VANCOUVER, B.C. – Davide Chiumiento has a new, more workmanlike attitude this season, but he joked it was his new haircut that helped him put in one the more dazzling performances of his Vancouver Whitecaps career on Sunday.
Exciting fans and tormenting his Houston Dynamo markers, the Swiss-Italian playmaker was at his best in Vancouver’s 3-1 win, dribbling through the defense with ease and hitting a number of impressive passes.
"The last time that I went was against [FC Edmonton in the Canadian Championship], and I had three assists,” Chiumiento told MLSsoccer.com when describing his latest trip to the barber, which he made on Saturday. "So it’s good luck.”
The 27-year-old explained he was inspired to up his game even further due to some special guests in attendance – his mother, father and brother took in the match.
“I personally feel really happy,” Chiumiento said of his general mood – including during the game, when he was spotted joking with supporters before taking a corner kick at one point. “My family is here. Sometimes in football – you always want to give everything but sometimes it doesn’t happen – but now physically, I feel really good.
“I had a chance to play again and I always try to show the coach that I can play from the first minute.”
Chiumiento was rotated heavily, as many of his teammates were, during Vancouver’s busy May, but his omission from the starting lineup for both legs of the Canadian Championship final against Toronto FC was a big blow.
Since that disappointment, head coach Martin Rennie has started Chiumiento twice in a row, and was happy with his contribution on Sunday.
The former Juventus trainee has played higher up the pitch in those matches after spending a brief spell during May as more of a conventional central midfielder.
“He’s finding himself in areas where he’s difficult to mark,” Rennie told reporters after the match. “He’s got that final pass, he’s got that ability to play people in. Today, he was dangerous one-v-one, and so overall he’s got tons of quality and he showed that again today. He’s a threat.”
As for the player’s new haircut? Well, not everyone is a fan.
“My mother wasn’t happy,” Chiumiento joked following the match. “She couldn’t even watch my face – but, that’s what it is. For me, it’s OK, but she’s old school.”
Martin MacMahon covers the Vancouver Whitecaps for MLSsoccer.com.