Vancouver Whitecaps phenom Alphonso Davies showed once again why some of the biggest clubs in the world have started to take real notice.
The 16-year-old midfielder scored one and set up another in a breathtaking opening 45 minutes as Vancouver downed the Montreal Impact 2-1 in the first leg of their Canadian Championship semifinal on Tuesday night.
“He was electric,” said Whitecaps goalkeeper Spencer Richey. “It’s awesome.”
Davies’ performance came hours after team president Bob Lenarduzzi admitted on a local radio station that English Premier League giants Manchester United are one of the clubs that have reached out to ask about the soft-spoken teenager.
“Listen, good players are wanted,” said Vancouver head coach Carl Robinson, who has made a point of downplaying his prodigy in the media. “He’s 16 years of age and he’s playing in the first team.
“I’m not trying to protect him for any other reason than I want the boy to develop.”
Nicolas Mezquida had the other goal for Vancouver on Tuesday, while Richey stopped a second-half penalty.
David Choiniere replied for the Impact, who will feel good about their chances heading home for the second leg of the aggregate series next week despite a poor effort early on.
“It was a terrible first half,” said Montreal head coach Mauro Biello. “Bad defending, very nonchalant. When we had the ball we didn’t decide to play.
“In the second half we decided to play and we created chances — dominated — should have actually won the game.”
Born in Liberia and raised in Edmonton, Davies had a spring in his step from the start, and opened the scoring in the match between Major League Soccer sides 13th minute.
Brek Shea’s pass to Mezquida from the right lagged behind his teammate, but rolled right to Davies, who calmly slotted home past Impact goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau.
Davies, who was subbed off in the second half and didn’t speak to reporters after the game, then went from finisher to creator in the 33rd when he…