Vancouver Whitecaps

Coffee with the Caps, Friday April 19

Good Friday morning Caps fans, hope you all are winding down your workweek and have big plans for your weekend.

It is a big Cascadia derby this weekend, where the unstoppable force (a bad Seattle team) meets an immovable object (the Caps suck when playing at CenturyLink Field). Vancouver has been good on the road so far this season and will be favorites in this Cascadia clash, despite being down Fafa Picault, who will miss out as he recovers from back spasms. Here’s to a speedy recovery Fafa.

When Vancouver and Seattle take the field, they’ll be operating under a few new rules, which MLS is finally implementing now that all is well with PRO (well, from a labor standpoint).

These aren’t any roster rule nonsense, but rather are designed to speed up play and improve player safety and I applaud all of them.

For one, if a player is down for longer than 15 seconds and can safely be moved, they will be asked to receive treatment off the pitch. While guys down for a prolonged period of time have a good reason for not getting up, this should cut down on guys rolling around for no reason, as they’ll temporarily put their team down to 10 men.

MLS is also doubling down on speeding up subs, requiring guys exit at the nearest boundary line (something I thought we were already supposed to be doing) and forcing them to leave within 10 seconds. Failure to abide by these rules will mean the sub has to be held and the team will play down a man temporarily — brilliant. Again, a common sense rule that will make it harder to time waste.

Perhaps most consequently, we finally will get in-stadium VAR announcements as to what a referee is looking at and what their decision is. This mirrors the use of video review during the Women’s World Cup, where I found it to be a helpful addition. This will probably be at the mercy of how extensively a referee articulates (sometimes complex) calls but any increased bit of transparency is good news for fans when it comes to officiating.

Shameless Self Promotion

Get caught up on the Caps AND a busy first week of Canadian Premier League action with our latest podcast episode.

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