Good Monday morning Caps fans, hope you all had a relaxing weekend and are back to the salt mines with minimal frustration today.
It was a frustrating one for Vancouver on Saturday, with their visit to plucky expansion side St. Louis City SC marred by some individual errors that held them back from getting a possible result.
A 3-1 loss under the circumstances isn’t really an embarrassment but it does present a missed opportunity.
Chief among the errors was the decision to rotate in Thomas Hasal over Yohei Takaoka. Hasal could have done better on probably every one of the St. Louis goals and the gap in quality between starter and reserve was crystal clear.
This isn’t a knock on Hasal, who has done everything he’s been asked. But he is surely not sharp at the moment and is seemingly more in need of a loan to regain his confidence and to restart his growth. Takaoka’s arrival to Vancouver has been a major catalyst for the Caps’ turnaround this season and the performance from Saturday is another example of why. Sure, better defensive play has provided a mutually beneficial relationship for the new keeper but his shot stopping abilities are far and away above what Hasal can offer now. Without a chance to further grow, you can imagine Max Anchor passing him on the pecking order at some point.
Another real downer continues to be the disappointment of Sergio Cordova up top, with the DP striker still without an MLS goal. While there certainly have been matches where I felt Cordova brought something to the table, that quite simply is not nearly good enough. What distinguishes great MLS teams from mediocre ones is, often, a goal scorer that helps them get results in matches they maybe shouldn’t have. The fear was Cordova was never going to be that kind of player and so far, those fears were founded.
I’m not sure you want to go to the nuclear option, which would be some sort of contract buyout that would allow the Caps to move on this summer. While I would like a striker signing that doesn’t reak of desperation, I think you may have to ride things out with Cordova a bit longer to avoid basically lighting several million dollars on fire.
Call it the sunk cost fallacy but I just don’t see the club spending the money to find admit their error and find a new striker. Cordova won’t transform into Raul Ruidiaz overnight but it’s possible he could hit a good run of form once he sees one goal wind up in the net. Or he could continue to be an albatross — it really could go either way.
In any event, the Caps’ tough run of double match weeks continues Wednesday against a surprisingly decent Houston Dynamo side that has found itself narrowly below Vancouver in the playoff race. A return to BC Place will be much welcomed by all after a trying series of matches and it will provide a chance to regroup against a couple beatable opponents. What could go wrong?
Shameless Self Promotion
Best of the Rest
Meanwhile, Vanni Sartini will probably be hearing from MLS over his harsh critique of the refereeing
A juicy look at the struggles of Toronto FC, Transfermarkt and all
The Women’s World Cup beckons but should more be done to promote the Canadian national team?
I can’t believe there’s no Russell Teibert on the top selling kits list SMH