Once again, the Caps have to deal with a little fixture congestion, with 4 games in 11 days, starting with New England this afternoon, with Leg 1 of the Amway final on Tuesday in Toronto, away to Philadelphia next weekend, and Leg 2 of the Amway Final at home on the 29th.
It seems pretty simple, right? Hold the phone for a second.
Rivero and Morales are suspended for this match, and Waston is suspended for the next 2. Looking at the depth chart, it would seem obvious who the next ones up are: Perez in for Rivero and Teibert in for Morales at holding mid. Fraser Aird has yet to return from dealing with some personal matters, so Smith draws in.
The starting backline, save for Waston, is up for debate come Tuesday's match. Let's assume that Giovinco goes the full 90 (against LA today), Bradley still on Copa America duty, and Altidore still injured, the Caps get a little fortunate. Although the return timeframe initially expressed on the Altidore injury was 6-8 weeks, that puts it at June 28, a day before Leg 2, however, reading between the lines of what Vanney was quoted as saying, I don't expect to see Jozy at all before July. Needless to say, the result on Tuesday will heavily impact what Robbo does against Philadelphia.
I think we'll get a clue as to Robbo's intentions by tomorrow's WFC2 starting 11 and the timing of the subs. You know that Alan Koch knows exactly who Robbo wants in Toronto, and it might just be Davies and Carducci, if for no other reason than to give David Ousted a day off.
While I'm not suggested that the Caps disregard the match in Philadelphia, I wouldn't expect to see the full first team (minus Waston) out there, even moreso if things go sideways Tuesday evening in Toronto. Given their recent performance in Leg 1 of previous tournaments, I'm not ruling that out as a possibility. Everybody remembers Leg 1 vs Ottawa, right?
I see the next two weeks as a potentially polarizing one to the Caps fanbase and supporters groups. If Robbo can muster 3-6 points in league play and capture the club's 2nd Voyageurs Cup, ensuring a 3rd consecutive trip to the CONCACAF Champions League, there should be contentment in Vancouver.
If all doesn't go well, I suspect people will be questioning Robinson's commitment to the Voyageurs Cup and of course, his team selection. One thing will be for sure: You can't please everyone all the time.