The former Cardiff City, West Bromwich Albion, Norwich City, Derby County and Nottingham Forest striker finally got his hands on a winner's medal as the MLS club sealed their first Canadian Championship title.
A 2-0 home win over the Montreal Impact saw Vancouver clinch their first-ever Canadian Championship title 4-2 on aggregate, as well as sealed them a place in next season’s CONCACAF Champions League.
The Whitecaps had taken a 2-0 lead in the first-leg earlier this month thanks to second-half goals from Darren Mattocks and Pedro Morales but Montreal staged a dramatic comeback in the final 10 matches of the match, when Laurent Ciman and substitute Anthony Jackson-Hammel struck in quick succession to earn the hosts a 2-2 draw.
Carl Robinson’s men showed their class in the return leg, however, as a 40th-minute tap-in from Octavio Rivero put them back in the driving seat, before defender Tim Parker doubled their advantage eight minutes after the break with a powerful header to ensure the Voyageurs Cup would be going to the Pacific Northwest outfit.
Earnshaw himself failed to get off the bench on the night but that did not stop the veteran forward from celebrating in the dressing room after the final whistle, having ended a 17-year wait for a winner’s medal.
We are the Champions. I'm very proud of my teammates for this special feeling in my career. pic.twitter.com/RxgUhZrDRc— Robert Earnshaw (@RobertEarnshaw) August 27, 2015
Now aged 34, the ex-Cardiff City hitman joined Vancouver in March following a brief trial in order to add some much-needed experience to their fledgling roster but he has so far had to settle for just five appearances, while scoring once on his debut.
Nevertheless, having been reunited with former Wales teammate and now Whitecaps head coach Robinson at BC Place, he has taken to his bit-part role with few problems and become a valuable leader and mentor to fellow attackers Mattocks, Rivero, Kekuta Manneh, Nicolas Mezquida, Cristian Techera, Erik Hurtado and Caleb Clarke.
He could even have the chance to add a couple more major trophies to his palmarès over the coming months too, with Vancouver sitting in second-place in the Western Conference after 26 games.
Beating the star-studded LA Galaxy to both the Supporters’ Shield and MLS Cup titles looks like a daunting task at this point but, given their recent form, Earnshaw’s side seem to have the best chance among the realistic contenders of causing an upset.