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Coffee with the Caps, Monday March 11

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Let’s pretend it’s still the weekend together!

MLS: Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Real Salt Lake Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Monday folks, here’s hoping your weekend was better than the Whitecaps’.

While the result was not what any of us wanted, there were definite signs of progress. And in the biggest (and unfortunately only) win of the evening, the club confirmed what was the worst kept secret for miles around: the Caps had secured the capture of Iraqi left back Ali Adnan on a 4 month loan from Italian club Udinese.

Much to the consternation of many a fan, the Adnan deal does not include an option to buy. After a few moments’ pause, this makes perfect sense: Adnan was exiled from Atalanta after he went off the play for Iraq in the Asian Games (where he was one of the top players in the tournament). Unable to be registered by another club in Europe, it makes sense that a move to MLS would be used more as a stopgap to the summer transfer window so a move back to a European side can be arranged. Adnan made a handful of appearances for Atalanta, including a cameo during Europa League qualifying. He made 23 appearances for Udinese last season and the only thing keeping him from being a regular starter was a groin injury. 25-year-olds with that talent have the opportunity to play in a top European league.

But the deal is of equal benefit for the Caps. Take a look at Bobby Warshaw’s top five LBs in the league:

  • Kemar Lawrence
  • Greg Garza
  • Daniel Lovitz
  • Brad Smith
  • Marcos Lopez

Given what Adnan has offered his club and country in the last couple of seasons, I don’t see any reason why (on paper anyway) he shouldn’t beat out Marcos Lopez to crack that list. The Caps were simply not going to find anyone of that quality, willing to join them on a permanent deal at this stage. They might be able to find a top quality LB in the summer and Adnan is a good stopgap (who is match fit and able to start playing instantly) on which to utilize an international spot that otherwise would have gone unused. Even if everything goes wrong, I firmly believe Adnan at his worst isn’t going to be a downgrade from Scott Sutter/PC/Brett Levis on the left-hand side. At his best, he would be the best fullback in franchise history.

Oh and before we get to the links, a quick shoutout to FC Cincinnati former ThunderCaps skipper Alan Koch on becoming one of the few teams in recent memory to get a result in Atlanta, the first in franchise history. While I soured on Kendall Waston pretty quickly after Armband-gate, it was nice to see some success for Scooter Manneh, Spencher Richey (who got the start) and Koch. It could be a long year in Cinci but this was a nice first result in franchise history (and anyone who embarrasses Atlanta is a friend of mine). And we got a very heart-warming, wholesome shirt trade between Richey and elite salmon fisher Brek Shea.

Here are the links:

Shameless self promotion:

If you want to dissect Saturday’s matchup, Caleb Wilkins hands out the grades here (hint: In-beom Hwang did well. Fredy Montero? Not so much). I give my takes here.

The Best of the Rest

If you want to get steamed up about the controversial PK from Saturday, mlssoccer.com has you covered here.

The Athletic’s Paul Tenorio took a look at the “actually putting effort into designing jerseys” movement in USL and wow, some of them may even be better than the Caps’ hoop kit.

The U.S. Women’s National Team celebrated International Women’s Day by filing a gender discrimination suit against the USSF. I didn’t think I could love that team even more than I did but yet...

And we’ll end with the Washington Post’s Sally Jenkins eulogizing her father, the late, great Dan Jenkins, who passed away Friday. Keep some tissues handy.

Best of luck out there folks and we’ll see you back here Friday—same time, same place.