Coffee with the Caps, Monday December 2
Good Friday morning Caps fans, hope you all are advancing to the knockout stages of your week and getting ready for the weekend.
The Canadian National Team was put out of its misery Thursday in a 2-1 loss to Morocco. While a Naif Aguerd own goal helped pull one back, the early deficit was too much to overcome, preventing even a moral victory in this World Cup.
We’ve discussed this before in this very column so there isn’t too much left to dissect. If it makes fans feel better, Mexico laid an even bigger egg and has a far greater existential threat looming in the years to come.
While a certain CBC reporter believes the Canadians have an existential crisis, I’m not even going to deign to comment on that crock here. Alphonso Davies is suffering from a similar problem that Christian Pulisic has for the Americans — everyone loves you as the savior of a country’s soccer hopes right up until they turn on you after a couple of bad matches. Its unfortunate and hopefully will be viewed as nothing more than a way of separating real fans from the imposters.
Vanni Sartini, in a merger of the global and domestic games, was asked Thursday about who might be a potential candidate for the World Cup in four years when, hopefully, the vibe gets better.
Sartini had what I think is a pretty good shout:
#VWFC’s Vanni Sartini on @SekeresandPrice today, was asked, who on your team this year has a chance to be World Cup bound for #CanMNT in 2026? “If he keeps improving like he did this year, I think Ryan Raposo has a chance.”#MLS— Har Journalist (@HarJournalist) December 2, 2022
After being slagged off after a slow start to his MLS career, Raposo capped off a solid season that showed development, despite continuing to play at a bevy of different positions and roles.
In terms of getting the ball into the box or advancing it up the pitch, Raposo did his job and then some. I think he makes more sense as a winger long-term and by those standards he perhaps looks less impressive but this is clearly a guy who is beginning to tap into his potential.
If given a steady, consistent mandate from his manager, you could certainly see him grow into a player with second-tier European league potential and some national team potential as well.
In truth, the Caps’ record of developing domestic talent means Sartini is grading on a curve here. Thomas Hasal is the only other guy that might be a plausible option (if everything cuts right, maybe Karifa Yao could be another guy with potential) and even he has shown some limitations in a position where Canada will hope to see its depth grow in the next four years.
But hey, with the Caps needing a centerback, I hear a certain Costa Rican player is having a decent World Cup. At the rate things are going, he’ll probably be playing in the 2026 edition too.
Where was this Kendall Waston when he played for the Whitecaps?— Manuel Veth (@ManuelVeth) December 1, 2022
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