Good Friday morning Caps fans, hope you all are having a lovely week with a dash of fall weather mixed in.
It was a busy 48 hours for the Caps, perfectly timed to the ramp up ahead of Saturday’s match against Toronto FC.
The Caps are poised to bring in an attacker and see another forward depart the club. Outgoing is Sergio Cordova, who heads to Turkish club Alanyaspor.
The move, somewhat surprisingly, sees the Caps move on from Cordova less than one year and two league goals after he was signed as a DP striker during the offseason.
While many (all?) of us didn’t see this coming, that doesn’t mean it’s a bad move.
Cordova certainly showed signs of improvement as he settled in with Vancouver and hit his stride around Leagues Cup. He scored a couple important goals for the Caps — but his production was also certainly well short of what is expected for a player making that much money and taking up a DP slot.
A lot of folks considered this signing a mistake from the beginning, though myself and many others talked themselves into endorsing it. Cordova never was a clean fit as either a lone striker or in a pairing with Brian White and taking whatever they can for him if presented with an opportunity to do so is smart.
This frees up a DP slot that will likely be filled by Richie Laryea, if rumors of him ascending to a DP role are true. Or, if MLS does what many expect and creates a fourth DP spot next offseason, they will be well-positioned to bring in a fresh attacking face.
For now, however, the new kid on the block is another Canadian international: Junior Hoilett, who joins after his contract with Reading ended earlier this year.
This isn’t really a like-for-like replacement for Cordova, as Hoilett is more of a winger — a position Vanni Sartini doesn’t use all that often.
But with Deiber Caicedo out on loan, Cordova leaving and Simon Becher not playing much as of late, adding in a depth piece makes some sense. Hoilett could be useful as a super sub kind of player, who can come on and make some plays but who isn’t really at a point in his career where he can go full blast for 90 minutes.
And I don’t want to get too cynical about things, but it doesn’t hurt that Hoilett probably has some name recognition as a Canadian international. And as the Caps attempt to get fannies in the seats for the stretch run, having any names on the roster that might resonate with casual fans is something that you have to think the front office would be interested in.
But in a season where things are going right, my only fear in all this is leaving the Caps awfully thin at striker if Brian White were to go down with an injury. It probably isn’t a likely enough scenario to warrant not selling Cordova but it is something worth keeping in mind. That being said, given Cordova’s goal scoring record, it is fair to wonder if he would be really any better than Simon Becher at filling in in White’s absence.
With the roster freeze tonight, this is presumably the team for the stretch run. I feel pretty good about that — and I can’t remember the last time I said that.
Shameless Self Promotion
Our podcast breaks down the latest developments on all things Cordova/Hoilett.
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(Image Credit: One Soccer)