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Coffee with the Caps, Monday August 10

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MLS: Vancouver Whitecaps FC at FC Cincinnati Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Good Monday morning Caps fans, hope y’all had a lovely weekend.

If you remember back to last Monday you’ll remember our discussion of what to do with In-Beom, with the consensus among Caps fans seeming to firmly lean towards cashing out.

Well, the rumors appear to have turned into something more concrete, with reports suggesting that the Caps are nearing an agreement with Rubin Kazan in the Russian Premier League for a $2.5 million sale, which represent a roughly $1 million profit for the Caps.

First things first, Kazan apparently outbid another offer from Dinamo Zagreb (I say apparently because the validity of the report is a little uncertain). If true, I’m a little baffled as to why In-Beom wasn’t more forceful about moving to the Croatian team that a) has a better record of player development, b) plays regularly in the Champions League and c) doesn’t have a weird financial past.

But setting that aside and this is good business for the Caps in that they get a nice profit for a player who never quite lived up to the hype, yet also wanted to move to Europe as quickly as humanly possible. And then there are the obvious gains of a free DP slot, as well as 800k or so in GAM that the Caps will gain from the deal. There also is apparently the small matter of In-Beom making more money on a senior DP deal versus a Young DP one—suffice to say all this is a financial positive for the Caps.

The question of course now comes to what should Vancouver do with the money. We’ll have a longer story on this should a deal go through but for now it seems safe to say there are three rough possibilities.

1) Bring in an advanced playmaker and play a formation more similar to the one that has been used in the past.

2) Bring in another DP forward and play something approximating a 4-4-2

3) Not spend it at all and buy Mallett a new patio.

Personally, while I tend towards number 2, especially if the team elects to also move on Fredy Montero, either of these can work out pretty well long term.

I’m feeling pretty good about where the team is in midfield (though more depth will certainly be needed to avoid an Andy Rose-aclypse) and think Owusu will be able to pick up a lot of slack. But someone who actually can get forward and pull the strings? Well that would be a welcome change of pace.

On the other hand,, the 4-4-2 is where this team has frankly looked most comfortable and adding in another striker, a DP one who would be an upgrade over Toss Ricketts would presumably increase that.

Frankly at the moment CAMs aren’t a great fit with MDS’ tactical identity (ask Yordy Reyna) and while you could argue the team really does need that progressive presence (I won’t disagree), striker seems to be a safer bet. The team erred somewhat in purchasing In-Beom by not considering how he would fit with the team’s identity and repeating that mistake will leave us in this same place 18 months from now.

There also is the possibility the team elects to move on Ali Adnan and/or Reyna in the near future and the funds are there to really remake the forward/attacking mid scene. That seems a little too far off in the future to speculate on but the option could be there before too long.

More depth defensively and in midfield will probably also need to be a priority (can we please get a right back?) but the good news is there appears to be more funds there to do it. We’ve discussed here before that Axel Schuster low key has been pretty good in picking out good buys thus far so I have some confidence in where the Caps might look. But will it be enough to save MDS’ job, lift the team towards the playoffs (whatever that looks like this year) and more broadly lift the Caps out of their funk? Well that better be a hell of a striker.

Best of the Rest

A statistical analysis of whether Thomas Hasal should be the backup option for the Caps going forward. Gotta say, it was pretty eye opening

Official confirmation came out this weekend for what we basically already knew: MLS “regular season” resumes later this week in teams’ home markets, with Toronto FC set to play at Red Bull Arena (a similar fate likely coming for the Caps)

Two big stars may be nearing MLS moves, with rumors that FC Cinci are in for former Dortmund attacker Mario Gotze and we got Fabrizio Romano confirmation that Blaise Matuidi is nearing an Inter Miami move

Apropos of nothing, a reminder that the secondary transfer window opens Wednesday