Alphonso Davies hopes to go out a winner in final game with Whitecaps
Teen soccer star leaving Vancouver to play for Bayern Munich
When Alphonso Davies hits the field for his final Vancouver Whitecaps game on Sunday, his entire family will be watching from the stands.
It's the first time this season that his parents and all of his siblings will be able to make it from Edmonton to see the young midfielder play.
"It's going to be special," the 17-year-old said after training on Wednesday. "I'm glad it's this game."
With the Whitecaps (12-13-8) missing the playoffs this year, Sunday's home game against the Portland Timbers will mark the last time Davies plays in Major League Soccer.
The Whitecaps signed a US$22-million transfer deal in July that will see the teen play for German soccer giant Bayern Munich next year.
Davies said he's been watching his new team, which currently sits fourth in the German Bundesliga with a 5-2-1 record.
"I've visualized myself playing there (in Germany). But right now, my mind is here," he said.
The soccer star joined the Whitecaps' residency program in 2015 and has steadily worked his way up to the starting lineup, gaining attention for his blazing speed and ability to control the ball.
He's put up 18 points over 64 league games, including 11 assists and six goals this season.
Each of the matches has been one to remember and picking a favourite moment seems impossible, Davies said.
"All my games are exciting. Playing for this team has been a game come true," he said. "I like all the goals I scored. Maybe not the first one."
That first goal came in March during the Whitecaps' season opener against the Montreal Impact.
Davies had already notched an assist, putting a cross over to striker Kei Kamara, who headed the ball into the net.
Later, Cristian Techera got Davies the ball directly in front of the net and the midfielder popped it in. Impact keeper Evan Bush got his fingers on the ball, but couldn't keep it out.
The Whitecaps won 2-1.
Davies hopes he can enjoy one more win with his team on Sunday, and he'll be looking for a chance to notch another memorable goal.
After all, he knows there will be a lot of people in the crowd who've come out to see him play one last time.
"That puts a smile on my face. I've just got to make it something special," he said.
Sunday's game is sure to be emotional, Davies said, noting that lot has changed during his time in Vancouver, thanks in part to those in the Whitecaps organization and support from the team's fans.
"I've grown a lot not only as a player, but as a young man as well," Davies said.