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Coffee with the Caps, Friday December 24

MLS: Minnesota United FC at Vancouver Whitecaps FC Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Good Friday morning Caps fans, and a slightly early Merry Christmas to all of you who celebrate. The presents are wrapped under the tree, the food is cooking and what better way to begin Christmas Eve than this column?

CF Montreal fans had a present to unwrap slightly early, with news coming down yesterday that the club were closing in on a deal for defender Alistair Johnston, who Nashville SC was rumored to be shopping around.

The move will cost the Quebecois 1 million in Garber bucks and represents a pretty darn good value for a player who has developed into a top class defender. The 23-year-old made a good impression during the Gold Cup and seems a good bet for a future move to Europe — if such a move were to materialize, Nashville will retain a sell-on percentage.

The transaction for those of us who felt (reasonably) that this would have been an impeccable signing for the Caps, with Johnston representing perhaps the archetype of what Vanni Sartini would like to see in a right center back.

Why the club favored Tristan Blackmon we will never know. The former LAFC man was more than half the cost, which probably was a big factor, and he provides some theoretical cover at right wingback (the position Blackmon was drafted at).

In any event, there isn’t much use crying about spoiled milk. Maybe the Caps should have pushed harder for Johnston or maybe they’re pinching their pennies for a larger signing (fingers crossed!) or maybe they didn’t want to pay the wages Montreal did. Maybe Nashville didn’t want to sell within the western conference (something I’m going to have to get used to) — any number of things could have happened.

We’ve run down why Blackmon’s signing is a good one that makes a lot of sense. If Blackmon was a good pickup last week, he is a good pickup now and a totally separate transfer doesn’t change that, even if it involves a Canadian international.

In any event, it is good to see top, young Canadian talent playing for the Canadian MLS teams — let’s just hope next time a Canadian men’s national teamer moves it is to Vancouver and not a MLS rival.

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