Good Friday morning Caps fans. It’s been quite the week here so you’ll have to forgive a slightly more abbreviated CWTC this morning.
You all will be happy to know that the Whitecaps social media team reads this column—or at least that’s the only conclusion I can possibly draw after they released a video compilation of the club’s best goals in the MLS era. Dutiful readers of this column will note we covered that territory on Monday.
An enjoyable watch that features the top goals for both myself and many of the commentators. You’ll be shocked to find a whole slate of YouTube commenters who believe Ali Adnan had the best goal in team history.
As an aside, our good friend Caleb had a tweet that accurately summed up the ethos of this site and, often times, this column. While my #takes are not as in depth as Caleb’s, I think the sentiment still holds true.
In case you missed it, he did an excellent dive into what the Caps organization needs to do to make the playoffs next year. Posited largely on the MO that the Caps should be trying to buy wins/goals ( a la Moneyball), it was a really good read that prompted some lively discussion in the comments.
Of course, this being the internet, some talking points were more productive than others.
It's frustrating as hell when I write a big article trying to lay out a path forward for #VWFC and every comment is like "not an MLS level organization" "Cheap!" Like, yeah, we all know that, Steve, but i'm trying to figure out how they can change that.— Caleb Wilkins (@wilkins_caleb24) August 15, 2019
And i'm just a uni student blogger so maybe my suggestions aren't as good or as realistic as someone more experienced. But what am I supposed to write? "The Whitecaps are terrible and everything sucks." Is that really what you want every week?— Caleb Wilkins (@wilkins_caleb24) August 15, 2019
Don't you want to try and understand why they're bad? Don't you want to know why other teams are succeeding with similar restraints? Do you have any intellectual curiosity about the team at all?— Caleb Wilkins (@wilkins_caleb24) August 15, 2019
Ranting about the ineffectiveness or struggles of the team is normal, especially after a bad loss (and Lord knows we’ve had plenty of those this season). But part of our jobs is to explore the reasons behind the sucking and outlining ways the sucking could be addressed so we don’t suck anymore.
We obviously are fans like you—we have no special insight or sway in shaping what this organization decides to do. But there are teams in MLS who are of similar size to the Whitecaps, who pay players similar wages and who are in similar sized markets. Some of them are a perennially snake bitten but others are not and are instead able to craft consistently winning sides on a less-than Atlanta United budget. While cynicism with the front office is deserved at this point, that is no reason to not engage with these issues on an intellectual basis, as Caleb points out.
This isn’t a way of saying that we have a bad community of people here—on the contrary, we have an excellent group of folks commenting and exchanging ideas! I find this site to be a more productive and engaging place to spend my time than a lot of other VWFC sites (cough cough Reddit).
But I think clarification about who we are and what we do is always valuable. Just keep in mind that we’re not trying to be apologists or paper over what you think are the glaring systematic flaws with the organization. Instead, we’re trying to focus the conversation in a positive way as to how those shortcomings can overcome.
And with that, onto the links:
Shameless Self Promotion
I’ll toss in another link to Caleb’s story just for posterity. Elsewhere, AtlantisB dives into the mythical scouting network that has been formed and speculates on its usefulness. And Sam Rowan takes a look at how the new signings will be deployed in the waning matches of the season
Oh ... and as always, remember to get your lineup predictions in before Saturday’s clash with DC United.
Best of the Rest
Atlanta United claimed the Campeones Cup Wednesday night, besting Club America 3-2. This may be a totally fake competition but on the other hand, an MLS team actually beat a Liga MX opponent soooooooo all hail the Campeones Cup
In an effort to give the club a “fresh perspective” Houston Dynamo boss Wilmer Cabrera was canned Wednesday. I have to say I don’t quite get this move, as I felt Cabrera overperformed given the amount of money the Dynamo organization was willing to spend. You have to think he’ll get a shot elsewhere
The playoff race in the East is heated, with basically every team not in the state of Ohio still in the running
The Bundesliga is starting today and Americans (and one Canadian close to our hearts) will be taking on a pretty big role
The International Champions Cup is dumb but the first annual, decidedly less dumb women’s version of the ICC has kicked off in Cary, North Carolina. Worth checking out if you get a chance, as it could be big for the future of the game