Andrew is a bit busy today, so this Friday edition of Coffee with the Caps will be guest written by me, AtlantisB. Been away for a month, enjoying the lovely continent of Australia, but happy to get back into the swing of things with the Vancouver Whitecaps. With that preamble, let’s get into the stories of the week.
The first, most important, story is that we are looking for another writer or two for the upcoming season. As Caleb pointed out, we would love if we had a woman or two apply and join our team. Of course, that doesn’t mean that other’s should apply. If you feel you would be a good fit make sure to fill out our Application.
Not for nothing: surveys have shown that more than 50% of MLS fans are women. Last time we did a call for writers we got ZERO (0) female applicants for our blog that covers an MLS team from a fan's perspective. #VWFC https://t.co/4lqt4ejuEa— Caleb Wilkins (@wilkins_caleb24) January 30, 2020
In addition to adding David Milinković from Hull, the Whitecaps became the first recipient of an Inter Miami player, picking up backup keeper Bryan Meredith for a fourth-round pick in the 2021 MLS Draft.
I was a bit disappointed about this move, saying on Twitter “I guess Hasal will NOT get a shot with the Caps, as a backup. Yet another keeper product who gets buried, never to see the light of day”. It would seem that I was in the minority with that assessment, as several people disagreed with me. My feeling is that the Caps have a long history of not giving their young keepers a chance. True, keepers seem to develop slower than outfield players, so that is something to consider, but Vancouver has been producing some acceptable keepers and have yet to see any of them play minutes for the parent club. The latest was the debacle that was Sean Melvin. He actually played more in the ‘Futures’ game than he ever did with the Whitecaps. That is very disappointing. Granted, the entire situation with Fresno was a bust, but Melvin was a great example of why WFC2 was needed and loaning players out to Fresno was a terrible decision.
Speaking of former Whitecaps products who were cast off, Marco Bustos has signed with Pacific FC. With Pa-Modou Kah now the head coach with the club, there is certainly a strong ThunderCaps feel with 10 of their 14 players currently having spent time with Vancouver: Nolan Wirth (K), Marcel de Jong (D), Kadin Chung (D), Matthew Baldisimo (MF), Noah Verhoeven (M), Alessandro Hojabrpour (M), Victor Blasco (M), Marco Bustos (M), Marcus Haber (F), and Terran Campbell (F).
Inbox: Marco Bustos officially signs for #PacificFC for the entirety of the 2020 season. Big coup for the tridents, who pick up a legit attacking piece, one that can push their group of youngsters over the top#CanPL— Alexandre Gangué-Ruzic (@AlexGangueRuzic) January 30, 2020
The Whitecaps played their first match of the preseason on Tuesday, against the Columbus Crew. The match ended 1-1, with Columbus taking the early lead only to have the Caps draw even in the second half. Rookie, and MLS Draft pick, Ryan Raposo scored on a diving header, which was delivered in nicely from Jake Nerwinski.
Obviously, nothing should be taken from this match, but it is still good to see the lads out there again. The Caps will continue their preseason on Saturday against FC Dallas at 11:00am.
While new Caps Meredith and Milinković will be a part of the Dallas match, two trialists have left; Da Costa and DaSilva. Thanks Caleb for saving everyone a click.
Shameless Self Promotion
Caleb Wilkins goes in-depth on the Whitecaps earlier promise that if you were not satisfied with the roster moves by January 31st (that is today), you could get a refund. Spoiler alert, Caleb is not convinced, and thinks you should ask for a refund. There are still a few hours left in the day, so maybe an amazing defensive midfielder will show their face, along with another useful attacking midfielder, but as it stands right now the biggest hole heading into the off-season has, essentially, remained the exact same.
The Whitecaps did get a bit more assistance in attack though, picking up Hull City cast-off David Milinković. The move is a one-year loan, with an option to buy. Hull fans seem happy to ship Milinković away, as he was unable to make even the 18 for the second division English club, and was seen as a bit toxic. Our Samuel Rowan gives you more on this move.
Best of the Rest
The Collective Bargaining Agreement between Major League Soccer and the Players Association was set to expire today, however, both sides have agreed to extend it an additional seven days to avoid a work stoppage. Hopefully the two can figure something out and we don’t see a strike.
Long-time Columbus Crew midfielder Wil Trapp is headed to Inter Miami. With the Whitecaps needing a strong defensive midfielder, Trapp certainly fits that mold, and he is familiar with MLS. I would hope that Vancouver was in on trying to acquire the veteran, but that Trapp preferred to ply his trade in Miami. That, or, what Caleb said!
My #optimistsunion take is that if the Whitecaps were interested in Trapp they could definitely have afforded this. So they must be pretty sure they're bringing in someone better. Or not idk. #vwfc https://t.co/0gaG2acsD6— Caleb Wilkins (@wilkins_caleb24) January 31, 2020
Finally, New York Red Bulls continue to prove themselves the class of Major League Soccer when it comes to developing talent and then moving that young talent to Europe. It looks like Kemar Lawrence is the latest to head to Europe. He joins his former, now current again, fullback Michael Amir Murillo in Anderlecht, who was transferred to Belgium earlier this off-season. It might be useful for the Caps to go talk to NYRB if they want to build a productive academy system, because the Whitecaps haven’t been too successful thus far.
That is all from me. Andrew will be back in this chair again on Monday. Have a good weekend everyone.