Caps News March 13th, 2013
The Vancouver Whitecaps have truly become the domain of Coach Martin Rennie in 2013. He is now firmly at the helm of his second season running this team and the Scot has thoroughly remade the west coast crew, with the blessing of team president Bob Lenarduzzi, in the manner he sees fit.
While reviews were mixed on his first campaign, largely due to a very inconsistent run of results with a revolving cast of players, the unfolding present hints at a better future for the Whitecaps.
There is much to admire already in how this team has been assembled. New acquisitions in Japanese midfielder Daigo Kobayashi, ex-Premier League star Nigel Reo-Coker and American centre back Brad Rusin have settled in quickly with all three players making notable contributions in the first two games of the regular season.
Erik Hurtado and Kekuta Manneh bring more speed and skill in yet another successful MLS SuperDraft for the ‘Caps, following established previous Vancouver selections in Omar Salgado (2011) and Darren Mattocks (2012).
However, the additions may actually have provided as much of a boost as the players who have been discarded since last season. Argentine defender Martin Bonjour was cut loose, following a number of poor marking decisions.
He has been more than adequately replaced by Irish national team member Andy O’Brien.
Overshadowing that deletion has been the removal of Rennie favourite Barry Robson, whose combative presence was even more unsettling to his own teammates than the opposition. In fact, the image of Robson screaming and gesticulating at his fellow players on the pitch hinted at a torn dressing room.
The fact that Rennie was willing to admit this mistake and remove the fiery Scottish midfielder, despite intentions to structure his team around Robson, sent a firm message to the rest of the squad that the good of the organization is the primary focus.
Despite the early loss of talismanic captain Jay DeMerit to injury, Vancouver is off to two hard earned wins and has injected hope into the Vancouver market for a potentially championship winning pro sports team.
Rennie has demonstrated he is not afraid to make the difficult choices necessary.
The excitement is back.
Highlights: Whitecaps FC 2-1 Columbus Crew