Editorial (July 7, 2017) – The fans at BC Place on Wednesday night were able to witness a spectacle of a match. From the diving the New York City FC players took part in, to some stellar individual play there was plenty to be happy about. But the icing on top of the cake was the home debut of Yordy Reyna. And make no mistake, Reyna is the real deal for the Whitecaps.
Yordy Reyna Is The Real Deal For The Vancouver Whitecaps
While the sample size of play at home is small, just over 25 minutes to be exact, it was more than enough to see the immense quality that Reyna brought onto the pitch. With New York City FC controlling the vast majority of possession and attacking chances, it didn’t look like the Whitecaps were going to come away with anything other than a single point.
But when Reyna came on for Brek Shea, everything changed. The tempo of the game, the positioning and aggressiveness of New York changed. They went from a hard tackling aggressive side on the forefront of the game to backing away, allowing Reyna and Co. to take control of the gaps left open. Reyna did just that.
The first touch he had was as soft as silk, and then he preceded to beat two players with some fancy footwork, winning a free kick on the third attempt to stop him from imposing his will. This wouldn’t be the last attacking opportunity he would create in his 25 minutes on the field.
You could see the tentative and cautious style of defending that New York had when Reyna was on the ball. Consistently making intelligent runs through the heart of the defense, Reyna allowed Fredy Montero and Cristian Techera to capitalize on the space they didn’t have in the first 65 minutes.
It seemed as if every time he touched the ball, or was anywhere near the goal, that one of the best teams in Major League Soccer couldn’t find a way to even slow him down. Had it not been for a slightly mistimed volley, Reyna could have found his first goal at home in the 83rd when he volleyed the ball inches clear of the crossbar.
And the goal, oh what a beautiful goal it was. To score a game-winning goal on your home debut is one thing. To give the Whitecaps their first ever win over New York City FC is another thing. But to score in the way he did, and how he imposed his will and brought an electric atmosphere to BC Place was another thing all on its own.
The header by Reyna was a picture perfect header. One you would have dreams of scoring. Once again making an intelligent and incisive run to the six yard box, Reyna smashed home a beauty of a cross from rookie right back Jake Nerwinski. If you don’t believe me, have a look for yourself:
Aside from the beautiful cross, powerful header, and confident celebration, the one thing that stands out is how there isn’t a New York City defender anywhere near him. This says something, and it’s a strong something at that. Not only is he fast and agile, technically gifted, has the ability to beat multiple players off the dribble, but he’s an intelligent attacker.
There were multiple moments throughout the last 25 minutes of the game where his link-up play with the likes of Techera and Montero looked like he could create even more goals. And when you take into account that this was against one of the best sides in the league, that makes it all the more impressive. Oh yeah, I almost forgot, that goal isn’t just a game-winning goal, but it also puts the Whitecaps in the final playoff spot in the Western Conference, jumping Cascadia Cup rivals Seattle. Does it get any better than that?
Although it is undeniably clear, it needs to be said again: Yordy Reyna is the real deal for the Vancouver Whitecaps.