Coffee with the Caps, Friday November 10

Good Friday morning Caps fans, hope you all had a pleasant week and are gearing up for a weekend — the first one in awhile where there won’t be a match to watch. Here’s hoping you enjoy some late fall activities instead.

I stand by my pride in both the club and Vanni Sartini but figured it would be worth covering everything that has happened since the fateful match on Sunday night, when some combination of mediocre play and bad refereeing helped knock the Caps out of the playoffs (heavy on the mediocre play but also the ref didn’t help).

Sartini was irate upon being sent off for objecting to the refereeing after Tim Ford executed a perfect pick on Alessandro Schopf, who was teeing up a long-range shot. If you’re reading this blog, none of this is news and nor is Sartini making what appears to be a rather regrettable joke during his post-game press conference.

“For that reason I’m sorry,” Sartini said on Tuesday. “I should have had better judgment to choose the right word. But there was no malicious intent or violent intent in my words.”

At a time when half-baked, PR-conscious apologies are the norm, this was refreshing and underscores why Sartini is beloved, not just in Vancouver but even by opposing fanbases.

That being said, I think we all can agree that any threats of physical violence, joking or otherwise, are a bad, bad idea in a sporting environment that is all too happy to carry those kinds of things out. Just this week, we had news come out regarding Matt Miazga entering the officials’ dressing room after being sent off following the final whistle of FC Cincinnati’s win over New York Red Bulls.

In light of that, both Vanni’s conduct and the conduct of the players who confronted the referee during the match were regrettable. Things like this happen during sports; no one is Pollyanna enough to suggest otherwise. The Caps are hardly the first team to surround a match official in anger and Sartini is certainly not the first manager to be sent to the stands for complaining.

But these guys are role models and, by and large, have proven to be pretty good ones for the young footballers in Vancouver. Hopefully that won’t be tarnished by this one incident.

As an aside, it seems all but certain that Vanni won’t be on the touchline for the first match of next season (he’s jokingly acknowledged that) and it is possible his ban will be lengthy. It seems he is willing to accept that consequence but this will certainly be an interesting case — and an interesting precedent — for the league to sort out, whenever it gets around to doing so.

Shameless Self Promotion

Thinking about what’s next for the Caps? We certainly are. Caleb lays out a persuasive argument for why the club should be cashing all their chips in 2024.

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