Good Friday morning Caps fans. With any luck you all are getting glimpses of spring-like weather wherever you are in the world and will be able to get outside and enjoy this weekend.
The Caps are winding down their time in Vancouver and are set to depart for the states in the next week, where they will decamp to Utah before playing a trio of preseason games, both in Sandy and Chicago.
The roster is a bit in flux at the moment, with much of the core group of players hunkering down following their national team duty. They’ll all be reunited in Utah but it speaks to the juggling act which the coaching staff is currently being asked to undertake.
But one good bit of news in recent days has cropped up. Deibar Caicedo has hit the training pitch and, by all accounts, he has been already showing signs of why the Caps plumped up a reported $2.5 million for the Colombian.
This offseason has been such a whirlwind that it is easy to forget the Caicedo saga, which dragged on to the point of hilarity. But with the starting XI going to be fluid at the beginning of the season, it is important for Caicedo to hit the ground running.
Reports from practice (and video which hit the interwebs) show signs of a player who is dynamic and laser-focused with taking on defenders 1v1 (RIP to Jake Nerwinski) — exactly what is needed on that left-hand side of the pitch.
We spent a lot of time talking about Caicedo’s arrival in our season preview roundtable and with good reason — the theoretical arrival of a DP number 10 and the not-theoretical-at-all arrival of Caio Alexandre has taken attention away from the wingers on the roster but we all are in agreement in the important role Caicedo will play this season.
That being said, expectations have to be tempered given the obvious step up in play Caicedo will be forced to deal with. Marc dos Santos asked for patience while chatting with reporters and fans probably would be wise to follow his advice, as the team’s recent history with wingers (Cristian Dajome aside) has been spotty at best.
That’s why getting him into training and getting him comfortable are so important — Dajome’s 2020 radically changed once his family got to North America and he began to get a better feel for the style of play in MLS. Minimizing that learning curve is important and it starts now.
Shameless Self Promotion
Our video podcast series enters the point in all of our season previews where we wind up looking a bit foolish and that is the over/under, predictions portion of the proceedings. Ample entertainment awaits, however, as we debate how many wins this team will grab.
Best of the Rest
The Whitecaps appear to be expanding their academy presence in Alberta. It isn’t clear what practical impact this will wind up having but it’s nice to see them continue to expand their geographic footprint
Speaking of Caicedo, a look at how his Colombian teammate is helping to welcome him to Vancouver
Shoutout to Derek Cornelius for making the best XI from the Olympic qualifiers. Maybe this will make a case to MDS for more playing time
The most important player for each MLS team, courtesy of Matthew Doyle. His answer for the Caps is an intriguing one
Zinedine Zidane’s kid is reportedly on trial with Inter Miami in a move that I’m sure is in no way influenced by nepotism