Victor Wanyama captains Montreal in MLS fixture

Kenyan international Victor Wanyama captained CF Montreal for the first time as the Canadian side pegged reigning champions Columbus Crew 0-0 in a Major League Soccer (Eastern Conference) match on Saturday.

The captaincy duties went to the Harambee Stars midfielder as fellow defensive midfielder Samuel Piette was an unused substitute.

There was a big debate ahead of the new season about who would take over the responsibilities of captain from Finish Jukka Raitala, who joined Minnesota United at the end of last season.

Canadian Piette, 26, was handed those duties, while Wanyama and Canadian Kamal Miller, 23, were named the vice captains.

Coach Wilfried Nancy’s side dominated Saturday’s fixture registering 20 shots against Columbus Crew’s three, but were unable to find a breakthrough.

“We could have scored three goals… We didn’t finish our chances. We were supposed to win, but again, I’m happy with what I saw,” said 44-year-old Nancy after the match. Nancy took over managerial duties from Arsenal legend Thierry Henry on March 8.

When signing “Big Vic” on a free transfer from English Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur on March 3, 2020, Montreal were not just convinced about his game, but also his leadership skills.

“Victor is an important player with a great career. His indisputable experience will also allow him to properly supervise the young players,” said Sporting Director Olivier Renard back then.

Wanyama’s first time to show his supervisory skills as the captain came on May 1 against Columbus Crew.

It was not a new thing to him as he has captained Kenya on many occasions, including when Harambee Stars dropped five points against Comoros to exit the qualifying race for 2022 Africa Cup of Nations. Wanyama also captained Southampton in a League Cup match against Aston Villa in 2015.

The Kenyan, who turns 30 on June 25, has featured in 27 matches in all competitions since making his debut for Montreal on March 11 in a CONCACAF Champions League. He has played full 90 minutes in those matches.

Piette captained CF Montreal in the first two matches this season against Toronto FC and Nashville.

Montreal thrashed arch-rivals Toronto 4-2 on April 17 in a match which Wanyama grabbed one goal, before drawing 2-2 against Nashville on April 24.

CF Montreal currently occupy position four in the 14-team Eastern Conference league with five points.

 New England Revolution top the log on seven points followed by New York City FC (six) and Orlando City (five) in that order.

Montreal’s next league assignment is away against compatriots Vancouver Whitecaps on May 8 at Rio Tinto Stadium.

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