I like alliteration. It's very radio friendly, perhaps not so much in print. It was the M's that dominated the story-lines on what was a memorable weekend for the Whitecaps.
Marketing: The Whitecaps should win an award for one of the best sporting campaigns this city has ever seen. Sometimes, consumers buy in early, and drive an event which then takes on a life of its own. And sometimes, a gentle nudge from creative types can spark the consumer's imagination. What happened on Saturday was a perfect combination of both, punctuated by a thrilling, talking point laden 3-2 win. The level of detail and commitment by everyone involved, made for a day most of us won't soon forget.
Manneh: The youngster started, and rewarded his manager with a terrific opening goal just 10 minutes in, which got the crowd involved, and the adrenaline pumping. I can't remember seeing the same player hit one post, before coolly floating in the rebound off the other upright. It was exactly what the Whitecaps needed.
Morales: The refreshed looking midfield maestro ran the show in the first 45, scored from the penalty spot, and then less than a minute later added his third MLS goal with a perfect blast. He might have had two others earlier. It was the unbridled passion with which he celebrated the 3-0 goal that Whitecaps supporters will remember. He likes it here. He wants to win. He's worth the price of admission.
Mattocks: The young Jamaican has been arguably the most important player for Vancouver this season, when it seemed like six months ago, he would be run out of town after some bizarre comments made while he was home. He's embraced the coaching, his level of understanding has improved and his ability to terrorize defenders was plainly evident, as he earned another penalty kick on a rather immobile looking Victor Bernardez. So it should worry everyone in the Village that Mattocks had to be replaced early with what was described as a hamstring strain. The timing couldn't be worse given the schedule congestion that's ahead, and with the departure of another "M".
Miller: We knew divorce was imminent, but most didn't expect the news on Sunday morning, especially after the Mattocks injury. Carl Robinson is trying to shape a young and hungry club, and while there does need to be some veteran guidance, the money versus performance return gap was widening, and becoming more difficult to justify. I also get the sense that the club wants to conduct more business, and that will be easier to accomplish with the budget relief they'll now have. Miller was a great pro, looked up to by his teammates and likely to land at least one more contract before his storied career is over.
And if you turn an "M" upside down, it becomes a "W" something the Whitecaps desperately needed. With their "hang-on-for-dear-life" 3-2 triumph over San Jose, Vancouver went from being winless in four, to undefeated in three. A great start to the month of "M"ay.