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Coffee with the Caps, Friday March 27

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Vancouver Whitecaps v Los Angeles Galaxy Photo by Shaun Clark/Getty Images

Morning friends, hope your self-isolation is going well wherever you are in the world. The COVID-19 outbreak has worsened in North America and, as such, there is little news from the world of sport as attention has been diverted to what are of course more important matters.

Here at CWTC, we salute any health care workers out there, as well as those who are helping to keep the food supply chain up and running, those who are first responders and anyone who is trying to make this pandemic world a better place.

Was reading an interesting story on Lucas Cavallini expressing gratitude for being in Canada during the crisis, given its health care system and public health messaging. He said he is getting messages from former teammates still living in countries where social distancing is not taken as seriously.

The interview was a bit uncomfy at times (“Canada’s Canada. That’s why we’re a first world country” is kind of a weird thing to say) but it also got me thinking. There are still a handful of leagues still playing around the world, primarily in Africa and Asia. The lone European league to forge on is in Belarus,

That’s because strongman president Aleksandr Lukashenko has basically insisted that it continue, downplaying the seriousness of the coronavirus by basically telling everyone to self-medicate with vodka.

“[Coronavirus] is just another psychosis, which will benefit some people and harm others,” he said last week. “The civilised world is going nuts. It is absolute stupidity to close state borders. The panic can hurt us more than the virus itself.”

Players and coaches appear relatively nonplussed by the edict to play, citing the country’s lower case count.

But this underscores a simple reality, which was reflected in the Cavallini article, as well as reports that the Atalanta/Valencia Champions League tie worsened the coronavirus spread in an entire region of Italy. That truth is that we are lucky MLS has taken a well-informed, public health-centric approach—something that even the EPL has struggled with.

While Don Garber has insisted that the league will get its entire schedule in, he also extended a training moratorium through part of April and there are probably few people out there who would believe the league will begin resuming operations at that point. That’s a good thing—no one would sacrifice the well-being and safety of their loved ones for football. For the mean time we wait and look for dark web streams of Belarus league matches, I suppose.

Shameless Self Promotion

A reminder that you can still participate in Coffee with the Caps Trivia Bonanza Round Two. Follow the link here to test your memory of some of the squad members who have wandered through Vancouver over the years.

Meanwhile, we’re moving ahead with our quest to determine the best goal in club history. You can still vote in the final batch of first-round matchups

Best of the Rest

Some wild, hilarious and frankly unbelievable stories from the early days of MLS that are sure to provide just the distraction you need

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics are officially postponed amid the outbreak, with some questions left to be answered about the soccer competitions and its age caps

The US Soccer Federation has a new CEO in Will Wilson, predictably a former SUM executive. Whether it will change the organization’s fortunes remains to be seen

Minnesota United has a, uh, not great response to the halt in play, telling employees that Pepsi is hiring rather than compensate hourly employees