Good Monday morning Caps fans. Even though its Colorado (a team which is apparently even more of a dumpster fire than Vancouver), it still feels good to be back in the win column.
Facing Kei Kamara and wistfully gazing at unused substitute Nico Mezquida got me thinking about the careers of the former Caps.
Kamara was somewhat controversially let go at the end of the season, in the sense that his departure appeared to be unexpected, as well as his alleged involvement in the deterioration of the locker room in his one season in Vancouver.
Yet he was also instrumental in helping foster Alphonso Davies’ development and, perhaps more importantly, had no trouble bagging goals at a time when the two players tapped to replace him have had trouble doing exactly that.
Nico is more nostalgic; he is basically serving the same role in Colorado that he served in Vancouver, playing as a spot starter who makes frequent substitute appearances. Maddeningly inconsistent, he would seemingly alternate between looking like a world beater coming off the bench and falling flat on his face when he started. We’ll always have this bicycle kick though:
But these two cases got me thinking about which former Caps player you would most want back on this current team, assuming they could be magically restored to their prime.
My choice would be Pedro Morales. While the drop-off was rather quick and severe for the Chilean playmaker, I sometimes forget how dominate he was in his first season in MLS.
In 2014, Morales tallied 10 goals and 12 assists while logging over 2,500 minutes of action. Due to injuries, his minutes were almost halved in 2015, and his production suffered accordingly. But he returned to a serviceable 9 goals-6 assists level in 2016, before departing the club.
But that 2014 season! On a team where no player has multiple assists, only two players have multiple goals (one of whom is a centerback) and the search for a number 10 painfully continues, someone who can simply unlock a defense is just what the Caps need. I mean, just watching this highlight package makes me swoon:
His free kick abilities were also considerable, something not lost on me when I made my decision. With the exception of the Minnesota and Philadelphia matches, the Caps’ set piece quality has ranged from passable to abjectly terrible. Adding someone who could consistently whip in a free kick to a team with considerable size? Well, we might just see a resurgence of #cornerCaps .
Given the team’s goalscoring woes, perhaps the obvious answer to this is Camilo Sanvezzo, assuming the ill will between player, club and fans would also be wiped away under this scenario. But give me a guy who can create a few goals, as well as bang them in. Would Morales stack up as well in MLS 4.0? Would he even really fit into MDS’ tactics? I don’t know but I’d be willing to find out.
Give us your selection in the comments, as we move onto the links:
Shameless Self Promotion
We have the usual bounty of post-match coverage, starting with Sam Rowan wondering aloud how much stock to put in a win over perhaps the worst team in MLS. Caleb Wilkins doles out report card grades in a rather strange match. And Caleb also breaks down how to ensure the team’s strikers continue to bang in goals on a regular basis.
Best of the Rest
And in another major transaction, the Timbers appear to have finally sealed the signature of Necaxa frontman Brian Fernandez in a fee reportedly pushing $10 million. The deal seems like a win for both parties—Portland answers their striker woes with a proven goalscorer and Necaxa recoups a fee 20 times more than the $500,000 they paid for him
Speaking of Nico Mezquida, a nice profile from the Athletic’s Felipe Cardenas on the Uruguayan
The transfer deadline is tomorrow and Pro Soccer USA breaks down what each club needs. The Caps’ section is underwhelming, however, as it mentions links to Sardar Azmoun, who the club was never interested in and is also the leading scorer in the Russian Premier League