Good Friday morning Caps fans. Please forgive my tardiness with today’s column; hopefully it will hit in time for your second cup of coffee.
It has been a roller coaster of a week thanks to the ongoing Jean Pyerre saga. Forget about the mob — this is the true embodiment of “every time I’m out, they suck me back in.”
About midweek, things were looking rough for the efforts to bring the Gremio playmaker to Vancouver. It appeared the Caps made an offer — but it also appeared the offer was short of what the Brazilian club was looking for and things appeared to have broken down.
But not so fast! New reports out of Brazil suggest the Caps are not giving up so easily, although they are again matched by more pessimistic articles from Vancouver.
The prevailing wisdom is not to get your hopes up here; odds are things have broken down and Pyerre won’t be coming to Vancouver. Just tell yourself this and then we can all be in awe if the deal goes through — its better the ole mental health that way.
But wait, there’s more! Marc Dos Santos let slip that he was watching the Copa Libertadores the other night, the same day another top Caps target, Gabriel Pirani, who played for Santos against Boca Juniors. It could also mean the club is preparing another onslaught of the South American market OR it could be a way of adding another layer of leverage into negotiations with Gremio.
Another few players who fit the bill and played in Libertadores action the other night:
If Pirani wasn’t who MDS was watching, I see three attacking mids of a similar level to their previous targets (Chiquinho, Otavio, Pyerre) ...— (@GlassCityFC) April 28, 2021
Flamengo - Giorgian de Arrascaeta
Velez - Thiago Almada
Palmeiras - Raphael Veiga
The idea of Raphael Veiga is especially exciting — he was a player I wanted to include when the 86 Forever writers room picked some names the team should consider for the DP slot but I figured he would be too expensive. He also seems to be relatively obtainable, especially if the Caps are willing to pony up to $7 million for a DP.
Watch this space as things develop — I think it is safe to say no one really knows what is going to happen next on the Pyerre front. In the meantime, this nice breakdown of Pyerre’s skillset will whet your appetite (and set the stage for disappointment when Pyerre moves elsewhere).
Oh and there’s the match on Sunday against the Rapids (small details). Our predictions in the 86F group chat have been pessimistic thus far but we’re all predicting things to go a bit better on Sunday, meaning the team will almost certainly get drubbed.
But this is a big match from a fan’s perspective. The first two matches were encouraging given that they came against top teams and given the rotation the Caps were forced to endure.
Yet the Rapids are basically the benchmark for a successful season. They seem to be a good bet for a team that will, at least, be sniffing around that last playoff spot. Much like last season, they may well slip into the postseason (hopefully not on points per match).
The potential to trot out Caio Alexandre and Bruno Gaspar in the starting XI is also an exciting prospect. But it is all in service of using the Rapids as a measuring stick for how far this team has actually come. Were the first two matches flukes? Were they the sign of real progress? We’ll find out Sunday night in Sandy. Who knows? Maybe Real Salt Lake cooked up some bad juju against their rivals to help us out.
Shameless Self Promotion
Sam Rowan busts out the GIFs for a breakdown of the 4-4-2 under Marc Dos Santos and what it all means going forward.
Best of the Rest
A zoomed out look at the Caps’ pursuit for a DP 10 and what the past rumors mean about the future playmaker who is (hopefully) coming aboard
After a bizarre last season, the Caps finally play the Rapids for the first time since 2019. The Province has a preview of what to expect
Who is the next youngster to make the MLS-to-Europe transition?
It was ... a meh week for MLS teams in CONCACAF Champions League action (aside from Philadelphia plastering Atlanta)