Good Friday morning Caps fans, hope you all are still standing upright after any Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations you may have indulged in. I’m not Irish so I don’t get quite as much joy out of it but you can never turn down a chance to wear a little green, right?
Plenty of movement as the Caps prepare to face LAFC on Sunday. The timing was right, then, to ink Tristan Blackmon to a contract extension, announced Thursday afternoon. The deal will keep Blackmon in Vancouver through 2023, with a club option for the next two seasons.
Salary was not discussed publicly but one imagines it will involve a raise on the $203,000 in guaranteed money he was making last season.
The sample size is admittedly small for Blackmon. But his start in Vancouver has been a good one, despite a chaotic first three games for the club overall.
Looking at his goals added, Blackmon is fourth in all of MLS among centerbacks, more than twice the rating of the next Caps centerback. And he has passed the eye test as well, making some key tackles and blocking his fair share of shots in recent matches.
The move to acquire Blackmon from LAFC via Charlotte in the offseason was one that appeared at the time to be a no-brainer. The 25-year-old has the skillset that positions him perfectly to succeed in Vanni Sartini’s system and one imagines that played a big role in keeping Blackmon around longer term.
The fact that Blackmon is the latest in a string of guys who the club is opting to reward with new deals is nice. Brian White, Javain Brown and Thomas Hasal are all relatively young and have high ceilings and it is good the club not only recognizes that but is looking to be proactive in ensuring they are fairly compensated. For a team that has swung and missed in its dealings over the years, one imagines other prospective players taking note of the approach here.
While Blackmon will likely be looking forward to being back in LA, I imagine this is one that a lot of fans are not excited about for #narrative reasons. Not that Maxime Crepeau’s departure hasn’t been softened by the strong play of Hasal but it has been tough to see Crepeau bail to go to a team he perceived to be better ... and seeing the excellent start to the season for LAFC.
Not that we didn’t all know LAFC was better than the Caps (last season’s standings notwithstanding) but it hurts to be this rudely reminded of it. Hopefully the Caps can spoil the evening, as they did a couple years ago when the LA side was utterly dominant.
Best of the Rest
The Caps also moved to snap up Cody Cropper, who had previously been on trial. Probably not the roster move we all were looking for
They also are filling their MLS NEXT Pro team with some academy guys. Congrats lads