Good Friday morning Caps fans, hope you all are staying cool and getting ready for a hard-earned weekend.
It is good vibes only in this column today. Yeah, the Caps looked drab on Tuesday against the lowly Houston Dynamo. Sure, the always-potent LAFC are next up on the docket Saturday night. And yes, the Caps’ return to BC Place has been thwarted by an event which lets you pretend to be a wizard (maybe the attendees can conjure up some magic to add a few more wins in Vancouver’s column...).
But the long-awaited Ryan Gauld deal appears to be imminently completed and the Dynamo match again underscores why it won’t happen a moment too soon. The hangup appears to have been negotiating some sort of modest fee for Faranese to basically avoid a court battle over the Caps’ contract (one imagines the legal bills are already high with all the immigration attorneys the team has on retainer).
But Marc Dos Santos has basically acknowledged the terms are done and dusted and ready to be announced and when he is confirming transfer rumors directly (or relatively directly, I suppose) then, well, you know its serious.
I asked #VWFC’s Marc Dos Santos when we can expect an announcement for a new player signing.— Har Journalist (@HarJournalist) July 22, 2021
"One is incredibly close, you want to know the day's relax. One is so close to being announced, you probably all can guess who it is."
I asked specifically what day and time.#MLS
We won’t rehash the Gauld deal — everyone agrees it will be a vital addition and Gauld has no shortage of admirers. Our deep dive fiend, Caleb Wilkins, makes some salient points in his preview of Gauld’s signing — the Scottish Messi compares favorably to many DP-level attacking mids but he isn’t blowing away the rest of MLS, barring a bump in performance in MLS versus Liga NOS (not out of the question but probably not worth banking on either).
There have been a loud contingent of Scottish folks on Twitter/Reddit/pubs in Glasgow wondering why a player of Gauld’s caliber would come to MLS. On one hand, I get it. Moving to the Caps, only to move back to Europe (as is presumably Gauld’s goal) is a bit of a curious move on face value when he was already performing in a pretty big league.
But this seems like it could be a winning move for all parties. Gauld is the missing piece of the puzzle for the Caps and secures a regular place for the Scottish National Team and ensures that he will be a first choice signing for whichever European team he might want to move to (or he just stays in Vancouver; I’d be alright with that too).
For whatever reason, the move is close to being done and it appears his salary might even fall below the TAM threshold, leaving more room for other transfer dealings (Pedro Vite? Paraguayan CB Alexis Duarte?). Gauld will join a fairly distinguished group of Scots to ply their trade in Vancouver (Kenny Miller, Barry Robson) and maybe his powers will finally neutralize Johnny Russell the next time the Caps play Sporting Kansas City.
Shameless Self Promotion
Doing a report card without any shots on target or really much to speak of? It is hard work but Sam has you covered in case you slept through the Dynamo match. In the “truth is stranger than fiction category” we also have the magical details of the Caps’ return to BC Place.
Meanwhile, Caleb looks at the history of MLS managerial hirings in case, you know, that’s something the Caps need to do at some point
Best of the Rest
A look at the silver linings of this season — the development of Cristian Gutierrez and Javain Brown, as they move ahead of higher priced options in the pecking order on the backs of their good form
The Canadian Women’s National Team opened their Olympics campaign with a 1-1 draw against hosts Japan
USL is proposing some radical changes to compete with MLS, including internal promotion/relegation