Rennie seeks dramatic improvement for Whitecaps FC stretch run

'Caps head coach looking for strong finish to regular season

For a variety of reasons, Vancouver Whitecaps FC head coach Martin Rennie made five changes to his lineup for Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to the LA Galaxy in Carson, California.

The Scotsman rested his fullbacks Young-Pyo Lee and Alain Rochat, who have registered a lot of miles this season, and brought in Matt Watson and Martin Bonjour for the injured pair of Andy O’Brien and Gershon Koffie.

And, in a bid to shuffle the deck a little bit, Rennie dropped starting goalkeeper Joe Cannon for Brad Knighton, and gave Russell Teibert his first start of 2012 at left midfield, a move that dropped Camilo Sanvezzo – the 2011 Whitecaps FC player of the year – to the bench.

While the fourth consecutive loss was obviously disappointing for Whitecaps FC, Rennie seemed reasonably pleased with the performance of those who stepped into the line-up.

WATCH: Galaxy beat Whitecaps 2-0

“For us, it’s about building on things that were positive,” Rennie told Vancouver radio station TEAM 1410 following the match. “There definitely were some performances – for example, Russell Teibert, just coming into the team for his first start – I thought he did a lot of good things. And, Matt Watson coming back brought a lot of energy and broke up a lot of play.

“There were things that were good. Of course, there were things we were very disappointed about. Most notably the result, but it puts us in a position now where every game is like a playoff game, and for us to have success this season we have to win those sorts of games.”

Vancouver will not play their next game until September 15, and with a 10-day break ahead, Rennie has given his team a break in a bid to freshen his teams legs. The first team will not train again until Thursday.

“The next few days we have a few days off,” Rennie said. “All we have to do is really evaluate exactly how we want to go for the remainder of the season. Because we’ve been playing reasonably well for the last six, seven months, we’re still in a position where we can accomplish the goals that we’ve set out to. But what we have to do is improve our performances as a team, and maybe even look at a couple of things about the way we play.

“We’re losing games, we’re not scoring goals, we’re not really looking threatening enough, so we have to figure out a couple of things and improve it dramatically, very quickly.”

Martin MacMahon covers Vancouver Whitecaps FC for MLSsoccer.com.