Alphonso Davies final MLS match was certainly something to remember.
The Canadian teenager will join Bayern Munich over the winter and he said goodbye to the Vancouver Whitecaps in fitting style on Sunday afternoon. He scored both of their goals in a 2-1 win over the Portland Timbers in a man of the match level performance that only added to his thrilling, albeit brief, legacy as one of the league’s most exciting teenage players.
“I would say it was the perfect ending,” Davies said to open his post-match press conference. “The team got the three points and I’m able to help to get two goals.”
Davies definitely wanted to give the fans a show in his final game with his original club, but he never planned to score twice. “Going into the game I just wanted to perform,” he said. “And me scoring two goals is a bonus.”
His performance on Sunday is similar to how he played after the signing with Bayern became official. He went off in that match, a 4-2 win over Minnesota United, by scoring twice and providing two assists.
“When I got the news I was signing with Bayern Munich I just wanted to make things special,” he said when asked about the similarities between that match and Sunday, “cause I was off the field for a while and I was missing it. So then coming into this game, knowing it was my last game for Vancouver, I just wanted to leave with a positive feeling.”
That positive feeling was felt all around, from himself, to his teammates, to the fans at BC Place, and even his head coach.
“Alphonso, there’s something about him,” Craig Dalrymple, Vancouver’s interim head coach, said. “He just has a knack to continue to prove people right. To score two goals, should have maybe had three or four, he’s electric, had energy in the game. He wanted to thank everybody with the performance. He had so much pressure on him this week. He was struggling a little bit with all the attention. But the way he handled it was just fantastic. He’s a fantastic person and obviously a great talent.”
Davies made his MLS debut at the tender age of 15 back in 2016, but he wasn’t a regular player until just this year, when he impressed enough to attract the eyes of Bayern Munich. He scored eight goals and provided 11 assists in 27 starts.
Overall, it was a special year for the kid, and it was evident it would turn out that way right from the beginning. In the Whitecaps’ opener, he assisted on their first goal of the season and scored what turned out to be the game winning goal in a 2-1 victory over Orlando City.
Aside from that Minnesota match, his other major highlight came in early June, right before the World Cup break. He had three assists and a goal in a 5-2 win in the final game before break. With performances like that, it’s clear why a club like Bayern would be interested.
Davies is ready for that next adventure, but he will still miss playing in Vancouver.
“I’m disappointed my time is finished in Vancouver. They’ve done so much for me,” Davies said.
“The team’s an amazing team. Ever since I started training with them they’ve always supported me, they’ve always had my back. Playing my final games here they just wanted to give me the ball as much as possible and do what I do. I couldn’t thank them more, you know, for pushing me every day in training and also off the field as well teaching me other professional habits.”
But Bayern Munich is what lies ahead. It’s going to be a big journey, but Davies is up for the challenge. “I’m just looking forward to going there and, just like Vancouver, taking it one step at a time,” he said.
It’s going to be very difficult for him to break into the first team. Bayern has so much talent and there isn’t much room for young players to make a mark. Just ask Julian Green, who failed to get much of a look with them before going out on loan and eventually leaving the club entirely. Davies is staying positive and is determined to bring whatever he can to one of the biggest, most successful clubs in the world.
“Me going to that environment, I just want to bring my energy and help out as much as possible,” he said.
He’s also looking forward to learning from some of the star players the perennial German champions have in their squad.
“The two wingers, Robben and Ribery, and Thiago,” Davies said when asked who he’s looking forward to working with the most. He had extra praise for the Spanish midfielder: “I think Thiago is like silky smooth on the ball and when he plays it looks like he’s just gliding through the field.”
Davies will take a couple weeks to relax and celebrate his 18th birthday before joining the Canadian National Team for a Concacaf Nations League qualifying match against St. Kitts in November. After that, it’s full speed ahead to Bayern Munich, where he hopes to make a mark as the next North American teenager to head over to Germany.