Good Friday morning Caps fans, hope you all are having a good week and have enough in the tank to power through to the weekend.
We get to wait around until Sunday night for the Caps’ clash with the Colorado Rapids, a match which always inspires anxiety in my heart not because the Rapids are a world beater (though they are pretty darn good this year) but because it is inexplicably blacked out where I live. Thanks ESPN+.
The match will be a good test for whether the Caps can ensure they don’t follow up their winning streak with a winless drought, thereby falling out of the playoff race as quickly as they entered it.
In many respects, the Rapids trajectory is one the Caps will want to mirror: A late season surge (ideally ending in a playoff berth that is scuffed at the last possible minute) used as a springboard to an even better performance the following year. The Rapids have made some savvy transactions in the last year (Mark-Anthony Kaye chief among them) but the bulk of the roster work was done beforehand — everything has just came together in a more complete way this season.
It remains to be seen if Ryan Gauld (and Pedro Vite, whenever the hell he gets a work permit) can power the Caps to similar heights next season. But Sunday’s match is the kind of game where at least a point is going to be needed to keep the good vibes going ahead of a more favorable run of matches.
On another note, while I am not the Caps’ loan army whisperer (I leave that to Caleb), shoutout to Theo Bair for bagging his third goal in five appearances earlier this week. While the Norwegian second division is not the toughest competition, Bair getting the confidence that comes with scoring this many goals is undoubtedly a good thing.
I think it is possible, if not likely, that he ends his loan spell with a goal tally in the double digits. That would position him well for a second chance in Vancouver, as he will have a new manager to impress upon his return to the parent club. Things have been cutting Bair’s way in recent months and I think it will be interesting to see if he is able to carve out a new role at the club, especially given the slight uncertainty about Lucas Cavallini’s future in Vancouver.
Best of the Rest
An interesting piece hearing from Lucas Cavallini on his fitness and where things are headed for the Caps
Forge FC beat out Valour FC to move on in the Canadian Championship Wednesday, making them the first club through to the semifinals
CONCACAF appears to be merging qualifying for the 2023 U-20 World Cup and the 2024 Olympics in an interesting move
Time to start the “Deiber Caicedo for Young Player of the Year” drumbeat now folks
Another year, another Liga MX CONCACAF Champions League winner, as Philadelphia crashed out to Club America