Camilo’s two goals lead Vancouver Whitecaps past Chivas USA
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VANCOUVER - The Vancouver Whitecaps are starting to display a quality that teams often have trouble finding — mental toughness.
Vancouver overcame an early deficit for the second straight game Wednesday in defeating Chivas USA 3-1 in Major League Soccer play.
The Whitecaps (6-5-4) posted their second consecutive win, something they had not done since the first two games of the season, and moved ahead of the Los Angeles Galaxy into fifth place in the Western Conference.
Camilo paced the Whitecaps with two goals, including the winner, after Tristan Bowen opened the scoring early for Chivas (3-9-2), which has not won since beating Vancouver on March 30.
"It's been a good run and it's been a huge past couple games," said defender Jordan Harvey, who scored his third goal in four game for Vancouver. "It puts us in playoff contention, and we just need to keep picking up points."
The Whitecaps have won four of six games and appear to have overcome a tendency of squandering leads. They have rebounded strongly after settling for disappointing draws to Portland in league play and Montreal in the final of the Amway Canadian Championship.
Harvey, meanwhile, is just glad to contribute offensively.
"I don't really know how to explain it," Harvey said of his scoring outburst. "Chances seem to fall right to me, and I'm fortunate to put them in."
Added Whitecaps coach Martin Rennie: "He's just got a great work ethic. He's just fantastically fit, and can go up and down that line all day, and we encourage him to get forward."
Camilo extended his scoring streak to three games and matched the seven goals he produced all of last season.
"I've been training harder, and doing a better job of positioning myself," said Camilo, who also assisted on Harvey's goal.
But Rennie said another key reason has also factored into his success.
"He's always been a talented player," said Rennie. "He's always been a danger in front of goal, but I think he's become much more of a team player, where he creates opportunities for other people, where he's all about the entire group and all about the club. Because of that, more opportunities have come his way."
The game was turned on its head in first-half added time when Harvey and Camilo scored two minutes apart to give the Whitecaps a 2-1 lead.
Chivas saw its winless skid extended to nine games despite making an early impression on new coach Jose Luis Real, who made his MLS coaching debut after taking over from the fired Jose Luis Sanchez Sola.
Bowen opened the scoring in the seventh minute from the top right side of the Vancouver box off a deflection.
Harvey evened the score in the second minute of first-half added time when he put shot off Chivas defender Carlos Borja after Camilo inadvertently flicked on a pass from Russell Teibert.
Harvey also scored in Saturday's 4-3 victory over New England, when the Whitecaps overcame a 2-0 deficit, and has seen his playing time increased since veteran defender Alain Rochat was traded to D.C. United.
Two minutes after Harvey's goal, Camilo took a pass from Teibert, sidestepped a Chivas defender and fired a low shot into the left corner of the net.
The goal Camilo extended his scoring streak to three games and matched the seven goals he produced all of last season. He completed the scoring in the 81st minute, firing a shot off a defender after Harvey's rebound off a Chivas player came out to him.
Rennie credited Harvey for showing determination after adversity.
"He's mentally tough, and I think that's a characteristic that we've got in this team," said Rennie "There's been games when we've not played so well or moments when things have gone our way, but we've kept going, and I think that Jordan recognizes that, and I think our team recognizes that, too."
Meanwhile, Chivas goalkeeper Dan Kennedy said his club is continuing to find its way.
"It felt like we really lost this game in those three minutes (at the end of the first half)," said Kennedy, who added the crowd of 16,130 at B.C. Place Stadium was a factor on Camilo's deceive goal.
"That second goal came off just a technical mistake and the (Whitecaps) were flying," he said. "That's part of having the home-field advantage. The fans are, obviously, phenomenal here."
The outcome was not in doubt in the second half as the Whitecaps controlled play throughout with their past tendency to give up leads barely a thought.
"The second half, I don't think we got going as much as we should have to really be a threat scoring a goal," said Kennedy.
Notes: Teibert's two assists extended his club-record streak to four games. He did not record any points in his first two MLS seasons. ... Before the game, a moment of silence was held for late Chivas under-17/under-18 team captain Julio Chavez. He was killed in a car accident in his hometown of Modesto, Calif., over the weekend. ... Defender Johnny Leveron rejoined the Whitecaps after dressing as a reserve for Honduras on Tuesday night in a World Cup qualifier against the U.S. ... Rennie said after the game that Teibert has been added to Canada's roster for the upcoming Gold Cup.