MLS Column: Camilo – the shining light of the Vancouver Whitecaps

Camilo da Silva Sanvezzo Whitecaps Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Photo by Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

With the Major League Soccer playoffs in full swing and just eight teams still standing, there is time for fans of the other 11 clubs to reflect on some positives and negatives from 2013.

While the Vancouver Whitecaps failed to make it to the postseason, forward Camilo da Silva Sanvezzo enjoyed an excellent campaign which culminated in topping the goal scorer’s chart. A final day hattrick in the resounding 3-0 win over the Colorado Rapids saw him pip both Mike Magee and Marco Di Vaio, finishing on 22 goals overall which is the second highest single season tally since 2002 (Chris Wondolowski scored 27 for the San Jose Earthquakes in 2012).

The 25-year-old also picked up the October Player of the Month award, his second of the season, after scoring six times in the month, and he has a real chance of taking out the Goal of the Season award for his stunning scissor kick against the Portland Timbers.

Born in Brazil, Camilo played in his homeland and Malta before impressing in a trial with the Whitecaps ahead of the 2011 season. He scored 12 goals in his first year with the club before his production dropped off considerably in 2012 when he netted just five times.

A preseason switch in squad number from 37 to 7, and the decision to go by ‘Camilo’ on his shirt instead of flip flopping between that and ‘Sanvezzo’, gave him a fresh look and he certainly performed like a different player.

In May, a positional switch from the left hand side to centre forward played a big role in Camilo’s new lease of life and he responded by claiming the Golden Boot.

It’s very important for me, because no one knows how important it is for me, for my family,” he said after the Colorado game.

When I start the season, no one believes. Just me and my family and I believe in God, and I worked hard for that.

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