Good Friday morning Caps fans, hope you all are winding down for the week and getting ready for some relaxation.
As for last night’s result ... yikes.
I have admittedly few comments on the game because I was spared from watching it. In the U.S. the Voyageurs Cup rights are held by Fox and last night’s game was on Fox Soccer Plus, something I think 16 people on planet earth pay for. Not being one of them, I was left with the choice of trying to rig a VPN or take a pass and opted for the latter.
Nonetheless, I have seen the highlights and ... yikes. For a manager who professed to be “obsessed” with winning the Canadian Championship, this was not a team which played like it. Pacific FC at times looked like the MLS team, playing with confidence, composure and a degree of quality control that was largely lacking for the Caps, who seemed to spend too much time trying to play out of the back and who fell prey to the same mistakes we’ve seen them make against MLS opposition.
Fair play to Pacific and Pa-Modou Kah, however. It was fun to have a geographical rivalry to kick off Voyageurs Cup play and one imagines the vibrant atmosphere and eventual upset will ensure that the teams will actually be rivals from here on out. From the perspective of soccer’s health in Canada and British Columbia, last night was a pretty good night. From the perspective of a Caps fan, it renews the same questions about roster construction and coaching which were papered over by the recent run of good form.
It is probably unfair to throw out all the good of recent weeks with the one result last night but man is it tempting. To go out in two straight cups to CPL sides is an embarrassment. What makes last night’s result all the more baffling is the Caps were just not there mentally, coming on the heels of two results where they showed such great mentality to fight for three points and come away with the win. That same sense of urgency wasn’t there last night for whatever reason.
It is possible Pacific can create some more chaos in the bracket when they likely face Toronto FC in the next round. I’m sure they will have no shortage of admirers in the Caps’ fanbase, who, if nothing else, are good about crediting the teams which embarrass their side.
For the squad, one hopes there will not be a hangover of embarrassment on Sunday against Real Salt Lake for what is an eminently winnable game and one which has ramifications for their slim path to the playoffs. Hopefully, the tactics and mentality will revert back to what we saw last week and not what we saw last night.
Shameless Self Promotion
We have more on the loss here in the post-match report. Meanwhile, Caleb asks the timely question of when the Caps should start looking to mine the CPL for transfer targets.
Best of the Rest
More on the nascent development of the rivalry between the two British Columbia sides
Canada will proceed with a strong roster ahead of its first matches in the World Cup Qualifying Octo next week. Both Lucas Cavallini (post injury rehab) and Maxime Crepeau made the cut.
Meanwhile, FIFA has softened Mexico’s penalty for the chant, meaning their qualifier against Canada will have fans at the Azteca
Meanwhile, on the U.S. side, Ricardo Pepi has chosen to play for the Americans over Mexico (though he has a window to change his mind, even if he plays during the upcoming WCQ matches)
MLS secured a penalty shootout victory over Liga MX in the All Star Game, something I’m sure the league won’t use at all to proclaim superiority over its counterpart to the south