Time running out on Whitecaps coach
Vancouver Whitecaps head coach Martin Rennie celebrating his team's first win against the Montreal Impact after their opening MLS soccer game in Vancouver, British Columbia March 10, 2012. (REUTERS/Ben Nelms)
Vancouver Whitecaps FC ownership is facing the dilemma of preaching patience or making a change after missing out on another three points this past weekend against Real Salt Lake.
With every passing week, every passing match and every missing point, the ‘Caps can see their playoff hopes dwindling. Vancouver haven’t officially been eliminated from the Major League Soccer playoffs, but it’s going to be extremely difficult for them to qualify.
It makes for interesting debates, and one of the debatable questions is what to do with current head coach Martin Rennie.
There will be two different sides facing the manager. He has been able to do many good things for Vancouver, leading the 'Caps to a franchise-best 11 wins in 2012, a spot in the 2012 MLS post-season, and the top seed for the 2013 Amway Canadian Championship tournament.
This season is no different, with the 'Caps matching last season’s win total of 11 with four matches remaining and currently with a chance — albeit a slim one — at a playoff berth. The Whitecaps have also been able to set various club records under Rennie’s leadership, including total goals scored and win totals.
Rennie has had success with the Whitecaps, but he's also become accustomed to losing in Vancouver. The ‘Caps have appeared in two ACC finals under Rennie, but failed to win the Voyageurs Cup on both occasions.
Rennie has also had a horrific MLS record once July 1 rolls around. In 2012, Vancouver managed just four wins in 18 matches after July 1 and so far in 2013, the Whitecaps have again won just four of 15 matches since Canada Day.
With a slim chance to make the MLS post-season, Rennie’s coaching future likely hinges on a successful October for the team. Win all four remaining games and Rennie and his ‘Caps squad will make the MLS playoffs. Losing one or more could mean the Whitecaps will miss out on the playoffs.
With some quality names available to potentially take over the reins as Whitecaps head coach, Rennie needs to stop the ship from sinking. Otherwise, he will be the one left without a life preserver when the season ends.
If Rennie’s perilous journey of losing continues in October, the Whitecaps should find someone else to take the ship in a new direction.
Tyler is a freelance soccer reporter covering Vancouver Whitecaps FC and Canadian National Teams. Follow Tyler on twitter @tylergreenfc.