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The Northwest Passages: How do you replace a golden boot winner?

Goal.com

The first few weeks of a move to Portland have resulted in shopping for disappointingly domestic items like utensil separators, a not-entirely-unpleasant constant drizzle, and an absolutely unholy number of partially assembled pieces of flat-pack furniture. But with the Rose City Invitational, Goal's man in the Pacific Northwest finally has some real, live Major League Soccer teams to watch. And thus is born The Northwest Passages, a column covering this perpetually damp, soccer-mad corner of the continent. Welcome.

In 2013, Camilo Sanvezzo played in 32 league matches for the Vancouver Whitecaps. He took 123 shots, put 55 of those on target, knocked 22 past opposing goalkeepers, and picked up the Golden Boot. And then before the 2014 season, he very publicly engineered a move to Queretaro of Liga MX, embarrassing Vancouver and Major League Soccer, and leaving the Whitecaps without a player who was involved in over half of the team's goals.

To make matters worse, heir apparent Darren Mattocks was openly agitating for a move of his own after falling out with head coach Martin Rennie, who had publicly criticized the striker's work rate and relegated him to the bench for much of the season. Rennie was sacked after the season, replaced by assistant Carl Robinson, but without any major offseason acquisitions, the Whitecaps' forward options come down to the potentially unsettled Mattocks, aging veteran Kenny Miller, or hoping for a promising youngster like Kekuta Manneh or Russell Teibert to have a breakout season.

So how exactly is Vancouver, which missed out on the playoffs, supposed to not just replace Camilo's goals without weakening its already troubled defense, but also improve on last season?

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