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Coffee with the Caps, Monday September 12

MLS: Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Colorado Rapids Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Good Monday morning Caps fans. Hope you all are dipping into the well of caffeine and easing into the workweek.

It was, as most of us predicted, a difficult Saturday night in Commerce City, with the Caps falling 3-1 to the Colorado Rapids in a battle of teams that are really crawling across the finish line to the MLS season.

The playoff discussions have been well and truly banished and I think we’re also beyond the “well, try and string some results together and build momentum for next season.” The main objective at this point should be just not to get embarrassed.

It really shouldn’t be like this. Many wanted — and received — a change in formation but the same basic flaws existed with a four-man backline.

Brian White punished a truly horrendous defensive error and the Caps got some licks in once the Rapids parked the bus but a bunch of pretty good attacking players still frequently looked like they were on Mars. Yeah, Cava and Ryan Gauld were out but we just haven’t seen much out of Alessandro Schopf (despite being decent in the Bundesliga) and Julian Gressel can only do so much and Brian White has come back to earth.

Yet I refuse to believe it is down to the personnel — something is fundamentally broken in the system that a bunch of guys who were pretty good in their domestic leagues or have been pretty good individually in Vancouver. But as a unit they just have not been able to get anything going.

I don’t have any immediate solutions — a change in tactics is obvious but the fact that the formation alteration didn’t really get them going on Saturday night is alarming and points to larger structural problems.

Really, Saturday’s match was a pretty good summary of the Caps’ season. Despite my efforts to will optimism into existence at various points, goalkeeping continues to be a major problem. The defense was up against it. And there even was a dose of bad luck, with a penalty that should have been given as a foul outside the box.

As far as positive takeaways heading into next season, really the only one I could glean from Saturday is that Pedro Vite has had an excellent second half of the season. He was handed a rare start from Vanni Sartini only because of the Cava and Gauld absences but he has certainly shown enough to merit more regular minutes and should be in the clubs’ plans next season, even as they appear likely to move on from Deiber Caicedo to save some dough (which would be disappointing, as Caicedo’s absence has been a big blow to the Caps, bigger than we realized. But that’s a column in and of itself.).

Another tough night at the office. Another stretch run without a ton to play for. But at least we got some cute moments with Brian White and his girlfriend and if there is anything this Caps season needed it is some young love. Take what you can get at this point folks.

Shameless Self Promotion

A trying match but Caleb has a rundown on what went wrong now that the wheels have come of the wagon.

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