Good Friday morning Caps fans, hope you all have had a good week and are gearing up for a lovely weekend.
We are hours away from a match as what is left of the team takes on Houston. Yes, the Caps are on their second COVID-19 outbreak of the year and while they will have the numbers to play tonight (and their entire first team goalkeeper room hasn’t been wiped out), it isn’t great.
#VWFC Covid update.— Har Journalist (@HarJournalist) August 4, 2022
Are in health and safety protocols and will not play vs Houston tomorrow.
Hasal has cleared health and safety protocols and returned to training.#VANvHOU
The loss of Andres Cubas just a couple matches after he was out for injury is frustrating and it means the Caps will be undermanned against a team they really need to beat if they are going to qualify for the playoffs. No Dajome is also a blow and no Marcus Godinho and Luis Martins means they are awfully thin at wingback.
To address the aforementioned depth issue, Ali Ahmed got the call up from the Whitecaps 2 side, as did 2022 draft pick Simon Becher. So even if things are really going to hell later, the potential of seeing Ahmed get an MLS run out is intriguing (Becher has seemed meh in against MLS NEXT Pro competition but I would be curious to see him as well).
The Caps will have some reinforcements coming — but not for the Dynamo match.
In the worst kept secret in Vancouver, the Caps confirmed the capture of Alessandro Schopf. The central midfielder arrives fresh from the Bundesliga and will be a quality toy for Vanni Sartini to play with as the Caps try and round off their roster.
✍️— Vancouver Whitecaps FC (@WhitecapsFC) August 3, 2022
We are pleased to announce that we have signed Austrian International midfielder Alessandro Schöpf through 2024, with a club option for 2025! #VWFC pic.twitter.com/FPXT1Clqv4
Caleb had an excellent breakdown of Schopf that is linked below and I highly encourage you to check it out. He goes in-depth to probe my surface level thoughts on the signing back when it was initially rumored.
This is a move that will bring in a unique player that doesn’t fit the archetype of any guy on the current roster. He doesn’t defend a ton but that’s what Andres Cubas is for, right? What he will do is help the Caps get in a position to take more shots and, hopefully, score more goals. When taken with Julian Gressel and Andres Cubas, Schopf represents a logical next step in really trying to take advantage of the existing roster construction, as well as Sartini’s tactical approach.
But with a hello, there must be a goodbye as well. In order to free up some of the funny money to bring Schopf in on a TAM deal, the Caps elected to waive Erik Godoy.
It is a ruthless move that is expected in professional sports and it is one that makes complete logical sense: Godoy simply has been unable to stay healthy and contribute in the way the Caps organization wants him to and knows he can. This isn’t his fault — he has been a complete professional and an excellent center back when healthy.
But the Caps have also been able to improve a lot defensively this season without Godoy on the pitch. A first choice Tristan Blackmon/Ranko Veselinovic/Javain Brown backline is pretty solid and that doesn’t give much room for a player in Godoy who has a not insignificant salary hit ($550,000, to be exact).
I could see Godoy getting another shot in MLS without any problem but I also could see him going back to Argentina and being quite successful. His injury luck in Vancouver sucked and caused him to become the brunt of some unfair fan frustration. Most of the supporters, however, will wish him well and send hopes for a clean bill of health in his next stop — there is an excellent player there.
Hearing in addition to Godoy, Gutierrez will also be leaving #VWFC. With those two off the books, that clears the roster spots needed to add Schöpf and Bikel.— ☠️ ☠️ (@GlassCityFC) August 5, 2022
There are also rumblings Godoy might not be the last one out the door. Interesting times for the Caps and I have to say the idea of losing Guti is a frustrating one — it leaves the Caps rather thin on the left side and I always rated what he brought to the table. He’s been suspiciously out for awhile so this maybe shouldn’t be a surprise but I do wonder if its one the Caps could wind up regretting.
Shameless Self Promotion
Here is the aforementioned Caleb treatise on Schopf. He also takes a much needed dive into the Caps’ goalkeeper situation which is ... suboptimal, shall we say. And don’t forget to get your lineup predictions in!
Best of the Rest
The Sam Adekugbe deal did not materialize before the deadline, nor did a separate effort to land another Bayern player
Because I have been asked. Source describes #Bayern’s Adrian Fein as an interesting player for #VWFC. But the Whitecaps have no room to sign the player before the deadline today. They will monitor his situation for a potential winter move. pic.twitter.com/76rETZhsXS— Manuel Veth (@ManuelVeth) August 4, 2022
More on the latest “bump in the road” for the Caps regarding the COVID-19 outbreak
Liga MX’s top executive said he is worried about falling behind MLS as the league continues to grow
That growth comes from signings like Riqui Puig, with the former Barcelona wonderkid heading to LA Galaxy. Meanwhile, FC Cincinnati is on the verge of signing USMNTer Matt Miazga.
Meanwhile, in Canadian Men’s National Team news, Richie Laryea is headed back to Toronto FC on loan from Nottingham Forest. There is no buy option