Good Monday morning Caps fans, hope you all are rested up for the week ahead. We’ll try and lend a bit of help in getting it started right.
The Caps actually had a bundle of roster/contract moves announced Friday afternoon, conveniently after my column then had already been printed. One was hardly a surprise, the other two somewhat unexpected but logical.
On the outgoings front, the Caps confirmed Andy Rose and Bruno Gaspar would not return for another season, with the Rose news let out of the bag a couple hours earlier when he was pictured lending a hand as a coach for the Seattle Sounders.
While it stings a bit to see him with a Cascadia rival, this is a logical place for Rose to wind up to further his coaching career. His formative MLS years were with Seattle and he will a formal assistant under Brian Schmetzer, rather than the more ad hoc coaching role he had come to take on in Vancouver.
Regardless, Rose will be remembered fondly in Vancouver, which is an impressive turnaround after a rocky first season in central midfield. His transition to a dependable enough center back, however, flipped the narrative and no one can say he didn’t give his all for the club, the highest compliment you can give an outgoing player. His work as a coach with academy players was further proof of this and even in his last season in Vancouver, the numbers paint the picture of a guy who was no worse than a league-average centerback — not bad for a guy who was shoehorned into many different systems, CB partners and say his playing time ebb and flow.
Gaspar’s departure will not be a surprise — rumblings have indicated for some time that his loan would not be made permanent. In some sense, he was a casualty of the Caps ongoing international player crunch. But I don’t think anyone would argue that Gaspar set the world on fire in Vancouver, passed by Javain Brown on the depth chart during a time where he was out injured earlier in the year.
While he regained his footing somewhat under Vanni Sartini, he didn’t make enough of an impression to convince the brain trust to keep him around for another season on a loan or permanent basis. OK going forward, a solid passer, good at pressuring the ball and decent enough in the air — Gaspar was probably a slightly above-average MLS fullback when healthy. But the Caps already have a guy with a higher ceiling than that — Brown — on their roster and with Marcus Godinho sticking around and Jake Nerwinski as an emergency option, the depth is OK at the right wingback position. There’s also the Cristain Dajome as wingback experiment which could wind up happening more and more. Either way, Gaspar’s services were not in particularly high demand.
Speaking of which, Javain Brown was in the news — but don’t worry, it isn’t because he’s leaving the club. Brown inked a new contract, which will keep him in Vancouver until 2024 and potentially 2025 with an option and will see him paid consummate to the rookie of the year performance he turned in (though we don’t know the exact payout).
This isn’t a surprise — Brown’s rookie deal of $63,000 was not going to be sustainable long-term after his high-quality rookie season. You would think there might be a few other guys in line for raises (Brian White perhaps) before the season begins but either way it is good seeing Brown getting a better deal and the club keeping him around on a longer-term basis. He has the makings of a guy who can play in Europe, if his current trajectory continues.
Shameless Self Promotion
Scott Arfield announces his retirement from the Canadian National Team. Farewell sweet prince ...
The Canadian men’s national team believes it will be able to cope without Alphonso Davies for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers
The Caps earned a solid grade for their MLS SuperDraft exploits
NYCFC will be playing a CONCACAF Champions League home match in Los Angeles. The jokes write themselves.