Monday mornings (and writing this column) are easier to take after a win and the Caps have managed to do that for the first time in what feels like a century.
It remains to be seen, of course, whether the Caps 2-1 victory over FC Cincinnati Saturday night will be anything more than just picking apart the one team in the league that is worse than they are. Picking apart is even a misnomer, as FCC spent significant time on the front foot, forcing MDS to park the bus to preserve a 1-1 draw. But that shouldn’t take away from the perfectly executed counter attack which sealed the victory, capped with an assist for Russell Teibert (!) and a goal for Felipe (!!). Talk about coming out of the mouths of babes.
Other good news abounts for Whitecaps’ fans as well. Michael Cirinos, a winger from Honduran giant Olimpia, seems set to become Vancouver’s first signing of the summer transfer window as a replacement for Lucas Venuto.
I’ve made my feelings about the Whitecaps’ transfer policy known elsewhere but I actually think this has the makings of a pretty good signing. Observers of the Honduran national team, a reliable producer of MLS stars like Alberth Ellis, have pegged Cirinos as someone to watch. He didn’t light the world on fire with Lobos BUAP but upon closer observation really helped to carry what was otherwise a pretty lackluster attack. He is also younger and figures to be cheaper than Venuto, even as he comes from a background more predictive of MLS success. This feels like an upgrade, even though it is likely he won’t chip in massive quantities of goals.
Meanwhile, Glass City is reporting that the Caps have inquired about Montreal forward Anthony Jackson-Hamel, who the team attempted to include in the Maxime Crepeau deal, to no avail.
Being reported that the Whitecaps have made another offer for Anthony Jackson-Hamel. I heard MDS tried to get him when they acquired Crepeau, but the Impact weren’t interested in moving him then. #VWFC https://t.co/CRYCs1wUzT— (@GlassCityFC) August 4, 2019
Jackson-Hamel was part of a crop of Impact youngsters including Ballou Tabla that inspired a lot of confidence in Montreal but the youngster has fallen out of favor in Remi Garde’s pecking order. Despite this, he has .43 expected goals+assists per 96 minutes, according to American Soccer Analysis, despite only playing 665 minutes. For reference, this puts him in the same area as Kaku (1095 minutes), Julian Gressel (1858 minutes), Ezequiel Barco (589 minutes) and Gianluca Busio (588 minutes).
This smacks of an excellent buy-low opportunity for the Caps. I talked last week about how value needs to be considered in the Caps’ dealings and this seems like an excellent value. A young, Canadian player (meaning he won’t count against an international slot, which the Caps are tight on), who has decent underlying stats but has been passed over for meaningful minutes. Jackson-Hamel has a higher pedigree than a similar Canadian who flew under the radar until finding himself in the right situation: Mark-Anthony Kaye of LAFC. Given that one or both of Joaquin Ardaiz and Fredy Montero won’t be around next year, this seems like a perfect deal to get done and dusted this summer, which would give Jackson-Hamel significant minutes in the waning matches of the season and a full preseason to get push for a starting role next year. And given that Garde has been actively shopping the striker since November, this seems like a deal that would be relatively cost-effective to pull off (right in the Caps’ wheelhouse).
Let us know what you think of the latest round of rumors in the comments. Meanwhile onto the links...
Shameless Self Promotion
Best of the Rest
Alejandro Bedoya used his goal celebration in Sunday’s 5-1 thrashing of DC United to urge the U.S. Congress to address gun violence in the wake of two more deadly mass shootings over the weekend. Bravo sir!
I’m a longtime fan of The Athletic (yes, I know they are poor in their Whitecaps’ coverage) and consider them a vital cog in MLS coverage. If you haven’t subscribed, it is worth nothing that they have rolled out The Athletic UK and a corresponding massive increase in their global soccer coverage.
The Sounders’ Roman Torres was suspended 10 games for PED use, the first time that has happened in many years
Have a lovely week CWTC fam and I’ll see you back here Friday