Good Monday morning Caps fans, hope you all are well rested and ready for whatever the week ahead throws at you.
All Canadian teams are officially done for the season, with CF Montreal eliminated in a hearty 3-1 home defeat to an admittedly formidable NYCFC team, who advance to take on Philadelphia in the conference finals.
We usually don’t talk a ton in this column about the other Canadian teams except, well, to laugh at them.
Some dodgy goalkeeping and Romell Quioto getting hurt on international duty didn’t help things but this should still not take away from an excellent season for our Quebecois freres.
Wilfried Nancy has laid out an excellent case for coach of the season (though it is tough to look past Pat Noonan) and if the club keep him satisfied with quality players, it is easy to imagine an era where both Toronto FC and CF Montreal are quite successful, albeit with radically different models.
But doing so won’t be easy, with Djordje Mihailovic and Ismael Kone likely headed to Europe and Victor Wanyama seems like he may move on as well. Montreal without those three players is a vastly different team, though some pieces still remain (the Allistair Johnston trade is one I still look envious).
In some sense, all three Canadian teams enter the offseason with major questions. For Montreal, how do you avoid being next season’s New England Revolution (good one season, lose some good players to Europe and fall apart).
For the Caps, it will come down to how you strengthen a good core with limited resources/cap space.
And for Toronto FC, well, it will come down to who they decide to blow a stupid amount of money on with their final DP slot, as well as the future of Jonathan Osorio and Richie Laryea.
The Canadian teams (particularly Toronto, if you ask TSN) are a constant source of intrigue. But this offseason seems to take that to new heights. There is a real scenario where, if the Caps play their cards right, they could be the strongest of the three Canadian sides. I mean, I won’t be holding my breath but it’s a fun thought.
Oh, and in case you missed how the other playoff game went, Austin FC used a pair of first half goals to lift them over FC Dallas and into the Western Conference Finals. It is the first time in a while where the conference finals on both sides feature two of the best three teams, a case where the chaos of MLS has been kept to a minimum.
Best of the Rest
Alphonso Davies’ agent has told Canada Soccer to stop selling kits with his name on it amid tensions ratcheting up further between the players/federation
On the women’s side, Canada got Nigeria, Australia and Ireland in their group for next summer’s World Cup
The Third Sub podcast breaks down a busy start to the offseason
In CPL news, Atletico Ottawa and Forge FC have advanced to the finals, with Ottawa getting the honor of hosting as the number one seed