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Coffee with the Caps, Monday November 14

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

Good Monday morning Caps fans, hope you all are well-rested and ready to take on the week ahead.

It didn’t take long for rumors to emerge about what the Caps might be looking to do with their spare international spot, acquired from Nashville SC last week.

One target appears to be Ecuadorian centerback Luis Segovia, currently of Independiente del Valle — a club the Caps are well familiar with, as it where both Cristian Dajome and Pedro Vite played before coming to Vancouver.

Centerback is certainly one of the areas of need for the Caps and the club seems well aware of it, as they were linked with a couple of South American players during the season but failed to pull the trigger.

A pre-requisite seems to be a guy who can play in a back three or back four, which Segovia ticks. And he presents a guy who is a perfect fit for what the Caps are trying to do: He is young enough to have resale value (he is 25 which, for a defender, is a spring chicken) but has experience and will not a developmental project (he started every minute of Independiente’s 2019 Copa Sudamericana run).

Football Reference lists MLS players similar to Segovia, including Kamal Miller, Alexander Callens and Joel Waterman, not a bad list of guys the Caps should be seeking to emulate.

Looking at his relative strengths, it appears Segovia is an excellent ball-playing centerback, who is surprisingly creative and is good at passing and dribbling but leaves something to be desired in terms of certain defensive qualities (he appears to be largely useless in the air, for instance).

In terms of tackles, interceptions, shots blocked, etc., he ranks in the bottom quartile of centerbacks playing in the Copa Libertadores. So while his passing and creativity might lend itself well to the Caps’ outlook, he seems to have some defensive question marks that would make him an odd fit for a team that can’t really afford one of its centerbacks to be a liability in terms of physicality and in the air.

Segovia professes to have interest from MLS and Brazilian clubs and says he would rather play in Brazil, perhaps because it is more familiar to him after playing in South American club competitions, perhaps because he believes it would boost his chances of a move to Europe.

On paper this seems a solid signing — a top starter for a team that regularly plays in and is competitive in South American club competitions.

But unless there is a data quirk I am missing, it seems like there are questions about whether Segovia fits what Vancouver needs alongside Ranko Veselinovic and Tristan Blackmon. The scouting department has earned a certain degree of deference but, were I Axel Schuster, I would look elsewhere, personally.

Shameless Self Promotion

Another area the Caps might use their international spot on is goalkeeper. Caleb argues why that might not be the worst idea, despite defying conventional wisdom, and outlines a few options.

And where should the priorities be placed bigger picture? Well, Caleb looks at that in-depth too.

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