Good Friday morning Caps fans, hope you all are getting ready for the weekend. The good news? We have lots of content on the site to help you ease out of the work week.
In the U.S. our work week has been truncated, of course, due to the Thanksgiving holiday. It was a strange year for many of us (myself included): no gathering with family, traditions put on pause for a year and, of course, many folks who aren’t around to celebrate the holiday due to COVID-19.
It was a bit of a somber day, with plenty of reflection. But when I was done feeling pensive (and after the food had been eaten) I spent the day watching basically 12 hours straight of soccer because what is more American than that?
In seriousness, I am thankful for many things but that list certainly includes this blog and all of you who read it, comment on it, tweet at us about it and mock us for our opinions on it.
The Whitecaps fanbase is not overwhelmingly large and it has gotten smaller in recent years but those who are left are hardy, masochistic folks, many of whom stop by the pages of this blog at some point. We punch above our weight in terms of page views for this very reason — the people who care about this team (despite all good reason and logic suggesting they should not) really care about this team.
It has been years since I’ve set foot in Vancouver (it is a priority for once this pandemic runs its course). But I still feel connected to scores of people who live there, and around North America, by virtue of this blog and the conduit it has provided to Whitecaps Twitter (TM).
And I am similarly thankful for the other writers of this blog, who all bring something different to the table and help give 86Forever a unique voice, a voice that you won’t find anywhere else. There aren’t too many places you can find high quality writing about the Whitecaps and I dare to think we are one of them and it’s because of the other guys that that’s the case.
Plus they’re all good dudes, folks who understand the game and want to create good content about it. And it is nice to have a group of people in your life who you don’t have to explain your rantings and ravings about Russell Teibert to.
For the Canadians reading this, I’m over a month late for any Thanksgiving celebrations so you all will have to just pretend. But even in what has been the toughest year (and, by extension, the toughest season) in a long time, I am thankful for this team and the people it has brought into my life.
On that super sappy note, let’s dive into the links...
Shameless Self Promotion
We take a bit of a different tact with the latest installment in our year-in-review roster examination, debating whether to loan or keep a cadre of young Canadians around the first team.
Caleb, meanwhile, fact checks the end-of-season messaging from the Caps’ top brass. And Sam previews Sunday’s Eastern Conference Semifinals matchups.
Best of the Rest
RIP to El Pible d’Oro, Diego Maradona, who died Wednesday and is being mourned across the footballing world. Here’s my favorite piece remembering him
And a piece on Maradona’s brief foray into Canadian soccer
A breakdown of whether home field advantage actually matters in the playoffs when, you know, there are no fans
A rather rosy depiction of Thierry Henry’s first season at the helm of Montreal Impact
Former Caps man Marco Bustos was hard done in the CPL awards. Take a look at the full list here