Martin Rennie shapes his Whitecaps FC squad for 2012

Off-season changes

After being around Vancouver Whitecaps FC head coach Martin Rennie for a couple of weeks, it was obvious to me why we had signed him and what he was going to bring to the club. My first observations of him were; he already had a vision of what his team was going to look like, and it was not going to take him long to make decisions and act on them.

Early on in the off-season camp, Rennie told a number of reporters that he liked what the young Whitecaps FC Residency players were bringing to the table. Soon after the camp ended, Residency captain and 2010 U-17 Canadian Player of the Year Bryce Alderson was signed to a Homegrown Generation adidas contract in Major League Soccer.

I feel having been a professional myself that the ‘Caps players will appreciate Rennie’s commitment to making decisions quickly and decisive. Many decisions are difficult when you are dealing with people’s lives, but now, Jeb Brovsky, Nizar Khalfan, and Shea Salinas can look forward to furthering their careers in new MLS cities, while Bilal Duckett and Alexandre Morfaw can start to plan for their future, hopefully with another MLS club.

Continuing with the busy off-season, the club confirmed today that there are six players that may be eligible for the Re-Entry Draft Process that has Stage 1 next Monday, December 5, and Stage 2 on Monday, December 12. After speaking with Rennie, I can see the club trying to renegotiate with a couple of these players and try to get them signed on new contracts.

Another thing that stuck in my mind after the interview was how important it was to find players with character and how challenging it was to sign players this time of the year. This tells me again that he has made his mind up on a number of players that he wants for next year’s MLS roster.

With Rennie going home to Scotland for an off-season break, he was naturally looking forward seeing some family, but he was also going to look up his contacts in Scotland and England, as he continues to look for his kind of Whitecaps FC player.

Check out my one-on-one interview with head coach Martin Rennie.