Alphonso Davies set to make a splash at MLS All-Star Game


Vancouver Whitecaps' Alphonso Davies, right. (Darryl Dyck/CP)

VANCOUVER – One might forgive Alphonso Davies for wanting a bit of down time after all he has experienced in the last week, both on and off the field. That’s not going to happen, though.

A week ago, the 17-year-old Canadian midfielder was in Philadelphia meeting with the staff and players of Bayern Munich after signing a MLS record transfer agreement with the German club. He then flew back to the west coast and proceeded to put on his best performance as a professional, pacing the Vancouver Whitecaps with two goals and two assists in their 4-2 win over Minnesota United FC.

Rest and relaxation might be required for the teenage sensation, but it won’t occur anytime soon. Davies is now in Atlanta preparing to take part in Wednesday’s MLS All-Star Game against Serie A champions Juventus.

“It’s great for him. He’s had a whirlwind 10 days,” said Whitecaps coach Carl Robinson following training in Vancouver on Tuesday. “He’ll be around top world-class players in the All-Star team as well as Juventus. He’ll go and enjoy an experience that can’t be taken away from him.”

To nobody’s surprise, Davies was named to the MLS Team of the Week following his effort last Saturday at BC Place. Robinson said while Davies may have been a bit slow to start the match, he put on a show that has soccer fans around the continent are still talking about.

“I said Saturday that in the first 20 minutes he looked like he had got his boots on the wrong feet,” Robinson joked. “He was probably trying too hard. When he plays his game naturally, he does what he does. It was an exceptional performance by him.”

Entering All-Star week, Davies seems to be hitting his stride in what will be his final MLS season. Now with five goals and ten assists, Davies is being mentioned in the same breath as some of the best offensive performers in the league.

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“These last ten days have been amazing,” Davies told reporters in Atlanta following the first training session before Wednesday’s All-Star Game. “I think there’s going to be more to come, but coming off that busy week and then being able to help my team win against Minnesota is an amazing feeling.”

Even though his play with the Whitecaps has been deserving of getting an All-Star selection, he was not voted in by MLS fans or selected by All-Star coach Tata Martino. It was Don Garber who deserves the credit, as Davies was named one the MLS Commissioner’s picks. Davies said he will always remember how he received the news he was going to the All-Star Game.

“I was about to leave the training ground,” Davies told, “and then I got a call saying that coach wanted to talk to me. Usually that’s not a good thing! When Carl started talking to me, I thought I was getting fined or something because he had a piece of paper in his hand. I don’t even remember what he said, but when he told me the news, I was over the moon. I’m just really excited.”

As Davies prepares to suit up in the same locker as other Canadian-based MLS stars such as Sebastien Giovinco from Toronto FC and the Montreal Impact’s Ignacio Piatti , there is one player who is looking forward to playing against Davies.

“I am a little curious to see him,” Juventus captain Giorgio Chiellini told in advance of Wednesday’s match. “I’m encouraged… it’s particular that a big club from Europe buys a young player from MLS and buy him for so much.”

Davies is just the fifth player to represent Vancouver in the MLS All-Star Game, with the others being Kendall Waston (2016), David Ousted (2015), Camilo (2013) and Jay DeMerit (2012).

Current Whitecaps who have participated in the MLS All Star game in the past include Sean Franklin (2011-LA Galaxy and 2014-DC United), Kei Kamara (2015-Columbus Crew) and Brek Shea (2012-FC Dallas).


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