A long, looping ball from Vancouver Whitecaps defender Marcel de Jong landed perfectly onto the delicate boot of Yordy Reyna early in Wednesday’s match against Minnesota United.
The attacking midfielder with burnt orange hair that explodes off the top of his head like a volcano proceeded to calmly steer his shot into the back of the net, putting to bed any thought of a letdown against an expansion club playing out the string.
Yordy Reyna scored once and helped set up another as the Vancouver Whitecaps downed lowly Minnesota 3-0, a result that moved the Whitecaps into first place in Major League Soccer’s Western Conference with 44 points.
“It was a very workman-like performance,” said Vancouver head coach Carl Robinson. “It was a tricky game because Minnesota are where they are in the table.”
Brek Shea also scored while adding an assist on Erik Hurtado’s goal for Vancouver (13-9-5), which improved to 7-2-2 over its last 11 games.
The Portland Timbers also sit on 44 points in the West, but the Whitecaps own the tiebreaker with one more win, and have played two fewer games.
“We’ve just got to keep ticking along,” said Robinson. “We’re back to work [Thursday].”
Minnesota (7-15-5), which fought back from a 2-0 deficit to tie Vancouver in the first-ever meeting between the clubs back in June, rarely threatened goalkeeper David Ousted, who was forced to make just one save for his sixth shutout of the season.
Meanwhile, Marcel de Jong’s floated pass from near half dropped perfectly between two Minnesota defenders for the hard-charging Reyna, who coolly tapped his shot beyond United ‘keeper Bobby Shuttleworth.
“He does things he shouldn’t do in wrong areas of the field, but he does exciting things in the top-third of the pitch,” said Robinson. “It’s a wonderful ball by Marcel, it’s a great touch and it’s a great finish by a quality player.”
Reyna missed the first half of the season with a broken foot, but has paid big dividends since returning to action in early July.
“He’s explosive, he’s quick, he’s skillful, he makes things happen,” said Vancouver defender Jake Nerwinski. “We know we can trust him when he gets the ball.”
The Whitecaps, who host the Columbus Crew on Saturday, then doubled the advantage in the 31st minute on one of the classic counter-attack goals they have become known for under Robinson.
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CBC | Soccer News