Good Monday morning Caps fans. After a busy weekend, my start to the week has felt a bit like the main image for this article ... hopefully things are going a bit better for you all.
It was a busy last few days. The Caps grabbed a 2-2 draw in LA over the weekend and they were good value for the result, even though the lost 2-0 lead likely left us all wanting a bit more.
It was a step forward in particular for the backline, which mostly neutralized LAFC’s potent attack, and Javain Brown and Cristian Gutierrez were key defensive cogs in holding Diego Rossi and Carlos Vela at bay. For a team which has looked all too loose defensively at times, alternating between a tight ship and chaos, it was a particularly welcome sight to see.
Canada finished off the weekend with a 2-0 win over Costa Rica Sunday evening in Arlington, setting the stage for a date with Mexico in the semifinals. I didn’t watch but it appeared to be a pretty comprehensive performance from the Canadians, who started Lucas Cavallini due to injuries elsewhere (thought Cava picked up a yellow card accumulation suspension for the semis).
It has been a strong tournament for the Canadians, regardless of what happens with Mexico. The fact that they’ve beaten CONCACAF stalwarts like Costa Rica (albeit a Ticos team that is weaker than years past) shows they are ready for the Octo in the fall and seem to be in a strong spot to nab the third qualifying berth (if we assume, for sake of argument, that Mexico and the U.S. are favorites for the first two, acknowledging that nothing is ever certain cough cough 2018). The fact that they’ve been so competitive without Alphonso Davies, Jonathan David and (sometimes) Cyle Larin should be a real warning shot to the rest of the confederation.
Things will now likely quiet down until the semis later this week, though is is possible we will get a Ryan Gauld announcement (and maybe even a Pedro Vite announcement, with his club in Ecuador confirming his departure) in the days to come. In the meantime, here are some links to chew over.
Shameless Self Promotion
The 2-2 draw left some mixed emotions — I think our post-match and report card accurately sum up those conflicted feelings
Best of the Rest
More on the Canadian men’s victory over Costa Rica and what lies ahead in the semis with Mexico
The Canadian women nabbed their first win in Tokyo, besting Chile 2-1. The U.S. rebounded from their initial loss to Sweden to smash New Zealand 6-1 over the weekend
I guess Kanye West was at the Atlanta United game on Saturday? Maybe he’s the new manager...
The good and the bad from the Caps first half, as told by Matthew Doyle, won’t probably surprise anybody