Camilo is the type of player that is bound to illicit an emotional response from fans if you ask them. His supporters will point to his 2011 season, his ability on set pieces and his scoring ability at a young age as to why he is one of the Vancouver Whitecaps most valuable players. His detractors will call him a flopper, a diver who's injured more than he is useful.
Both sides are correct to a degree, but Camilo deserves all the credit in the world for his performance against the Portland Timbers. Love him or hate him, the Whitecaps needed someone to step up and take control of the match, and it was the 24 year old Brazilian taking charge. Against the LA Galaxy, Russell Teibert was the one who lifted the Whitecaps on his shoulders; on the weekend, it was simply Camilos turn.
We all saw his free kick goal that has qualified for goal of the week. A top right corner rocket shot that beat one of the best goalkeepers in MLS, giving the Whitecaps a lead. Sure, they would lose that lead, but a beautiful marker for a goal starved team is never a bad thing.
On the second goal, it was Camilo again in the fray. Despite his reputation as a diver, Camilo stayed on his feet in the box, working against a slew of Timbers challenging him. While many will say Camilo is a ball hog who never passes, he deftly slipped the ball to Gershon Koffie, who's curling shot found net and was itself a goal of the week candidate.
He was an easy selection for man of the match, and his performance was a reminder of what he can be. We all remember the three point match against Chivas USA last year, when Camilo essentially single-handedly destroyed their hapless foe in an effort to secure playoff positioning. It makes you wonder why the 24 year old can't bring that game every single night, why we're only treated to the Camilo show every couple of weeks.
My biggest knock against Camilo has been his inconsistency. Some matches he doesn't work as hard as he should, and some matches he lights the world on fire. The frustrating thing is, if Camilo brought his A game every single night, the Whitecaps would have a young, elite threat at a young age; it would be the perfect scenario. Hell, if Camilo played the way he could every night, he'd easily find himself in an upper league, no question. So what is holding him back? Obviously injuries have played their role, especially the last two seasons. That limited his productivity last season, but what's his excuse this time around? Sure, he's had a few nicks and bruises this year, but surely nothing serious enough to account for just three goals?
It's questionable if Camilo will ever get over the hump and become the player the Whitecaps need him to be. The Whitecaps need a young, reliable striker they can count on match in and match out, and Camilo isn't that guy yet, despite his all world talent. Will it ever happen? He's 24 years old and has shown immense talent, so I'm inclined to think he can still do it. However, if this inconsistent play keeps up, he won't be doing it for the Vancouver Whitecaps.