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Coffee with the Caps, Friday January 24

We’re making moves, making deals but guess what—you still ain’t got no skills

MLS: Vancouver Whitecaps FC at San Jose Earthquakes Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Friday Caps fans, it was a busy week to recap aka the best kind of week over here at Coffee with the Caps because it gives us lots of #content to discuss with y’all!

Things got off to a bang with the Caps capturing the signing that basically none of us saw coming—except perhaps Caleb Wilkins, who had the guy on his Football Manager team against all odds

Owusu is a bit of a mystery box signing to say the least. It sounds like he’s been playing as a true DM for F.C Ashdod in Israel versus as a more advanced midfielder, who had better offensive output during his stint in the Ghanaian Second Division (yeah, yeah I know).

He has a bit of an intriguing profile to say the least, although his lack of offensive output is kind of worrying, despite playing in a much more conservative role in Israel.

At the end of the day, though, I think his profile is still useful to the Caps. He seems good at carrying the ball forward and making progressive passes—passes that beat a man aka putting it into a more useful area where a guy like, say, In-Beom or Ali Adnan can latch onto it and create a high xG scoring change out of it (maybe I’m just explaining away Owusu’s low passes into the final third rate idk man).

He also appears to be good in possession/generally has a profile that can help avoid one of the more frustrating characteristics of last year’s team: turnovers in dangerous areas. The 2019 Caps had a propensity to losing possession of the ball near the midfield line, teeing up a break on the other end that too often ended in a) a goal or b) a good chance where disaster was averted only by a Max Crepeau save or Doneil Henry block. This is partly why the team’s defense looked so much worse than it really was—the midfield just couldn’t hang onto the ball long enough to take the pressure off. Owusu seems like he might (?) help correct that.

The bottom line, though, is that I don’t know how good this guy is going to be and neither do you. If you’re pessimistic about it and think he’s going to be the Ghanaian Andy Rose, I won’t argue with you. This appears to be a pure Axel Schuster signing, so I get being skeptical. But I think there are reasons to be optimistic that he could contribute, though I don’t know that I would want him in as a starter.

Glass City, however, has linked Vancouver with a massive signing—Argentine starlet Santiago Caseres, formerly of Velez and currently playing for Villarreal. The midfielder has struggled for game time in Spain due to injuries but, if fit, appears to offer the Caps exactly what they need: passing, composure on the ball and the ability to get the ball at the feet of Lucas Cavallini. It appears he worked especially well with Velez, who liked to play with two very attacking fullbacks—AKA Ali Adnan and, potentially, Claudio Winck.

It is unclear if the deal would be a straight loan or if there would be an option to buy involved (obviously we all should be hoping for the latter). There also are vague rumors that the Caps are interested in a top Argentine attacker, potentially Racing Club’s highly rated midfielder/winger hybrid Matias Rojas.

So there are a lot of question marks here. MDS has stoked speculation by saying the deals yet to be done would leave the Caps with a glut of players in certain positions—not a bad thing given the current state of the roster. It is undeniable, though, that the caliber of deals being tossed around are exciting so stay tuned (although if you’re cynical about any of these ever happening, well, I can’t say I’d blame you either).

Two deals that ARE done are the capture of CB Gianfranco Facchineri and midfielder Patrick Metcalfe on homegrown deals.

Facchineri is for sure one for the future, captaining the Canadian youth team in the U-17 World Cup. He has been a standout for the developmental team, although the glut of centerbacks might keep him there for the time being (though I would like to see him get a runout at least a couple times this season). Metcalfe also has promise and is apparently training with the first team, giving him perhaps a clearer path to first team minutes this season. Either way, both are exciting to have under the Caps’ roof, although it might mark a loan/transfer for Simon Colyn or Michael Baldisimo.

With that, we arrive at the links...

Shameless Self Promotion

Caleb breaks down the Leonard Owusu deal and, well, he has some questions.

Best of the Rest

We’re getting down to the wire on the CBA negotiations, with a week left to avert a player strike. Things seem to be advancing, with hope that a streak of negotiations next week will turn the tide, but there is reason to worry

Sounds like former Caps Brett Levis and Fraser Aird are making their way to Winnipeg and Valour FC—a nice destination for both

A look into the battle for minutes that Fredy Montero (if he stays) is set to wade into

And more on how Cavallini is settling in in Vancouver after a week of training

Julian Gressel is headed to DC in a move which bummed many Caps fans out