Coffee with the Caps, Friday September 15

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)

4 thoughts on “Coffee with the Caps, Friday September 15

  1. This is probably a good move. Maybe not for the remainder of this season as we’re left hoping that Beecher can have an impact. He can, as a sub. Not so much as a starter. That leaves us totally reliant on White. Perhaps Johnston can play as an out and out striker? Anyway Sir Salty, i felt you were only 50/50 in your assessment of Cordova. You were wrong about the lack of pace. You were wrong his dribbling/footwork. You were right about his inability to get up for crossed headers. I thought he was rounding into really good form and we may miss that for the last stretch. It just felt like you were making stuff up to support your always harsh criticism of Cordova. I’m always on the watch for this stuff. Remember the Jake rating of 0.0. That was so bogus. I rewatched the game and noted every Jake interaction. He was just fine. That he played as pass to Rusty that Rusty had asked for and Rusty hesitated on and the interception led to the go ahead goal. The writer of that article had become so biased against Jake that i lost all respect for the writer. I just want the players to judged fairly, in the end

  2. Musing thoughts:

    1. Cordova always was a poor signing and if you go back to months of my repeatedly saying so (and some were annoyed with me, but thanks for the apology), i was correct- he isnt MLS quality and he was lucky to have made $750 000 for 2 MLS goals and 2 League Cup goals- thankfully, Axel admitted the same thing and ‘cut bait’… whatever the Caps got for him is a bonus as we dont have his salary for the next 2.4 years- some tried so hard to believe he would be a magical DP striker

    2. Hoilett is a terrific signing- experienced, willing to be a role player, crosses sweet balls and will bring it 2-ways on the field- i wouldnt be surprised if he ends up on the coaching staff –

    3. Becher has more upside if given a chance by Vanni, but we all know that Vanni is like a clogged wheel with some players

    4. this is a Club building for a serious run at MLS Cup 2024

    5. we really need to jump on TFC from the get-go tomorrow- anything less than 3 points would be a disappointment

  3. I’m glad they moved on from Cordova, he just wasn’t worth the bucks. I am a bit dismayed that we haven’t given Becher any real game time all Summer. He has great upside so hopefully this will open a spot for him to play a little more.

    1. I was fairly sure that Cordova would have come good by the end of the season, given his track record at his previous clubs. However, he was on too much money to wait almost a whole season to get going. JH coming in is a good move. He is an experienced, technical player that doesn’t rely on speed anymore. I could see him having a Tosaint Rickets (sp) role, coming in with 20-30 minutes left in a game to stabilize the team and lock the game down.

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