Coffee with the Caps, Monday November 11

Good Monday morning Caps fans, hope you all had a good weekend and that the wait for some time off was as worth it as the Canadian Men’s National Team’s wait to take on Jamaica (though hopefully there were no heavy rains involved).

We have some roster news, though it isn’t first team-related, but at this stage in the offseason, we’ll take what we can get.

The Whitecaps 2 brass made their decisions on the roster for next season and most of the side from 2023 won’t be back, after a disappointing end to the season saw them drop down the table. CB Finn Linder and midfielder Jay Herdman had their contracts extended and wingback Mihail Gherasimencov had his option picked up.

Given that Herdman and Gherasimencov are two of the Caps’ better prospects, this makes a lot of sense. Herdman didn’t get much of a chance to reach his peak this season due to injury but seems primed to slot into an influential role next year. Linder also was a rare bright spot in the backline and is also worth keeping in the mixer.

The guys who won’t be back include some of the Caps’ more prominent punts, including Gloire Amanda, Malcolm Johnstone, as well as Karifa Yao, whose future was left up in the air when the first team roster decisions were announced earlier this month.

None of this is really a surprise either. Amanda underwhelmed, despite returning with a fair amount of hope that he could live up to the once lofty pedigree placed on him. It was worth bringing him in and seeing what happened but it didn’t quite work out. No harm, no foul — my take with the reserve team is, if you’re not taking risks (provided they don’t hinder academy prospects), you’re not really trying.

The good news? Tanzanian striker Cyprian Kachwele, whose fate was held up in visa purgatory, finally got over the line and will be on the team for next year. We covered the decision to bring in a quartet of foreign players, including Kachwele, and his productivity in the Tanzanian league seems well worth a shot.

A couple other guys might be back too, CB Joshué Ndakala and midfielder Antoine Coupland, and both seem like they should return to the fold. Coupland impressed early in the season and fell off but I would like to see where he winds up with another year of seasoning.

All-in-all, it seems like the reserve side is at a bit of a crossroads, something reflected in the roster decisions. It’ll be interesting to see what further moves are made in the next couple of months.

Shameless Self Promotion

The Third Sub podcast breaks down the opening salvo off offseason moves from the Caps and look ahead to what might come next.

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