Good Monday morning Caps fans, hope you all are rested after the weekend. And hope you enjoyed what was a wild, wacky and totally MLS final on Saturday (and the fact that a Cascadia rival was denied the chance to lift a trophy).
The big news on the agenda for today is the Caps announcing the players they will protect for the MLS Expansion Draft, which is largely a pro forma process but is one which might give a bit of insight into the team’s offseason strategy.
All in all, the team is in decent shape for this. Most of the players left unexposed will likely be Canadians who an American side will not want to burn an international slot on, MLS veterans who are a dime a dozen or international players who got serious minutes but who the Caps would probably be comfortable with losing (Janio Bikel comes to mind).
For what it is worth, this is what my list would look like: Ryan Gaud, Brian White, Caio Alexandre, Cristian Dajome, Deiber Caicedo, Erik Godoy, Ranko Veselinovic, Cristian Gutierrez, Pedro Vite, Javain Brown, Maxime Crepeau and Lucas Cavallini.
I would be open to arguments about protecting Leonard Owusu, who Vanni Sartini clearly favors as an important piece, over a guy like Ranko. And while I know frustration is running high with Cava, the club needs to hold onto him simply to ensure that they have a shot at recouping his club record transfer fee.
But, by and large, this was a pretty straightforward list to come up with. It is hard to imagine a team like Charlotte adding a guy like Florian Jungwirth, Jake Nerwinski or Russell Teibert, Teibert’s renaissance notwithstanding.
Still, it seems like the Caps’ brass always throws a bit of a wrench into these whenever they are announced and it usually winds up working out OK. As long as they don’t accidentally leave, say, Dajome unprotected, the team will live to fight another day.
If you have dramatically different or bold takes (unprotect Lucas Cavallini?), feel free to post them in the comments and you will probably end up being right.
Best of the Rest
It was a big moment for NYCFC on Saturday, winning the MLS Cup title for the first time in club history and confirming their place among the league’s elites
Meanwhile, two Timbers fans were arrested and banned for pegging NYCFC’s Jesus Medina with a beer can
A painful and unsatisfying process for accountability and justice has taken its toll on the club’s former women’s players
There are further indications Jozy Altidore will not be back in Toronto next season, at least as a DP