Simon Becher made quite the name for himself in MLS NEXT Pro and after being promoted to the first team fold with the Vancouver Whitecaps this offseason, the young forward delivered a standout showdown in Saturday’s rivalry clash with CF Montreal.
Becher scored twice and added one assist as the Whitecaps rolled past CF Montreal 5-0 at BC Place. It was the Whitecaps first MLS victory of the new season, which comes at a crucial time ahead of the Concacaf Champions League quarterfinals.
After Becher connected with Brian White for the Whitecaps opening goal after 38 minutes, Becher doubled Vancouver’s lead just five minutes later. Becher’s right-footed volley off of an Ali Ahmed cross into the box found the bottom-right corner for a 2-0 advantage.
Becher doubled his tally in the 59th minute to extend the Whitecaps lead to 5-0 on the night. Javain Brown’s cross was finished off by the 23-year-old in the box, giving him his fourth goal of 2023 across all competitions.
Becher finished as Man of the Match for the Whitecaps and will be eager to carry his run of form into this week’s CCL showdown with Los Angeles FC.
Here are the other top moments in Week 5:
Team of the Week
Nashville SC rebounded from back-to-back losses on Saturday by shutting out Orlando City to capture a 2-0 road victory.
Gary Smith’s squad used goals from Fafa Picault and Hany Mukhtar to pick up three points at Exploria Stadium. Joe Willis was key in goal, making six saves to preserve the clean sheet in Orlando.
Picault needed only 28 minutes to break the deadlock, picking up a long ball pass from Mukhtar before chipping Pedro Gallese from the top of the box. It was Picault’s first goal for the Eastern Conference club.
Mukhtar had struggled to find the back of the net so far in 2023, but sealed the result by celebrating his first tally. Shaq Moore’s pass allowed the veteran attacker to create room for a low drive across the Orlando City box and into the bottom-left corner.
Nashville SC is up to fifth place following the victory.
Seattle Sounders, Atlanta United, and Vancouver Whitecaps also earned important victories, finishing as Team of the Week nominees.
Goal of the Week
The Portland Timbers used a 90th-minute equalized from Franck Bolt to capture one point in a 1-1 draw with FC Dallas.
Boli, 29, celebrated his first goal in dramatic style, sending a blistering shot past Maarten Paes into the bottom-left corner. Portland has struggled for results so far in 2023, but Boli’s confident finish could help the Timbers start a surge up the Western Conference standings.
Young Player of the Week
The L.A. Galaxy did not come out on the winning end of Saturday’s showdown with the Seattle Sounders but Jalen Neal did impress in Greg Vanney’s backline.
Neal scored his first MLS goal for the Galaxy in a 2-1 home defeat, while also delivering a strong shift defensively. The 19-year-old centerback won all seven of his individual duels in the match while also making two interceptions and completing his only tackle attempt.
Neal has made five MLS appearances for the Galaxy so far in 2023.
Neal was a standout performer with the U.S. Under-20 men’s national team last summer and will be fighting for a roster spot ahead of the FIFA U-20 World Cup.