Second-half swoons doom Whitecaps' coach Rennie 0
The now former Whitecaps coach Martin Rennie. (File Photo TJ Chase/ 24 hours)
That didn't take long.
Just two days after the Vancouver Whitecaps 2013 season ended — out of the playoffs and one marred by inconsistency — Martin Rennie was fired as the head coach.
The team decided to "part ways" with the Scotsman on Tuesday, thus ending his two-year tenure with the Whitecaps that saw him compile a 24-25-19 record and one playoff appearance in 2012.
However, falling short of a post-season spot this time around to go with a poor second half for the second straight year led to his departure.
"The ups and downs are something that we believe we need to address," club president Bob Lenarduzzi said Tuesday. "In both years, we started well and tailed off towards the end.
"There's no doubt there's a fine line between success and what we deem to be failure, and we just need to give ourselves the best chance possible to be on the right side of that. Over the last two years, we felt that was the biggest problem that we had."
The Whitecaps will immediately start their search for the franchise's fourth MLS coach ahead of their fourth season in the league.
According to Lenarduzzi, there's no deadline in hiring a new manager and the team has yet to contact any potential candidates.
However, former San Jose Earthquake and Canadian men's national team coach Frank Yallop has been one of the top rumoured names floating around.
"We don't necessarily want to take too much time in the decision making," Lenarduzzi said, adding that MLS experience could play a part in the hiring. "It's something we will factor into the equation for sure but I don't want to say that's the sole determiner."
Rennie — who had never coached in MLS prior to his hiring in 2011 — found some success with the club, including winning the supporter-created Cascadia Cup this season as the top team in head-to-head competitions between the Seattle Sounders and the Portland Timbers. But it was far from enough.
The Whitecaps couldn't claim the Canadian championship in both attempts under his guidance and were unable to improve in the standings after this past season — which ended with a 13-12-9 record.
"We did suggest we wanted to grow with a young head coach, but we are also mindful of the benchmarks that we've established and we haven't reached those," Lenarduzzi said. "Our decision is based on the fact that we just didn't have success with the key benchmarks that we were looking to accomplish."
As for Rennie, he released a statement through the club.
"Every decision we have made in the last two years has been with the long-term success of the club in mind, and I am convinced that the team is now poised to contend for trophies at every level and meet the expectations that everyone in Vancouver has," he said. "It has been an absolute privilege to have played the role that I have for the Whitecaps."
Note: The assistant coaches will remain with the team, although subject to change depending on the new hiring.