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Coffee with the Caps, Monday November 16

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MLS: LA Galaxy at Vancouver Whitecaps FC Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Good Monday morning Caps fans, best wishes for the week ahead — hopefully you’re at work, nursing some coffee and enjoying this, meaning that the hardest part of the week (getting out of bed on a Monday) is now over.

It is all quiet on the western front in terms of soccer news these days. MLS Cup playoffs kick off Friday evening but in the meantime internationals rage on, in a rather ill-advised way I might add.

I’ve been watching the international fixtures for the last week and I gotta say, Canada has the right idea as far as sitting these out. We’ve already seen several players test positive for COVID-19 as a result of these games. South Korea even proceeded with a friendly against Mexico after a couple of its players came down with the virus! Big yikes.

There is obvious ramifications here as well for MLS. Because of quarantine rules, some big name players will be out for the first playoff games this weekend. That includes Diego Rossi and Brian Rodriguez for LAFC, Jamiro Montero for Philadelphia and like half of Minnesota United’s healthy starting XI.

Now, obviously this is a dumb season and whomever wins MLS Cup this year will have an asterisk next to their name through no real fault of their own. You can take your pick for the reasons why: the unbalanced schedules, the fixture congestion, the cancellations due to COVID-19. I guess at this point what’s to stop us from adding one more thing to that list?

And we’ve already seen the dubious grounds on which MLS can hold its players out of international duty, although I would argue the way things have gone globally would have given them at least a moral upper hand if they were to have dragged their feet on the matter last international break.

But take a team like Colorado, who admittedly will also be down Diego Rubio after he got called up for Chile. But Minnesota United, their opponent, will lose Romain Metanire, Jan Gregus, Robin Lod and Kei Kamara — arguably four of their best, healthy players.

Now, the Rapids already snuck into the playoffs a bit given their COVID-19 outbreak and the resulting points-per-game switcharoo that we’re all well acquainted with. It’s not like they chose to play against a weakened Loons team but it seems to be rather unfair that they back into the playoffs only to be given a much better shot at advancing a round further.

The 4/5 matchup in the east meanwhile will be much more entertaining between Orlando City and NYCFC, in part because neither team will have any meaningful absences stemming from international duty.

Complaining about stuff like this is near pointless — the guys should be quarantining, of course, and no one can be dissuaded from having these ridiculous internationals so there isn’t a really good solution.

But at a time when we should be getting ready for what appears to be a pretty entertaining playoff schedule, its a bit frustrating (and peak MLS if we’re being honest) that we all have to look like Charlie from It’s Always Sunny trying to figure out what team’s rosters will look like for the first round.

The good news for the Caps? Can’t have this problem if you miss the playoffs entirely [taps temple].

Shameless Self Promotion

Be on the lookout for our season-in-review stuff this week — we’re doing things a bit differently and I think you all will enjoy.

Best of the Rest

More on the international call ups issue and its impact on each match

J.J. Adams with a depressingly familiar post-mortem on the Caps’ season

Somehow the 2021 MLS season will start on time, another potential upshot to the Caps missing the playoffs

Circle Nov. 30 on your calendar as the “contract options” deadline