Good Monday morning Caps fans. If you’re reading this in the States, a happy Memorial Day holiday to you. If you’re a Canadian reading this happy ... normal Monday?
The Caps sealed the deal on a 2-1 win over FC Dallas thanks to Lucas Venuto’s goal (with help from Fredy Montero and Jake Nerwinski) but it will be Ali Adnan’s golazo that will have everyone talking. On the off chance you’ve been living on Mars and haven’t see the goal, here it is:
Not bad right?
A moment of vindication for Adnan too, as it marks his first goal with the club and helps to make amends for the botched PK against LA Galaxy. It also serves as a reminder to the front office (cough, cough) as to why Adnan’s loan in Vancouver should be made permanent.
But this was not the only Adnan-related talking point that stemmed from this game. Many fans commented on this website and on the Twitter-verse on two incidents where Adnan appeared to berate a teammate. In the first case it seemed to be Derek Cornelius, the second In-Beom Hwang.
Incidents like these have led some to question whether Adnan’s attitude is a potential negative, especially amid the ongoing discussion of whether/how to keep the elite left back around.
They are perfectly reasonable questions. I, like a lot of people, take a rather dim view of yelling at your co-workers in a public space, much less on national TV. Adnan clearly does not lack for confidence in his own abilities and some have speculated that part of the problem is the belief that he is a superior footballer than his teammates (something which may well be accurate).
But all indications point to Adnan being a hit in the dressing room. He’s apparently besties with Hwang (case in point: the South Korean jumping into his arms following the goal on Saturday) and joined in on some carefully orchestrated goal celebrations with his teammates. This doesn’t seem like a guy who is becoming persona non grata in the dressing room.
Ultimately, speculation on this is pointless in some ways because the only people who know for sure what is going on—the players—will not be forthcoming. But I will say a worry I briefly entertained when Adnan signed on loan was that he would be treating MLS and Vancouver like a pit stop on his journey back to Seria A or another top European league. He would give the bare minimum and act as if he were better than the league and his teammates.
It didn’t take long for Adnan to dispell be of that notion. He plays with passion and, in my book, can not be accused of giving anything less than maximum effort. I agree there are better ways to channel your passion than yelling at teammates on the pitch. But make no mistake about it: the Caps are going to need a healthy dose of fire if they are going to close the points gap that currently exists (especially when factoring in games in hand) and make the playoffs. Hopefully the effort being given by one of the top fullbacks in the MLS can help serve as a guide for the younger players on the team.
Onto the links!
Shameless Self Promotion
Want to relive Saturday’s match? Well, you came to the right place. If you couldn’t catch it live, Sam Rowan has you covered with his recap. Jistuo catches up with MDS to talk about the grueling fixture run the Caps have endured lately. And Atlantis B doles out plenty of high marks in this week’s report card.
Best of the Rest
Almost lost in the shuffle was Theo Bair, who made his MLS debut Saturday, putting in a nice shift and giving Whitecaps fans reasons to think he can contribute down the stretch
And our good friend Phonzie Bear has added another honor to his burgeoning resume: helping Bayern Munich’s reserve team earn promotion to the 3. Bundesliga by overcoming a 3-1 first leg deficit against Wolfsburg II