VANCOUVER, B.C. — Camilo ended his 2013 season the way he has been playing throughout – with style.
The Brazilian's hat trick on Sunday evening in the Vancouver Whitecaps' final match of the campaign, a dead rubber against the Colorado Rapids Sunday evening, demonstrated the forward's nose for goal and ability to continually get into dangerous positions.
“It's very important for me, because no one knows how important it is for me, for my family,” Camilo told reporters after the game, after securing the MLS Golden Boot awarded to the top goalscorer in MLS. “When I start the season, no one believes. Just me and my family and I believe in God, and I worked hard for that.”
After the match Camilo joked that he could have scored five, and as absurd as it sounds, there was probably a lot of truth to that.
WATCH: Camilo's hat trick vs. Rapids
He opened his tally with a smashing penalty generated from a nice bit of play from Kekuta Manneh to goad Rapids defender Marvell Wynne into fouling him in the area.
Then Camilo won the Golden Boot by scoring his 21st when he beat Drew Moor with a cheeky nutmeg and then finished from a tight angle in the box. That goal tied him with Chicago's Mike Magee, but he would have won the award anyway due to his superior assist total.
Camilo didn't want to win the award on a tiebreaker though, and so he scored one final time with six minutes to play for the hat trick, beating goalkeeper Clint Irwin after teammate Russell Teibert found him with a searching through ball.
But beyond the goals, Irwin was forced into two very good first half saves, first stopping Camilo in the area after he found a little window in the 10th minute, and then foiling the 25-year-old striker by palming away a drifting ball which looked set for the right upper 90 four minutes later.
“It's well deserved,” Vancouver captain Jay DeMerit said of Camilo's goals. “Throughout a long season, it takes a consistent goal scorer to win the Golden Boot. These things aren't by fluke, so again it shows the qualities that Camilo has and brings to our team.
“He was the most important player for us this year. He was the only All-Star we had. These are all credits to his development. He was [team] player of the year our first season and he's continued that.”
Martin MacMahon covers the Vancouver Whitecaps for MLSsoccer.com.