It was the end of a season (thankfully), but also the end of an era (sadly) as Vancouver Whitecaps bid farewell to MLS for another year and to their homegrown star Alphonso Davies forever (?) as he heads of to pastures new at Bayern Munich.
This wasn’t the way anyone had hoped the last game of the regular season would have been for the ‘Caps. Managerless, out of the playoffs, playing a Cascadian rival that will be in the postseason, and saying goodbye to not only their best player, but most of the current squad. 2018 certainly was an annus horribilis for the Whitecaps, but this match turned out to be a highlight.
They said farewell to it, and to Phonzie, with a 2-1 win over a Portland Timbers B team, with the man of the hour grabbing two goals in a perfect send off. Even giving up a last minute goal to deprive the team of a rare clean sheet couldn’t take the gloss of an emotional occasion.
That’s 2018 in the history books now for the ‘Caps and it’s onwards and hopefully upwards under a new regime. At least we have a wad of cash to show for it all.
AFTN photographers Tom (@ResidualImage) and Caroline (@FrogPhoto) were there to capture the action before, during and after the game. Here’s their “Story In Pictures”, with a full Flickr slideshow at the end.
I think we’ve all felt like this at some point of the Whitecaps
Your last Whitecaps starting XI of the 2018 season, but how many will be back next year?
All eyes were on the man of the hour, Alphonso Davies
And all Portland boots as well it felt at times
But there was no holding Phonzie back and he collected the ball just inside the ‘Caps half in the 28th minute and tore forward
Unleashing a shot from the edge of the box that got past Jeff Attinella in the Portland goal to fire Vancouver ahead
And it got even better three minutes later when he pounced on sloppy defensive play by Marco Farfan in the Portland six yard box
Firing home his second of an emotional night
A perfect script was being played out
One final celebration from the great pairing of Phonzie and Kei Kamara
Everyone wanted Phonzie’s jersey from this match
You can caption this one yourselves!
Everyone wanted to get into the act in the second half, with Kei Kamara coming close
And Phonzie desperately trying to get his hat-trick
And Doneil Henry was causing problems in the right box this time!
As the minutes ticked down, Simon Colyn was being prepared for his MLS debut
And the moment came for him to come on in the 86th minute, as Alphonso Davies bid farewell to the BC Place faithful
A moment of pure emotion around the stadium
And the two homegrowns embraced
Simon Colyn nearly had the perfect start to his professional career when he was played in, raced in on goal, and chipped Jeff Attinella, only to see his effort fall past the left post
But Whitecaps will be Whitecaps and it wouldn’t be them this year if they kept a clean sheet
As Andres Flores put a consolation on the board for Portland, but that was all she wrote
Stefan Marinovic is all of us
And an era, and a season, came to an end
Phonzie’s Farewell Postcard
Shared in a lovely moment with his family
But there was still time to do one last Humba with Curva Collective
Good luck and Farewell – we’ll miss you but wish you all the very, very best
You can see all of Tom and Caroline’s photos from the game HERE and in our full Flickr slideshow below: