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Highlights and context: Camilo stars again as Vancouver downs Chicago

Jul 14, 2013, 10:07 PM EDT

Fans in Vancouver, feel free to flood the comments with “it’s about time,” because I haven’t read too many people around North America writing something that should be obvious: Camilo needs to start getting some serious consideration for league MVP. Granted, it’s only July, and the only discussion about any awards centers on people’s midseasons picks — selections made with a half season’s levity — but when his two second half goals on Saturday vaulted his team to a 3-1 win over Chicago, the Vancouver Whitecaps attacker may have also vaulted himself toward the head of the MVP race.

Consider his Saturday contributions. After 66 minutes of relatively benign play from both sides, the 24-year-old Brazilian took matters into his own hands, going it alone after a long ball from Brad Knighton to open the scoring. Five minutes later, a perfect run along the back from Chicago’s defense strung him on another breakaway, and while Paolo Tornaghi initially thwarted his attempt to double Vancouver’s lead, Camilo eventually blasted a ball through the Fire defense for the winning goal.

With 12 goals, 10 in his last nine matches, Sanvezzo is now leads the league’s Golden Boot race, and while players like Kenny Miller and Nigel Reo Coker have had huge impacts on a consolidating Whitecaps squad, few players can have the effect Camilo had today. While you can’t launch a man’s MVP campaign based one streak, the potency of a Camilo-led attack compared to one without him (a look we saw too often from Vancouver last year) is obvious. Put him on that BC Place rug, let the Kekuta Manneh’s of the world roll that ball from 30 yards away (what happened on the second goal), and life becomes easy with a man like Camilo.

Robbie Keane was our pick for MVP, and it’s too soon to turn on the Galaxy focal point. But Camilo’s in this discussion. And if he doesn’t slow down, he’s going to end it.

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