared his highlight reel with their counterparts in Italy, as his patented 19-yard chip shot was picked off by Juve’s keeper.

Fresher legs and new tricks will have to be tried against the Sounders. United will also have to regain their home form from July to get the result they need on Saturday. The Loons need it. The Wonderwall needs it.

Come. On. You. Loons.

Featured image: @MNUFC

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The scoop on Alphonso Davies

Aaryn Vivian - Vancouver Whitecaps/mlsfemale
Official Vancouver Whitecaps Reporter

By Aaryn Vivian // @aarynvivian

Shortly after 11am PT this morning, the Vancouver Whitecaps announced that they had completed the record-breaking transfer of homegrown midfielder Alphonso Davies to Bayern Munich, ending days of intense speculation about the 17-year-old wonder kid. 

According to the Whitecaps’ media release, the deal itself contains “a fixed transfer fee and additional compensation that could total more than $22 million US, the most ever received by an MLS club in the league’s 23-year history.”  Davies will remain with the Whitecaps until the end of the 2018 MLS season then will head to Bayern Munich in January 2019 when the international transfer window re-opens.

Of concern to many Caps’ fans and supporters is where the record-breaking transfer fee is going to go. At the recent Supporters’ Town Hall, Whitecaps co-owner, Jeff Mallett, shocked attendees with the information that the $2M US transfer fee obtained from Chilean side Colo-Colo for striker Octavio Rivero in 2016 had already been spent.

Mallett stated the money had been reinvested into the club, but for a side who has fallen to the lower half of league spending on players, this answer seemed unacceptable to supporters. In the team’s media release today, Mallet did indicate that “Our ownership group is committed to investing 100 percent of the funds back into the sporting side of the club” and there is little doubt the supporters intend to hold Whitecaps ownership accountable to that statement.

Today is a day Vancouver supporters have both been eagerly awaiting and utterly dreading. For those who spent sunny Sundays watching 15-year-old “Phonzie” at WFC2 matches out at Thunderbird Stadium, located on the University of British Columbia (UBC) campus, to seeing his meteoric rise in the MLS, the moment is bittersweet.

So many of the supporters’ hopes for the Whitecaps team were on the shoulders of Alphonso Davies, and after what can only be called a frustrating season on the pitch, many are wondering where the organization goes next. For now, they have a few months to figure out how to say “Farewell Phonzie”.

________________

Reference for Whitecaps media release:  https://www.whitecapsfc.com/post/2018/07/25/whitecaps-fc-agree-mls-record-breaking-transfer-homegrown-midfielder-alphonso-davies

Featured image: @WhitecapsFC

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Two trophies. Three matches. Ten days. Whitecaps.

Aaryn Vivian - Vancouver Whitecaps/mlsfemale
Official Vancouver Whitecaps Reporter

By Aaryn Vivian // @aarynvivian

The Vancouver Whitecaps‘ woes continued this weekend as they headed down the I-5 to face off against Cascadian rivals, the Seattle Sounders. Going into the first derby week of the 2018 season, and having lost four out of their last five matches, and dropping to what many consider their “rightful place” at 8th in the MLS West standings, the Caps needed a strong performance to keep their season, and hopes for bringing the Cascadia Cup home, alive.

Overshadowing one of the Whitecaps’ biggest clashes of the season came breaking news that 17-year-old home-grown sensation Alphonso Davies would not suit up for this match and that a transfer to Bayern Munich was imminent. All eyes were on “Phonzie” as the rumour mill had him set to break the MLS record for transfer fees and do it well ahead of his 18th birthday on November 2nd.

As for the match itself, the Caps struggled with their second new lineup of the week. An early penalty awarded to the Sounders as a result of a handball in the box from Doneil Henry sent Seattle up 1-0 in the 4th minute.  Nicolás Lodeiro scored his second of the match in the 32′, sending a shot from distance past Stefan Marinovic, who has seemed to struggle since his return from injury on Wednesday in the Voyageurs Cup semi-finals where the Caps fell 1-0 to Montreal.

Discipline has been an ongoing issue with this Whitecaps side and that became ever apparent when, at 2-0 down, Caps’ midfielder Efraín Juárez took a yellow card in the 77′ for a challenge on double goal scorer Lodeiro. In a reaction Vancouver fans have become all too familiar with this season, Juárez lost his cool and charged at match official Chris Penso, bumping chests as they came face to face, which resulted in the midfielder being dealt an automatic red card.  Juárez has since apologized to both the Whitecaps organization and the supporters, but many think the damage is already done and his time in Blue & White should be over.

The Caps face off against Montreal in the home leg of the Voyageurs Cup semi-finals with Montreal visiting BC Place this Wednesday.  The organization has stated that one of their main goals this season is to bring both the Voyageurs Cup and the Cascadia Cup back home to Vancouver; two trophies on the line, three matches in 10 days and to date, zero goals to show for it. It’s safe to say Carl Robinson’s head is once again on the chopping block and if the Whitecaps fail to score at home and defeat Montreal to advance to the Voyageurs Cup Final, this may be the Welsh manager’s swan song.

In previous years, the Vancouver supporters used to plan their year’s travel schedules around these #CapsOnTour trips but the 2018 Caps’ season has left so many disenchanted about the team’s future, that less than one-third of available tickets were sold in the away supporters section at CenturyLink Field in Seattle.  The Whitecaps are losing the battle to apathy amongst the Vancouver supporters. 

Now, with Alphonso Davies unofficially set to make his exit from Vancouver, one has to wonder what the supporters have to hold onto now that their home-grown hope has vanished. 

Featured image: @SJFinlay

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Vancouver Whitecaps Vs. Philadelphia Union

Official Vancouver Whitecaps Reporter

By Christy Casas @nkstar9

While other outlets are calling the Vancouver Whitecaps’ season opener against the Philadelphia Union snoozefest, I am calling it an opportunity to learn. Coming off an emotional win in the CONCACAF Champions League just 4 days prior, the starting nine was different and so was the momentum.

One big change was seeing the likes of Christian Dean in the starting IX. Dean, was out for the entirety of the 2016 season due to two back-to-back injuries and having his father pass away. Dean’s performance was solid despite not having a start in the MLS in 555 days and perfectly in step with Tim Parker in which together, they kept the Philadelphia Union’s offence at bay.

We also saw Cristian Techera and Erik Hurtado back in action. Though, the middle seemed stifled by the amount of long balls being sent by defensive players. The length of the field wasn’t fully utilized. This excluded the speed and talent of Alphonso Davies.

Davies delighted fans during CONCACAF Champions League, scored the goal to send the Whitecaps to the quarter-final and the first goal to propel the club into the tournament Semi-final. Remember Davies is just 16 years old and seems to be adding a much needed energy to the team.

Last, but not least, I noticed that Brek Shea and Fredy Montero, when subbed-on during the second half, acted as a catalyst to breathe some life into the somewhat flat-footed Whitecaps.

More than ever, it’s time to #riseupraincity

Featured image courtesy: Vancouver Whitecaps FC facebook

Come chat with me on twitter: @nkstar9