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The Beaver 2.0

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About The Beaver 2.0

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  1. Are they not looking for a "Sporting Director"? That is a different beast, no?
  2. A quick note: The Caps are now playing more cohesive football, look solid defensively and are starting to figure things out going forward. They still have a long ways to go, I admit, but they are playing now how I expected them to play at the mid-point of the season. There is still enough time to salvage the year, though it is hard to see them making the playoffs. Still, MDS's goal this season was to establish a nucleus, and it is only now showing itself. He made it clear that the Caps would add some better pieces once the core was established, and I presume we'll start to see some of those players come into the squad during the offseason. The fact that they were going after Cavallini is a very good sign, in my opinion. I am not entirely sure what is responsible for the Caps' transformation these past four games, but one has to think it has something to do with Inbeom playing where Erice had played for most of the season. I am not knocking Erice, who seemed solid enough, but I like how the Caps look with Inbeom playing the role he is playing. He is good on the ball, very quick, and has the legs to get into the attack from time to time. And he will only get better, especially if we can get a couple of high quality players around him. (Imagine a couple of guys of his quality flanking him in midfield rather than merely serviceable foot soldiers like Rose and Tiebert.)
  3. I suspect that managers have not played the kids because the kids have not shown they are ready, to be frank. I mean, Robbo tried out several kids over his tenure, and few made the cut. Sure, one could make the argument that he should have given them more time to develop, but he DID give a few of them decent chances to prove themselves, and aside from Davies, none of them did. Bustos? Froese? Even Adegkube. These guys were not ready for the jump to MLS. Maybe, in part, it had to do with a sense of entitlement. Maybe they were just not good enough. I suspect Levis will join those fellas after this season. I really like Brett, and I have no reason to believe he has a sense of entitlement, but his play this year has been mostly naïve and spotty. He plays with a big heart, which I love, but his game smarts are sorely lacking, and his skills are mostly just mediocre. I don't see Levis sticking with the team, sadly. But I am thrilled to see how Crepeau, Henry and Cornelius have been playing under MDS, and I am excited to see Ricketts join the team to play his specific role. Tiebert has been solid of late, and Bair's evolution out wide is promising. (What is most exciting is to see how Bair has displaced Ardaiz in the pecking order up front. Maybe Ardaiz can only be a front man, not a winger, but I am impressed with the steps Bair has taken. He still has a long, long way to go, but he has shown some encouraging signs these last couple of games.) The biggest challenge for our kids is continuing their development AFTER the academy and BEFORE they are ready for the first team. For 99% of the players, that is a massive gap. Davies is the exception, not the rule.
  4. I take this as a positive sign of the club's (necessary and overdue) evolution. Kudos to Bobby for everything he has given to club and country, but it has been evident for some time that he is in over his head. I am excited to see who they hire, and from there I am excited to watch the club grow and improve etc. I sort of wish they'd made this change before they hired MDS, but I remain optimistic that Marc will still have huge success in MLS. (It just might take another three years, god help us.)
  5. Anybody see the game? How did the Caps look? From the stats it looks like they dominated, mostly, but the final result says it all. They are not going to fire MDS in his first year. Nor should they. But the pressure is on and only increasing.
  6. I am not confident in Lenarduzzi, no. I still feel that MDS can deliver the goods, in time. He's had success wherever he goes, and he learns fast. But he needs the horses. The TSN Turning Point (maybe): Reports indicate the Caps have now hired their scouting team (yes, a team of scouts), and will announce the new scouting team and strategy asap. Scouting is something that MDS pointed to before he took the job with the Caps, and finally they've something in place. It sounds like a smart scouting mandate, but we'll see. Can this be a game-changer? Well, if the scouts and their system is smart and disciplined, then yes, this could make a massive difference. Keep in mind that MDS has refused to bring on players--during the transfer windows--just for the sake of bringing on players. There is a vision in mind, and a strategy, and for this reason (and because I refuse to believe MDS is a dud) I still choose to believe this team will turn things around--next year. But the last few games have been miserable to watch. I see signs of positive play, but this group is not supporting each other on the field. We have two modes: 1) Limp, passive defending (for 55% - 60% of the game) 2) Panicked, must-sprint-forward attacking (where we lose the ball after one or two passes). If it was always the plan to make our big player moves AFTER the scouting team was in place, then why did we ditch Kai and Techera? Could MDS have convinced Waston to stay? (Probably not. He loves our FO as much as we do.) But Kai would have stayed, and he's currently a better option than Montero and Ardaiz, I believe.
  7. Caps look very poor these last few games, especially the games versus LAFC and SKC. They look disconnected, if that makes sense. The problem, from what I can tell, is that they do not seem to be able to play cohesive football, and the problem seems to be in the midfield. Despite early efforts to play out of the back, they now seem to rely mostly on hitting a long ball for Reyna to (tirelessly) chase down, or an outlet pass to Adnan so he can run at the opposition (but fail to pass the bloody ball effectively most of the time.) Maybe the better word is disjointed. I know this is a three-year rebuild, but I am not seeing a whole lot lately that suggests MDS is truly laying the foundation for success. To do so, you must have a significant core of players with whom to share your footballing philosophy, and I am not convinced many of the current squad are good enough for MLS. Inbeom will likely get there, but he has really struggled. Erice is fine, but his impact is limited. Not sure Venutto is any better than Techera. Not sure Montero is any better than Kai. I like Godoy. PC is not MLS caliber. I like Rusty, but increasingly I question if he is MLS caliber. Henry has mostly been very good. Reyna is a beast; if only he had midfielders to support him. Bair is not ready. Ardaiz seems like a headcase. Felipe is poor. At the moment I simply do not enjoy watching this team. I am not sure, at this point, if this team is any better than the Caps were under Robinson. I know this is a process, but I would have expected to see some sign of a core group developing, and I am not sure I see it. Oh, and Bangoura! Kid has wheels and real skill, but can he learn to play both sides of the ball? It is his soccer IQ, and his focus, that worry me. I still believe in MDS, but for the first time since he took the helm, I am starting to question his vision and ability. I trust he has a real plan, one that involves bringing in the right players at the right time, but at the moment he simply does not have the horses to field a competitive MLS side.
  8. On second thought, it is more likely we just weren’t prepared (out of complacency?) This is a young team headed in the right direction. We need more high quality games together.
  9. It just makes it more expensive to remove him. For an association tight on cash, a long term contract without an escape clause for poor performance is not wise, no.
  10. Sure, but complacency is the result of an attitude. Sometimes it comes from simply not caring. Most of the time it comes from being over confident in one’s abilities. Our guys certainly cared. For that reason I feel they were a bit cocky. Not everyone, mind you. Maybe just Herdman and Borjan.
  11. One other (not so) small note: I think we came into this game under estimating Haiti. Herdman, for all his genius as a details guy, needed to prepare the guys for a tough and relentless physical battle. We were the softer team on the day, but we were also naïve and sloppy. We needed to kill off the game, but we got complacent. We should have known that they'd come out hard in the second half--ie because they had to--but we just didn't seem willing to pay the price. Some of our guys fought the entire game, to be fair. Though Doneil's terrible first touch resulted in the second goal against, he never gave up and remained strong and physical all came. David was smart in keeping the ball and drawing fouls. MAK was terrible. (Osorio was very good up to that point, to be honest. Head scratcher of a sub.) The fact that Herdman was getting Piette ready--very early in the second half!!--to take Hutch off says to me that Herdman himself got a head of things, was too cocky about our ability to see this game through. Borjan's error was borne our of cockiness. Again, this comes down to mentality and approach. Cocky does not win championships!
  12. I am by no means sold on Herdman, but some of the criticism here makes no sense. Faulting him for not building a resilient team is just silly. Resilience is not built in a day. It is a process. You must face adversity, fall down and then get back up and storm a head, usually with new lessons learned. We fell down, and now we need to get up and show that we can grow. Nation's League will be the next test. ZBG versus Godinho? Based on the evidence of three games, I am not sure there is much of a difference between the two, to be honest. And let's be clear that the first goal we gave up was mostly Borjan's fault. Why did he not just put his foot through the freaking ball?! This is where Herdman deserves criticism: He has not, from day one, built this team for championship play. Which is odd, because international football is only about championship play. What wins championships? Say it with me: defense. But not just the backline, of course, but total team defense. Yeah, you've got to score goals, but team defense comes first. The Sizzle seems to have gotten all caught up with the flashy offense side of our game, but did not lay the foundation for team defense. We gave up sloppy goals and plenty of chances--the game vs. Martinique could have gone really badly for us, let's be honest. I chalk this up to a team that has not adopted a playing style conducive to winning championships, and for that reason came to this tournament ill-prepared. This is basic ****. We need to start with the right approach to how we play, get the right players on the field, and then give them as many chances as possible to get damned good at executing this approach. It all starts from an understanding of how championships are won. Look at the Raptors, for a great example. Not the deepest team in the league, but what team defense!! I suspect Herdman is in way over his head. I suspect he is an administrator and an organizational builder, but not a football manager. I am watching what MDS is doing out here in Vancouver, with a roster thin on talent, and I wish we had somebody like him coaching the national team. The Caps have a long ways to go, but they are grinding out results, often against very good teams, because MDS has them playing smart team defense. (They almost nicked a point from Seattle last night, in Seattle.) Herdman has to hit the reset button. He needs to shift his approach to the game, and immediately. Once he's done that, then he can start scouting and selecting the right players for the style we need to play. (I don't mean bunkering; I mean smart team defense. I mean tidy in possession. I mean the right players in the right position with the right formation with the right mindset.) If he can learn and help this team grow and we start getting better results, then he can keep his job. But the CSA needs to have their eyes wide open here.
  13. Yes, and it everyone would refer to it as "The Americas", which is just as sexy as "The Euros", at least euphonically. And you could have different hosts every four years, swapping between confederations every other tournie.
  14. Just saw an interview from a day or two ago where MDS says that he feels Canada has a very good shot at winning the Gold Cup this year. To be clear, he points out that this is not Mexico's A-squad, and he notes that the US is not quite firing on all cylinders under Berhalter--yet--both of these items giving further credence to the notion Canada might have a real crack at winning the whole shooting match. (For what it is worth, MDS is not a big fan of the Gold Cup. He does not like all the 5 - 0 games. He would like to see a competition featuring the best of the Americas, not just North America. Doing so would raise the profile of the tournament significantly, perhaps a decent rival to the Euros. [Before anyone craps on me, please note I said "decent"]. He liked the idea of the tournament happening every four years. Not sure I disagree.)
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