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Coffee with the Caps, Friday December 30

Toronto FC v Vancouver Whitecaps FC - 2022 Canadian Championship Final Photo by Christopher Morris - Corbis/Getty Images

Good Friday morning Caps fans. I hope you those who celebrate had a Merry Christmas and that all who read this are zooming towards a happy new year.

2022 was quite a year, though somehow still less turbulent than the two that came before it. MLS returned to a sense of normalcy, the Caps returned to BC Place full time for the first time in awhile and the club returned to disappointing me at every available opportunity (I kid; I’m not that cynical).

While our beloved team didn’t quite match their surprising 2021 run, there were still some memories to cling to.

Simon Becher scoring his first MLS goal to equalize against Houston Dynamo, with Lucas Cavallini winning it moments later (and our match reporter having to trash their entire lede). A closing run that almost, almost got the club across the finish line and into the playoffs ... again. I’m sure I’m missing some highlights — feel free to add your own in the comments.

But there is little doubt that the moment that will sit in our collective imagination the longest will be Russell Teibert lifting the Voyageurs Cup aloft in the club’s first trophy in several seasons (and the second time they have been champions of Canada). The bragging rights and trip to the CONCACAF Champions League will be nice but seeing how much the victory (a hard fought one that included multiple penalty shootouts) meant to the players, and Teibert in particular, was quite emotional.

With any luck 2023 will have more of the same.

On the order of actual news items, there are a few in the traditionally sleepy week between Christmas and New Year’s Day.

The Caps made official what had largely been expected; Caio Alexandre will be headed back to Brazil, returning to Fortaleza on another year-long loan that will include an obligation to buy if certain terms are met.

Alexandre’s return to Vancouver was highly unlikely and it seemed only a formality of figuring out whether he would be headed back to Fortaleza on this type of arrangement (which is more for accounting purposes than anything, seemingly) or on a permanent transfer. Now we have a bit more clarity — no transfer fee will be incoming for at least another year.

Who might be incoming remains unclear. We did, however, get our first instance of a bogus transfer update for the Caps, with rumors popping up that the club have extended an offer to Alireza Jahanbakhsh, the Iranian winger/CAM who plays for Feyenoord in the Netherlands.

I don’t know the dude who tweeted out this rumor, I don’t mean to cast doubts on his integrity and I’m sure he’s a perfectly nice fellow. But he has tweeted twice since the start of 2021 and this was one of those. It seems like he got info from an agent trying to gin up something on behalf of his client.

In any event, these rumors were quickly disproven.

I mean, imagine the logistics. The Canadian government has been, erm, not the most cooperative in doing the Caps a solid on visas and we all remember how much of a headache the Ali Adnan situation was.

Now multiply that by several factors given the current political situation in Iran and the relationship between the Canadian and Iranian governments (need we recall the whole friendly situation?).

A reminder to remain skeptical of basically all transfer rumors until proven otherwise. Will that stop us from writing about them here? Well, perhaps not. A blog can dream after all.

Best of the Rest

Rest in peace to Pele, el rey de futbol, who died Thursday. A look at when he came to Vancouver

Vancouver’s Cascadia rival is making moves, with Seattle acquiring forward Heber from NYCFC

Penarol is kicking the tires on their old player and recently available Caps man Lucas Cavallini

Best wishes to former Toronto FC midfielder Tsubasa Endoh, who is undergoing treatment for leukemia