By Joshua Clipperton
THE CANADIAN PRESS
VANCOUVER _ The Vancouver Whitecaps didn’t bring Pa-Modou Kah in for his scoring touch or his dance skills, but they’ve been seeing a lot of both recently.
The veteran defender has three goals over his last two games, following up his double in a 3-0 victory over the Seattle Sounders on Aug. 1 with another strike in Saturday’s 4-0 home demolition of Real Salt Lake.
The 35-year-old Kah had one goal in two years with the Portland Timbers prior to 2015, and has marked each of his breakthroughs this season with some flashy dance moves.
The gyrations have caught the attention of teammates, while head coach Carl Robinson jokingly described Kah’s celebrations as “very poor” over the weekend, something he reiterated on Monday.
“He walks around with a big smile on his face,” Robinson said of Kah. “It’s great he’s getting the goals. It takes the pressure off a few of the other guys, (but) I don’t like the dancing. I told him that. I think he can improve on the dancing.”
A leader on a young team that finds itself sitting atop Major League Soccer’s Western Conference, Kah didn’t miss a beat when told of his coach’s views.
“Let’s just say if we were on (the television show) ‘Dancing with the Stars’ I think I would go further than him,” he deadpanned. “We’re having fun. We’re enjoying ourselves. We love being around each other. Once in a while you have to break out the old school moves to show these little kids the way.”
Kah probably won’t be on the field to do that when Vancouver visits the Montreal Impact on Wednesday in the first leg of the two-game, total-goals Amway Canadian Championship final. The Whitecaps have never lifted the Voyageurs Cup and would book a spot in next year’s CONCACAF Champions League with a victory over two legs.
“Since the start of the season we’ve said we have something special here,” said Vancouver winger Kekuta Manneh. “We have a special group, but we want to win something. With the group we have we feel like we deserve it.”
The Whitecaps qualified for this year’s Champions League by finishing with the top MLS record among the league’s three Canadian teams last season and are in the middle of a busy August, with Wednesday’s fixture quickly followed by a trip to Sporting Kansas City for a league game on Saturday.
“We haven’t won anything at this club and we want to win it,” Kah of the national final. “It’s our first step in making history. We want it a lot.”
While Kah isn’t likely to suit up against Montreal, the Whitecaps should have Kendall Waston in the lineup after the defender was suspended for the Kansas City game because of yellow card accumulation. Robinson wouldn’t tip his hand as to his exact setup against the Impact, but did say there won’t be a wholesale swap like the one he made for last Wednesday’s midweek Champions League match against Seattle that ended in a 1-1 draw.
“We’re going to have a go at this competition. There will be changes, there will be freshness,” said the head coach. “It’s not going to be won or lost in the first game, but we’ve got to give ourselves every chance to be in the tie after the first leg.”