Good Friday morning Caps fans, hope you all are getting geared up for a good summer weekend.
Well, Vancouver moved to acquire someone before the primary transfer window slammed shut — just not the player we were all hoping for.
In many ways, the criticism of the Brian White acquisition, who was picked up from New York Red Bulls for a boatload of GAM, stems from the fact that, well, he simply doesn’t solve the glaring problem that we have all discussed ad nauseum for well over a year.
I understand the logic — Lucas Cavallini will be missing a good chunk of matches on international duty. Marc dos Santos clearly does not trust the current striker room (even though the team is already well stocked there) so why not trade for a guy who does many of the same things Cava does to fill in?
I think this was helped in part by the fact that Brian White is basically the type of forward MDS would build in a lab if he could. A poacher, White is best at finishing off chances in the box and gets off about a shot-and-a-half per game.
He is eager to track back and do the dirty work defensively and seems to be competent in build-up-play and short passing (asking him to do too much more might be too much of a request), so it is likely he’ll fare a bit better if the team keeps up with the “ask the striker to drop back and try to be Harry Kane” type strategy.
Pacey and prolific he is not but he was one of the Red Bulls’ better offensive options and while his stats from last season didn’t light the world on fire, it also was because NYRB simply weren’t very good for much of the season.
The obvious issue is that all of these attributes are basically the same as all the other strikers on the roster and while White might be a bit better in terms of passing than Cava or Tos Ricketts, he ain’t the answer from the whole chance creation perspective.
The upshot is the White acquisition appears to be what finally is pushing the Caps to send David Egbo and Theo Bair out on loan. Egbo probably should have gone out on loan at the beginning of the season and he will try and break through at Phoenix Rising, one of the best teams in USL. Clearly Phoenix see something they like here but I’m a bit skeptical he will get minutes there.
I had no problem with Bair sticking around the first team initially but it has become increasingly clear that he isn’t going to get hardly any minutes. Keeping him around at this point is silly and would further demoralize the guy. Best to get him some minutes and see if that is what does enough to impress the gaffer.
One bit of undisputed good news in all this? The Caps appear to have agreed personal terms with their main number 10 target, per Axel Schuster in an interview with the Province. The hangup is waiting for the parent club to replace the player, which leads me to believe it is Alan Patrick (although at this point, who knows).
Yeah, yeah I know. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice ... But this is as advanced as negotiations seem to have gotten for an attacking midfielder in some time. I’ll believe that the player is “perfect” for the Caps when I see it but the fact that there is some demonstrable progress here is a good sign.
Obviously that player won’t be coming in until the secondary transfer window, which means the team will have a few matches where, even if everything goes well, they will have to continue to hash out an attacking strategy. Brian White will probably not radically transform that effort but I still think he has the goods to be decent option, particularly when/if our CAM ship comes in.
Shameless Self Promotion
Caleb has a richer, more stats heavy break down of White’s game which is well worth a read. Sam, meanwhile, takes stock of where the team sits a quarter of the way into the season (it ain’t pretty). And finally, we have a rundown of the upcoming Canadian Men’s National Team World Cup qualifiers. Content!
Best of the Rest
Schuster gave MDS a vote of confidence for the manager to remain in his post until the end of the season, basically saying if the club were going to replace him midseason, it already would’ve happened
Still, the heat is clearly on MDS in a walk year
It appears the Caps will remain at Rio Tinto Stadium at least through July
Another look at the CMNT roster and how they will line up against mighty Aruba and Suriname
It will be U.S.-Mexico in the Nations League final after neither CONCACAF power overwhelmed in their semifinal clashes