Whitecaps announce new Men's coach

VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced today that Teitur (TAY-tour) Thordarson (TOR-dar-SUN) has been named the new head coach of the Vancouver Whitecaps men’s team. Thordarson, the former head coach of the Estonian national team, agreed to a two-year deal with the Whitecaps.

Click here to read the reaction of Whitecaps players and coaching staff to Teitur Thordarson's appointment.

Click here to view the press conference

“We are thrilled to welcome Teitur to our city and organization,” said Bob Lenarduzzi, Vancouver Whitecaps President. “We did our due diligence and after spending some quality time with Teitur, I am confident he will be a huge asset to our club. In addition to his responsibilities with the first team, he will play a major role in our youth development programs, working closely with Residency directing manager Thomas Niendorf, and Boys Prospect head coach Bart Choufour.”

Thordarson joins the Whitecaps with an extensive coaching resume that spans over two decades, having worked with both first teams and youth academies. Most recently in 2006, the 55-year-old native of Akranes, Iceland led Knattspyrnufélag Reykjavíkur (Reykjavík Football Club) of the Landsbankadeild, Iceland’s premier division, to a second-place league finish and a spot in the Icelandic Cup final.

“I am very excited about this unique opportunity to work with the Vancouver Whitecaps FC,” said Thordarson. “I am impressed with the vision of the organization and look forward to leading the integration of programs from grassroots to professional teams.”

The majority of Thordarson’s coaching career has evolved around Norway’s top flight, the Tippeligaen, where he coached for 11 seasons. In 1988, Thordarson landed his first head coaching position in Norway’s premier league with SK Brann and led them to the Norwegian Men's Football Cup final. He continued to coach SK Brann through to 1990 before joining FC Lyn Oslo for two seasons. In 1994, he took over as coach for Lillestrøm SK and guided them to second and fourth-place finishes in 1994 and 1995 respectively.

In 1996, Thordarson left Norway to take over FC Flora Tallinn of the Meistriliiga, Estonia’s highest division and the Estonian national team. The Icelander flourished at both the club and country level in the Baltic nation. In five seasons (four years) with FC Flora Tallinn, he led them to two first-place league finishes in 1997 and 1998, the 1997-1998 Estonia Cup and the 1998 Estonia Super Cup. On the national team side, Thordarson took over a team positioned 145 by the FIFA World Rankings in January 1996 and helped them move up to 68 in November 1999. For his work in developing Estonian football, he received a medal from the President of Estonia in February 2000.

Following his time in Estonia, Thordarson returned to his former club, SK Brann, and guided them to a second-place league finish in 2000. He coach two more years with SK Brann before having a one-year stint with FC Lyn Oslo in 2003. FC Lyn Oslo was the last team he coached in Norway’s premier division finishing with an overall regular-season record of 111 wins, 97 losses and 53 ties.

In addition to his achievements as a coach, Thordarson enjoyed a very successful playing career. He signed his first professional contract with Íróttabandalag Akraness (ÍA) of the Landsbankadeild in 1969. The prolific striker went on to score 51 goals in 99 matches from 1969 to 1976, while winning four Icelandic championships with ÍA. Thordarson went on to play for a handful of other teams in Europe including Östers IF, where they won three league championships as part of Sweden’s top flight league in the Allsvenskan and Racing Club de Lens of Ligue 1, the top French division. At the national team level, Thordarson is a former captain for his native Iceland, having earned 41 caps, 39 starts, and having scored nine goals.

Thordarson becomes the Whitecaps sixth head coach heading into the team’s 22nd season of play and he follows Bob Lenarduzzi (1987-1993), Carl Valentine (1994-1999), Dale Mitchell (2000-2001), Tony Fonseca (2002-2004) and Bob Lilley (2005-2007).

Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2008 season tickets are on sale now. Early bird prices start at $189.05, and all season ticket packages include a bonus ticket to next year’s international friendly match. For information, visit whitecapsfc.com or call the Whitecaps office at 604.669.WAVE (9283).