Good Friday morning Caps fans, hope the end of your work week is coming quickly and the weekend treats you all well.
Improbably, summer is nearing its close and so is the MLS season. It seems like just Vancouver were getting battered by Columbus Crew to start the season and now we’ve graduated to getting battered by other teams in yellow. Good times.
In seriousness, the midweek results were pretty disastrous for the Caps’ hopes of snagging a playoff spot. Wins for Nashville, Portland and Real Salt Lake leave them five points adrift and in need of a superhuman run of results to remain relevant. It’s Vanni Sartini and Co. so you can’t rule it out but most of us have resigned ourselves to looking to next year.
The San Jose match on Sunday is still important, however. There are guys playing to remain in Sartini’s plans moving forward and there are guys we will probably be seeing for their final matches in a Vancouver uniform.
And then there is the issue of pride. The MLS era has brought both seasons where the Caps, once eliminated from the playoffs, have really made a hash of things and there are seasons where they go on a run of form that makes you scratch your head and wonder where that was all season long.
I would argue that the organization still has some degree of momentum and, assuming this coming off-season is a more active one than 2021-22, the team has the pieces to be well above the playoff line next season. Consistency has been their issue and there is no time like the present to start drilling down on some of the little things that will be points of improvement heading into next season.
One addendum to Monday’s column: We did get a public apology for Lucas Cavallini for stomping on a Nashville player’s head on Saturday. While I would’ve liked to see it come sooner, fair play to Cava for doing that and owning up publicly. It will not shield him from reportedly a four match ban and it doesn’t rectify bigger picture issues with his tenure in Vancouver but it’s still an appropriate gesture and acknowledgement that his actions have further increased the mountain the team has to climb for a playoff spot.
I apologize for letting my teammates down, the club, the fans.#VWFC— Vancouver Whitecaps FC (@WhitecapsFC) September 1, 2022
Shameless Self Promotion
Best of the Rest
MLS is rolling out some impactful changes to its homegrown rules
CF Montréal’s Ismael Kone is reportedly attracting more interest from Europe, this time from Sheffield United
Meanwhile, Club Brugge are tracking Toronto FC youngster Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty
Club Brugge had talks for Toronto FC's rising Canadian int'l Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty, per source. Nothing will happen today on deadline day, but Brugge very keen on him.— Tom Bogert (@tombogert) September 1, 2022
Marshall-Rutty, 18, trained with Liverpool and Arsenal in the winter. Big talent. One to watch. pic.twitter.com/k3hT1SvTDF
Even if the Caps get battered again, you can make use of this MLS bingo card. Curiously, Vanni taking his shirt off isn’t a space