Good Monday morning folks and it is officially the first Monday of the off-season for the Caps, meaning we all have a bit more free time on our hands.
The 86F gang will be wrapping up the season in exhaustive detail over the coming days so this column won’t dive too deeply into dredging up a season that we all would rather forget. Instead, I figured I’d focus on the best moments that I will be attempting to focus on as we enter the long, cold stretch that is the off season.
Like remember when Vancouver dealt LAFC, which may well go down as the strongest MLS team in the league’s modern history, its first loss of the season at BC Place? Marc dos Santos put his former boss’ side to the sword off a wonderful In-Beom half volley that claimed one of the most memorable victories at home in some time.
And who could forget the heady early days of Ali Adnan’s arrival to Vancouver, with the god-know-how-many-years-old left back representing one of the most hyped arrivals in the club’s history. His first goal, in which he single-handedly bullied the FC Dallas defense, lived up to the hype.
While it wasn’t memorable for the Caps’ PR lackey’s, the way the club’s supporters’ groups rallied around victims of sexual harassment and (rightly) taking the organization to task for their disastrous response to the scandal was heartening and was a big reason the club actually addressed the situation. While the walkouts eventually fizzled out, the efforts led by the Southsiders, Curva Collective, et al. was the first shining moment in a season that was really defined by supporter groups wading into the political fray.
While it is easy (and probably smart) to focus on the signings that didn’t work, there were also no shortage of surprises. Max Crepeau, who everyone thought was going to be part of a goalkeeping timeshare with Zac MacMath, seized the number 1 kit and never let go, becoming the club’s MVP in the process.
In-Beom largely lived up to the hype and, surrounded by a real midfield and with an offseason of rest, his sky is the limit. Erik Godoy and Derek Cornelius were revelations in defense. Theo Bair did this:
I know what you’re saying right now. “Yeah, OK Andrew, maybe this season had a couple bright spots. But on the whole it sucked.” And you’re right, it did suck.
But I’m glad that I was able to suffer through the suck with all of you. 86 Forever is a labor of love for those of us who do it. Everyone who clicked, commented, tweeted or followed us contributed to that (even when you were telling me I was a stupid idiot who has never seen a soccer match before). To all of you who did so, thank you. And thank you especially to those of you who read this column—I plan on keeping it going indefinitely (unless everyone hates it IDK) as long as people keep clicking and using it as a starting point for debate, chatter and laughter.
This is not the most optimistic point in Whitecaps history but it may be the most interesting juncture the club has ever been at. Major decisions will shape what the organization looks like, not just next season but for the course of many years. Make no mistake, our coverage will be there every step of the way. Much like the Caps (hopefully), we’re just getting started.
Here are the links:
Shameless Self Promotion
We round up the final match of the season here. Check back in the coming days for a series of round tables on the course of the season, featuring your friendly 86 Forever writers and some other local media folk.
Best of the Rest
Portland and FC Dallas won Sunday to claim the final two playoff spots that were up for grabs. Here’s a full rundown of the playoff bracket
After another underwhelming season, Orlando City SC sacked manager James O’Connor
[dismembered eyeball emoji]:
MDS just said on radio they’re actively pursuing a big name and has the full backing of ownership to sign the player he wants. #VWFC— (@GlassCityFC) October 7, 2019
Now who do we think that could be? (I’ve resigned myself to “star player” being a striker so please be Lucas Cavallini, please be Lucas Cavallini)
Colorado Rapids almost turned a remarkable turn around into a playoff berth. Here’s how they did it
Carlos Vela is the new MLS goal king, following a hat trick on Sunday. At least it wasn’t just Vancouver that couldn’t stop him