Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced today the appointment of Martin Rennie as the Major League Soccer club's head coach following the completion of the 2011 season. Per club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.
Currently the head coach of Carolina RailHawks of the North American Soccer League (NASL), the 36-year-old will take over the head coaching duties of Whitecaps FC from the start of the 2012 MLS season. Acting head coach Tom Soehn will re-focus on his role as Whitecaps FC director of soccer operations following the completion of the 2011 campaign.
"We are thrilled to have Martin joining our club," said Whitecaps FC chief executive officer 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."
In his third season as RailHawks head coach, the native of Thurso, Scotland, has helped Carolina become the first club to clinch a berth for the 2011 NASL playoffs, with nine matches remaining in their regular season schedule. The North Carolina-based outfit currently lead the NASL with a 14W-3L-2D record. Rennie’s RailHawks lead the NASL in almost every statistical category, having outscored their opponents 40 to 16 and posting six shutouts. Last season, Rennie guided the RailHawks to the NASL Conference title and a runners-up finish in the United States Soccer Federation Division-2 Professional League (USSF D-2) finals. Following the 2010 campaign, Rennie was named a 'Coach of the Year' finalist for the fourth consecutive season.
"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."
Prior to joining the RailHawks, Rennie enjoyed two very successful seasons with Cleveland City Stars in the old third-tier United Soccer Leagues Second Division (USL-2). In the club's first two years of existence, the Rennie-led Stars were unbeaten at home in the regular season and finished runners-up in league play in 2007. He was USL-2 Coach of the Year in 2007 before leading the Ohio-based club to the USL-2 championship title in 2008.
Rennie began his professional coaching career in 2005 with Cascade Surge of the USL Premier Development League. During his one and only season with the Surge, the Oregon-based outfit outscored their opponents 47 to 23 in league play and claimed the PDL's Western Conference, Northwest Division regular season title.
In total, Rennie's professional coaching record currently stands at 87 wins, 33 losses, and 40 draws, while outscoring their opponents 272 to 147. His coaching credentials include UEFA 'A' and 'B' Coaching Licenses, as well as a UEFA Youth License. Rennie is one of only a handful of coaches worldwide who possesses both the UEFA 'A' and Youth Licenses. Rennie also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration and Management from Glasgow Caledonian University in Scotland.
About Vancouver Whitecaps FC
In 1974, Vancouver Whitecaps FC played their inaugural season in the North American Soccer League, and in 1979, the club won the NASL Soccer Bowl championship. From 1987 to 1992, as a member of the Canadian Soccer League, Vancouver won four straight CSL titles. In 2002, Whitecaps FC created a full club model that encompasses professional teams for men and women, extensive youth development and grassroots participation programs, facility development, and the Whitecaps Foundation to support specific initiatives related to health and wellness through soccer. Since 2004, Whitecaps FC have won two United Soccer Leagues First Division championships and two USL W-League championships. This year, Whitecaps FC began their inaugural season in Major League Soccer on Bell Pitch at Empire Field and will move to their new home in early October at Bell Pitch downtown.