Good Monday morning Caps fans—it turns out that working from home and social distancing do not make it any easier to get up on a Monday.
As we begin the week, a reminder to not be like this asshole:
As you almost certainly know by now, we are conducting a bracket competition for best goal in Whitecaps’ history because we’re all bored and hey this is a way to pass the time right?
But that got me thinking of the flip side of that competition: the best save in Whitecaps history. This is admittedly a much harder task. While a great save is inherently as valuable as a great goal, only the truly elite stops, the most acrobatic ones, stand out in our mind. There is also no clear cut winner, much in the way that Eric Hassli’s Puskas nominee is in the goal category.
This is also made difficult by the fact that the Caps have had only two really elite shot stoppers in their MLS history: David Ousted, whose track record leaves no shortage of candidates, and Maxime Crepeau, who cannot yet match Ousted’s body of work but, given time, appears on a trajectory to do so. This is not meant to offend any of the other keepers in club history but, let’s face it, Brian Rowe is not going to be coming up much in this competition.
There is a relatively obvious answer to this question, perhaps because of recency bias, and that is Crepeau’s superlative triple save against Atlanta United last year. If you haven’t watched it in awhile, fair warning, the quality of defense is painfully poor:
It is not hard to find a more acrobatic save from, say, Ousted or even Crepeau. But the fact that all three of these came in quick succession, against one of the most vaunted attacks in MLS history no less, certainly gives it a certain weight that makes it truly memorable.
Ousted certainly has no shortage of candidates as well. This one from 2016, where he denies Andrew Wegner after the ball is basically already by the Great Dane, is pretty impressive. This one gets bonus points because it was in Ousted’s best season for the club—he was an MLS All Star and came within a whisker of winning goalkeeper of the year.
This save? It also was a finalist for save of the year across the entire league.
One save I was straining to remember was one where Ousted just absolutely launched himself at the top corner to deny a free kick. I finally was able to find it after a bit of digging—it was against Portland in the 2015 conference semifinals and was vital at giving the Caps a chance in the second leg (which admittedly they absolutely whiffed on). Here it is
Ironically, Ousted’s best MLS save came during his short-lived tenure in Chicago—I remember watching this game live and being blown away.
Alright folks, what are your nominations for this award? I have no doubt I am missing some contenders here but my sleep deprived brain can only work so hard—comment with your #takes to help me out.
In the meanwhile, on with the links:
Best of the Rest
MLSsoccer.com finally got around to doing the club’s Mount Rushmore—it’s short list of undisputed legends. The choices? Phonzie, Jordan Harvey, Jay DeMerit and Russell Teibert. Tough to disagree with those tbh
Hwang In-Beom does not have to join his more famous Tottenham countryman in military training in South Korea—he apparently already did his time back in 2018. Good news—we don’t want In-Beom out there dodging artillery fire
The odds of a full season being played eventually appear to be decreasing by the day
Grant Wahl was sacked from Sports Illustrated because he had the audacity to call out Maven, the hedge fund mongols who have run the publication into the ground
Liverpool legend Kenny Daglish has left the hospital as he recovers from COVID-19