Alphonso Davies, 16, 'phenomenal' for Vancouver Whitecaps - Carl Robinson
Teenage sensation Alphonso Davies drew rave reviews from his coach and teammates after the "phenomenal" 16-year-old scored in the Vancouver Whitecaps' CONCACAF Champions League victory on Thursday night.
Davies scored in the opening five minutes in the second leg against the New York Red Bulls to to help the Whitecaps advance to the semifinals with a 2-0 win.
Subscribe to MLS LIVE today!
- MLS LIVE is back with an all-new platform for 2017
- Get the most matches ever, LIVE and ON DEMAND
- Packages start at only $14.99 a month
- Watch MLS on your phone, computer or TV
- Subscribe today at live.mlssoccer.com
But more so than the goal, Whitecaps coach Carl Robinson was impressed with Davies' mature decisions ahead of the start of the MLS season this weekend.
"He was one of a number of players who was outstanding today," Robinson said. "Yeah, he's 16 years of age. I think two things stuck out to me.
"He's breaking in the 75th minute, 77th minute, when Kekuta [Manneh] has got the ball. The desire to want to try and score a goal -- and he's already scored one -- was phenomenal. And then I shouted at him to get back and he just looked at me with his big eyes and just run back. Brilliance. As a coach you want players who are going to work.
"And then the second one was Fredy [Montero] playing him the ball into the box, and for someone so young to make a sensible decision -- it was three against one in the Red Bulls box and he decided not to try to score a worldy goal and beat three men, he decided to play it out to Brek Shea, and that understanding of the game for someone so young was phenomenal.
"Yeah, he was outstanding in the game. You run him ragged and there's still lots more to come. He and all the team should be proud of what they achieved for the football club today because it's a piece of history."
Montero, the 29-year-old veteran who added Vancouver's second goal with his first touch as a Whitecaps player, was also impressed with Davies' efforts.
"He's good, he has a lot of quality," Montero said of the Canada youth international. "He's young. We need to take it easy with him. He's going to get more experience in the games and he just needs to keep doing what he's doing.
"He's working hard in every single training and you can see in 90 minutes today how hard he was running to the back and to the front to defend the team."
Montero only signed with the Whitecaps on loan from Chinese side Tianjin Teda two weeks ago, and Robinson said he was happy with the performance despite the forward's limited fitness.
"He scored with his first touch," Robinson said. "He's disappointed in there because the young kid set him up for a sitter and he just lost his feet, he lost his balance. He could have had two goals but that's what natural goal scorers do. It's nice to get him up to speed."
Another newcomer that impressed Robinson was U.S. international Brek Shea, who has been with the team for less than a week, but was called on to play up front after Nicolas Mezquida had to pull out with a slight injury.
"Brek was outstanding, by the way, he really was," Robinson said. "From the first minute he was a threat, playing up as a No. 9 , we wanted to get him behind. He should have scored as well, then he went to the left side, so we've got an exciting player in Brek Shea as well."
Follow @ESPNFC on Twitter to keep up with the latest football updates.