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Coffee with the Caps, Friday February 19

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Toronto FC v Vancouver Whitecaps FC Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images

Good Friday morning Caps fans, hope you all are staying warm and dry as we approach a well-deserved weekend break.

It was a busy week in Caps’ world and I’ll do a quick spin through a couple of the top news items.

Firstly, Vancouver must really be going for the Moneyball theme because they hired a literal executive from the Oakland Athletics, the team made famous in Michael Lewis’ book.

Wade Martin, a former A’s executive, has been tapped as the team’s new chief revenue officer — a position that will be difficult given that the team is slated to play a grand total of zero home games (at least as things stand).

Martin’s arrival comes eight months after the departure of well-regarded CEO Mark Pannes, amid rumors of heads butting in the front office, which means the new hire will have to navigate some headwinds as he comes aboard.

Trust of the team (and now its main sponsor) remains low, there is the aforementioned reality of playing games outside Vancouver and it is unclear what a post-COVID-19 sports business world will look like. Martin seems to have an attractive CV and most of what he’s doing will be behind the scenes but it still seems like a tall task — Godspeed, Wade.

In on-the-pitch news, the Caps have formally signed both of their first-round Superdraft picks, with Javain Brown inking a deal yesterday.

This likely signals the end of any outside search for right back reinforcements, with Jake Nerwinski the main man again at the position, at least for the time being. Brown’s flexibility as a potential center back in a back three could be useful (who knows what international call ups will make MDS do with the tactics) and he seems to be a guy who has the tools to become a decent MLS-level player.

There, however, remains the small matter of international spots and Brown’s Jamaican passport means that the Caps are left with just one of those prized slots, which will presumably be allocated towards a DP creative midfielder.

The team will have to deal for another international spot if they want to make another move (which seems unlikely due to the cost) or traffic in Canadian talent (also seems unlikely, given that Abou Sissoko moved to USL and other rumors have cooled off). There could be more transfers out there but the focus really seems to be on getting that number 10 across the finish line.

And speaking of that, both MDS and Axel Schuster have indicated their interest in Otavio remains alive and well, despite the fact that rumors of a European move remain (Fabrizio Romano is apparently linking him to an AC Milan move in the summer). In reality, not much has changed here. The Caps’ interest is clear and I don’t doubt that Schuster and Co. have a genuine belief they can sign the guy.

But it is still a bit confusing as to where that optimism is coming. Never say never, but this feels like a long shot and you would hope they are getting serious about their backup targets. Given the team’s current construction, this is not a move that can wait until summer (although I’m starting to suspect it will) and the longer this drags on, the less likely it is that Otavio will come to Vancouver (barring a significantly improved offer from the Caps’ already substantial proposed contract).

Shameless Self Promotion

If you’re in the mood for some CPL content, Sam Rowan sits down with the CEO of York United on where things stand for his newly rebranded team and the league writ large

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If you speak Portuguese or have Google Translate, MDS has some interesting comments on Otavio and Paços de Ferreira midfielder Stephen Eustaquio.

Toronto FC (and, reportedly, Montreal) are set to start their season in Florida. At least they’ll get some beach time, eh?

Bournemouth are trying to appoint Theirry Henry as their new manager, even though his time in Montreal has been pretty mediocre.

Rose Lavelle lifted the U.S. Women’s National team past Canada in the She Believes Cup, despite a game where the U.S. struggled (fair play y’all)

Praying for all those in Texas in the U.S. who are without power and water during the bitter cold and snow that has been around for the better part of a week now. If you want to help, Austin FC helped get a GoFundMe going