MLS: Academy teen Max Anchor gets emergency start in Vancouver goal -- and hears it from Charlotte fans

Covid-19 continues to impact pro leagues.

The USL Championship had three games postponed this weekend because of the league's health and safety protocols.

A week earlier, both the NWSL and USL Championship called off games for the same reason.

MLS hasn't yet had to postpone a game, but Covid-19 issues left the injury-hit Vancouver Whitecaps without a first-team goalkeeper for their trip to Charlotte.

Starter Thomas Hasal is sidelined with a dislocated left middle finger, and backups Cody Cropper and Isaac Boehmer were among four Vancouver players who entered Covid-19 health and safety protocols. In all, the 'Caps were without 11 players for the game against expansion Charlotte FC.

Max Anchor, a 17-year-old academy player who was slated to join the 'Caps in 2023 on a Homegrown contract, was called up from Vancouver's MLS Next Pro team, joined the first team on Friday and got the start on Sunday with Niko Giantsopoulos on loan from the CPL's York United on the bench as his backup.

Vancouver, last in the overall standings, had lost its first five games on the road but was within five minutes of gaining a tie when Charlotte FC took advantage of a bad bounce and Daniel Ríos scored for a 2-1 win. Anchor was nervous at the start of the match, but he could do nothing on the winning goal.

The youngster said the hardest part was the noise -- and barbs -- from the crowd of 32,034 at Bank of American Stadium.

“I expected it to be loud, but that was something else," he told the Province. "Even the first half, being in front of the (Charlotte) fan section, you can like barely hear yourself think. It’s so loud. And I know the fans had a lot of fun with me.

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