The Vancouver Whitecaps have announced that Martin Rennie will take over their head coaching position starting in 2012.
"We are thrilled to have Martin joining our club," said Whitecaps FC CEO Paul Barber. "Martin is widely recognized as one of the top young coaches in North America, and has already experienced tremendous success in his coaching career. Martin possesses all the qualities we look for in a head coach and shares our club philosophy."
We believe that our technical team, with Bob Lenarduzzi as president, Tommy Soehn as director of soccer operations, and Martin Rennie as head coach, will provide us with the experience and resources to be a successful club on and off the pitch."
Joining from the Carolina Railhawks, the 36-year-old Scot will head to Canada after three years in charge of the NASL club.
"I am delighted to have accepted this new opportunity with Vancouver Whitecaps FC," said Rennie. "Vancouver has a rich soccer history, fantastic supporters, and is moving to a new state-of-the-art stadium in the fall. It is a great time to be joining this dynamic and growing organization, and I look forward to working closely with Paul Barber, Bobby Lenarduzzi, Tommy Soehn, and everyone at the club next season. I am also very thankful to the Carolina RailHawks organization and look forward to guiding them to a great finish to the 2011 NASL season."
Rennie has worked his way up through the ranks of American soccer. He began his professional coaching career in 2005 with Cascade Surge of the USL Premier Development League. After a successful season there, he coached the Cleveland City Stars in the old third-tier United Soccer Leagues Second Division (USL-2).
He was USL-2 Coach of the Year in 2007 before leading the Ohio-based club to the USL-2 championship title in 2008. His success in Cleveland earned his position with the Railhawks. In Carolina, he guided the RailHawks to the NASL Conference title in 2010, and was named a Coach of the Year finalist for the fourth consecutive season.
Vancouver's first coach, Teitur Thordarson was let go middway through the club's inaugural season given the team's terrible start to the year. Tom Soehn has been working the bench since then and the move to appoint Rennie shouldn't come as a surprise, given Soehn's role in the front office, which will continue after this regular season.
The Whitecaps will travel to RFK Stadium this weekend with the league's worst record to take on D.C. United