Lenarduzzi mum on Whitecaps coach’s future 0
The now former Whitecaps coach Martin Rennie. (File Photo TJ Chase/ 24 hours)
There may still be one more game left in the Vancouver Whitecaps' season, but there's no denying the focus is already shifting towards what happens next.
Sunday's home match against the Colorado Rapids doesn't exactly matter now — save for the opportunity to ruin their opponent's playoff hopes — since Vancouver was officially eliminated from post-season contention this past weekend in a 3-2 loss in Denver. And the biggest question mark once their off-season begins has to do with the future of head coach Martin Rennie.
The Scottish manager is finishing up his second year with the club, and failed to get them back into the playoffs after doing so a season ago. However, the team set a franchise MLS record in wins and goals — not to mention they still have a pretty bright future ahead.
There's no "definite timeline," according to team president Bob Lenarduzzi, on when a decision regarding their coaching staff will be made — whether to keep Rennie, who is under contract for one more year, or go a different route.
"It's not a situation that as a result of not making the playoffs we're going to start thinking about it now," Lenarduzzi said Monday. "It's been an ongoing assessment throughout the season. Now that we're out of the playoffs and the season will conclude this Sunday, there becomes a greater urgency to determine exactly what we're doing in the coach's role.
"Once we feel we've done our due diligence, then we'll confirm the decision at that time."
Vancouver currently sits seventh in the Western Conference with a 12-12-9 record with15 more goals than last year. One of the big factors behind that production is Camilo, the ‘Caps stellar striker who’s still in contention for the league's Golden Boot award. He currently he trails Montreal's Marco Di Vaio and Chicago's Mike Magee by one goal.
"Prior to the start of the season, did any of us anticipate he'd be a goal off the lead? Maybe we would have thought that would be optimistic," Lenarduzzi said of the Brazilian, who has 19 tallies.
In addition, he lauded the play of rookie Kekuta Manneh, centre back Carlyle Mitchell and midfielder Russell Teibert as positives moving forward. But of course, changes will have to be made — including the need to fill a vacant right back spot with Y.P. Lee expected to retire.
"We've got young players in virtually every position on the park to contribute or certainly be very, very good backups," he said, adding the team isn't going to make changes just for the sake of it. "You have to remove the emotions and determine … what can take us to the next level and, the very least, to be in a playoff spot.
"Not making the playoffs is frustrating, especially because we were able to do that last year. That has to be our primary objective every year."