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Coffee with the Caps, Monday October 31

MLS: Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Minnesota United FC Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Good Monday morning, ghouls and goblins (and Caps fans), and welcome to the spookiest Coffee with the Caps on record.

If you’re not dressing up tonight (or didn’t this weekend), hopefully you can still enjoy some cut-rate candy later this week. We’ll skip the discussion of which Caps player would be the best costume and why the answer is obviously Paolo Tornaghi.

Vancouver rolled out their end-of-season awards a couple days ago, and I figured it was worth at least mentioning who won what — for once, I actually can’t imagine fans being too up and arms about the winners.

Ryan Gauld was named player of the year, and while the man himself rued the fact that the season couldn’t have been any better, Gauld was the obvious choice here. No one else could command a game quite like he could and at times he was the Caps lone offensive engine. In happier moments, he was the one who pulled the string in some amazing team performances. All the better that Gauld appears happy in Vancouver.

Readers of this column (and my other work on 86 Forever) know my love for Pedro Vite, so it was pleasing to see him win the most promising player award, an honor made all the more impressive by the fact that he spent the first half of the season mistrusted by Vanni Sartini. Vite largely made us all forget about Deiber Caicedo (a shame, as he was excellent before his injury) and, provided Vite stays out of the Cristian Gutierrez memorial doghouse, Vite will remain a key cog next season — his chemistry with Gauld and the other attacking players was excellent.

Tos Ricketts was named humanitarian and unsung hero of the year, two fitting awards for a genuine sportsman who actually put together a decent year on the pitch as a super sub. I don’t think we want to be relying on Ricketts (or a guy like him) much in the future but the Caps have long made productive use out of the “veteran attacker who carves out a niche and bags a few goals” mold and Ricketts has the upshot of being an excellent ambassador for the club. Good going Tos.

And Lucas Cavallini’s last act as a Caps player will be to claim the golden boot, an honor that would have been a bit more of a celebration if he didn’t earn his suspension down the stretch and thus would’ve had a few more goals to pad to his total. Nonetheless, it seems all but certain we will see a different winner of this award next year — the question, of course, comes down to which mystery striker it might be.

Ali Ahmed, meanwhile, was named the VWFC 2 player of the year, another logical honor on a team that limped across the finish line, albeit with a couple of standout performers. Everyone knows Ahmed is a talent and the only real question is whether he will be given a chance to build on his strong first team cameo this season in 2023. One imagines the answer will be a resounding yes.

Best of the Rest

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It is officially the offseason, as we have our first official “Messi to MLS” rumor

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It looks likely defender Scott Kennedy will miss the World Cup, a blow for the Canadian backline