Rennie's Exit Could Be Good For Canada

Whitecaps FC president Bob Lenarduzzi commits to the club’s academy after firing Martin Rennie
by Henrik Lonne   |   Thursday, November 07, 2013

Made in Canada - coverage of the Canadian MLS, NASL & USL Clubs, CSL, PCSL, Canadian Championship & Canada National Teams

Martin Rennie is longer the head coach of the Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

On the topic Bob Lenarduzzi told Canadian Soccer News:

"Our Head Coach in each of the three seasons, the priority was to get results on the pitch. But, we also wanted to ensure that the coach also understood that as a club it was important for us to develop players. We've invested a lot of money in to it."

What did Rennie achieve in his two seasons? He started both seasons well only to play horrible seconds halves of them. In the first season under Rennie, the Caps barely made it into the play-offs only to lose to the Los Angeles Galaxy. This season they didn’t even make it. While going to the playoffs as the first Canadian MLS team is impressive, the way they did it isn’t. To add to all this, the Whitecaps haven’t won the Voyageurs Cup for years.

So for Rennie to be let go when the on-field performance hasn’t been a clear-cut success and haven’t been successful at integrating residency into the first team squad shouldn’t surprise anyone.

The Whitecaps have been known in Canadian soccer circles for its talent development and when the residency was launched in 2009 the then second tier team, went beyond what many MLS clubs where doing. Because of this the Whitecaps have been disappointing many Canadian soccer fans since its move to MLS, because of its lack of playing time for Canadians.

As supporter and follower of Canadian soccer, it is positive to see Lenarduzzi stating that developing players will be a priority for the new coach. Many of the players on the Canadian youth teams are in the Whitecaps system and if the new coach can integrate more of them, while maintaining the Whitecaps’ status as a play-off contender, that will be a boon to Canadian soccer.

Rennie’s tenure in Vancouver hasn’t been a catastrophe and if the on-field performances will suffer under the new coach, it would indeed be bad for Canadian soccer. But Canadian soccer fans should be happy about Lenarduzzi’s comments and if things work out, Martin Rennie leaving Vancouver could turn out to be a great thing.

Henrik LONNE

Copenhagen Business School
Club Domestic:
AGF Aarhus
Club Foreign:
Toronto FC
Born and raised in Denmark, the US performance in the 2002 World Cup dragged Henrik into the world of North American soccer. Subsequent trips to Canada made him a Toronto FC fan from abroad. The passion he now has for MLS outshines most European leagues.