Coffee with the Caps, Monday November 13

Good Monday morning Caps fans, hope you all had a lovely weekend and are gearing up for a solid week of work and late fall gallivanting.

We had our first round of roster news drop Friday afternoon and there isn’t much to write home about. In an unsurprising move, the team will move on from Thomas Hasal, Kam Habibullah and Matteo Campagna.

While it is disappointing given the heights that these three players were expected to reach, they all seemed to stall out in their time in Vancouver (to the point where Habibullah was actively on trial elsewhere). Hasal seems destined for the Canadian Premier League once he recovers from injury, which seems like a win for everyone involved.

Ryan Raposo, Simon Becher, Tristan Blackmon, Levonte Johnson and Isaac Boehmer, meanwhile, had their options picked up for next season. No real surprises here — all of these guys are on cheap contracts, play a key role for the Caps or have potential (or all of the above). No reason not to at least keep them on the payroll.

The big decisions about whether to retain Junior Hoilett and Richie Laryea won’t be handled for some time. Laryea seems likely to come back in some form, though I feel he didn’t show enough to warrant a DP tag. If there was a TAM deal available, however, I think that would be perfect — Laryea showed signs that he could be the dangerous threat that Caps fans expected. He also offers something different than the other players on the roster — he just wasn’t especially consistent.

I really don’t have a burning desire to see Hoilett back and, frankly, found his tenure in Vancouver to be fairly disappointing. Marketed as a super sub, it makes sense that he wasn’t going to light up the scoresheet. But zero goals or assists at all is a pretty big letdown. I think he has something left in the tank but this system seems not to be the best chance for him to show that. For a cheap, domestic depth piece, I’d be OK with it. But for anything else, I’d rather take a look elsewhere.

The lone revelation from Friday was that the club is negotiating to keep Russell Teibert and Karifa Yao around.

Cue meltdown.

In seriousness, I don’t really see this as that big of a deal. I don’t see why it wouldn’t be better for all involved if Rusty were allowed to walk and see out his career in a starting role for a CPL side. But if he wants to remain in Vancouver in a Andy Rose-esque coaching/playing role, I don’t see that as a problem. The cap hit would be markedly lower than it is right now, I’d imagine, and given the number of minutes he played this year, I don’t think he’s really in Vanni Sartini’s plans.

I don’t really see why the club is trying to keep Yao around, given that he struggled even in MLS Next PRO. I don’t think he’s an MLS quality defender but, at 23, there is possible room for growth. Maybe someone at the club knows something I don’t.

The club didn’t say whether they were negotiating with Sebastian Berhalter, who is out-of-contract. It is possible Seb wants more playing time or money than a team with Andres Cubas would be willing to give him. But given Cubas’ injury and/or suspension risk (and the fact that you don’t want to run one of the best DMs in MLS into the ground), there seems to be plenty of minutes for Berhalter. Given that this was one of Axel Schuster’s better bargain bin pickups, it seems stupid to let him walk — based off his time in Vancouver, one imagines there will be a line of other MLS teams ready to snatch him up.

Disagree on my attempt to play amateur GM? Pipe up in the comments. But for now, here’s the best links from MLS and beyond.

Shameless Self Promotion

Who should the Caps be looking at bringing in from the Canadian Premier League? Well, we have a few ideas.

Best of the Rest

Round one of the playoffs (finally) wrapped up on Sunday, with Julian Gressel and Columbus cruising through at Atlanta’s expense

Meanwhile, in USL, Phoenix Rising came from behind to notch a PK victory in the championship game

And in the NWSL final, Gotham defeated the Reign to deny Megan Rapinoe a fairytale ending

Congrats to former Caps man Derek Cornelius on winning the Swedish league with Malmo

3 thoughts on “Coffee with the Caps, Monday November 13

  1. I really don’t understand why some people get apoplectic about Teibert. He is objectively not a bad player (he is not a good player either) he retains the ball well, he rarely makes a bad pass and he is usually fitter than anyone on the team so he can run forever. The problem is he rarely makes a forward pass (so he kills all our attacking momentum), and he has almost no creativity. His lack of growth in his game means he will end his career as an OK bench player who comes in to the game with 10 minutes to play to keep the ball and run as hard as possible. He has a role to play but it is a limited role.

    This brings us to renegotiating Rusty’s contract. It is clear to me that the club wants him to take a pay cut or take on front office/part time player role. The idea that they would keep him on for $440,000, especially now that he barely even a part time player is not credible. I trust Axel and Vanni on this one.

  2. Teibert has to be the Owners Special- greg kerfoot has a soft spot for Rusty- but should it be at the expense of a over $440 000 hit on the salary cap ? even $150K is too much and why he wants to stay around is a mystery- is this how he wants to finish his career ?? and taking the captain’s armband from Ryan Gauld is especially demeaning IMO- rusty’s experience would be useful with young players in the CPL

    Berhalter should be resigned at a higher salary of $160 000 IF he is willing to be the first sub for the MF- he might want a regular spot and one cant blame him for that

    Axel has to maximize the MLS salary cap, TAM, etc and that means players like hoilett, teibert, hasal, a reduced Lareya, the buying out of schopf, and the selling of caicado and alexandre need to happen- and if he is able- GOOD LUCK – to get the owners to open their collective wallets for a significant DP in the +$2.5 mill range and resign gauld for a $3 mill salary, then the Caps are on the right path for 2024

    3 new players- a higher quality CB, an AMF and a pacey winger who can knick some goals and assists (is Boehmer ready to relieve takaoka for 4-6 games ?)

    i think Axel wants to shine in 2024 and then perhaps we might see him heading back to Europe

  3. Berhalter being a free agent doesn’t bode well, but he was making very little and has earned the right to look around.

    I’d like the ‘Caps to retain him as I think injuries, suspensions and call ups will amount to Cubas missing more than a handful of games next year (in another multiple-competition season) and Berhalter’s offensive numbers bring potential points in games that might be given up for dead. They compliment one another well, being a few degrees off of like-for-like and he’s a known quantity, which removes one more layer of uncertainty from next year.

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