Assistant Coach - Paul Ritchie
Birthplace - Kirkcaldy, Scotland
Hometown - Glenrothes, Scotland
Citizenship - Scottish
Seasons with Whitecaps FC - 2012
Acquired - 2011.11.03
Previous Club - Carolina RailHawks (NASL)
A former Scotland international that enjoyed a successful playing career in Scotland and England, Paul Ritchie became Vancouver Whitecaps FC assistant coach on November 3, 2011, reuniting with head coach Martin Rennie after working with his fellow countryman at North American Soccer League (NASL) club Carolina RailHawks.
The native of Kirkcaldy, Scotland, moves to Major League Soccer with Whitecaps FC after two successful seasons as Rennie’s first assistant with the RailHawks. In the inaugural season of the new NASL in 2011, Ritchie helped guide the North American second division outfit to an NASL regular season title with a record of 17W-8L-3D, with the North Carolina club finishing the campaign as league leaders in goals scored with 50 in 28 matches, while conceding a league-best 26 goals. Though they clinched a bye to the playoff semifinals, the RailHawks saw their 2011 season come to a disappointing end when they lost 5-3 on penalties to eventual NASL champions NSC Minnesota Stars following a 4-4 aggregate draw in their semifinal series. In 2010, Ritchie helped Carolina to an NASL Conference title during the 2010 United States Soccer Federation Division-2 Professional League (USSF D-2) season with a record of 13W-9L-8D. The RailHawks then advanced all the way to the USSF D-2 championship series before falling 3-1 on aggregate to Puerto Rico Islanders.
Before joining the RailHawks coaching staff, Ritchie spent a year coaching with Manchester United Soccer Schools (MUSS). This included involvement in a number of international projects and spending the summer of 2009 at their prestigious residential program at Denstone College in Uttoxeter, England. From September 2007 to November 2008, Ritchie served as the U-19 coach with Scottish First Division club Dundee FC.
As a player, Ritchie appeared for several top clubs in Scotland and England. He started his career at Scottish Premier League (SPL) side Heart of Midlothian FC in 1992, where he spent eight years with the Edinburgh-based outfit. In the 1997-98 season, Ritchie helped Hearts claim a sixth Scottish FA Cup title. A defender, Ritchie then spent six months on loan with Bolton Wanderers FC during the 1999-2000 English League Championship season, with The Trotters reaching the promotion playoffs and the semifinals of both the English FA Cup and League Cup. In June 2000, Ritchie signed with Scottish giants Rangers FC before the Old Firm club sold him to English Premier League outfit Manchester City FC in August 2000. The defender spent three seasons with City, though his last season included loan spells with English League Championship sides Portsmouth FC and Derby County FC. He then remained in the second tier of English soccer for the 2003-04 season with Walsall FC before returning to the SPL when he joined Dundee United FC in July 2004. In two seasons with The Terrors, Ritchie helped the Tayside outfit to the Scottish FA Cup final in the 2004-05 season. He then had a brief spell in Cyprus with Athletic Club Omonoia Nicosia before ending his playing career with Carolina RailHawks after making one appearance during the 2009 United Soccer Leagues First Division campaign. A Scotland international, Ritchie scored one goal in seven appearances for his country between April 1999 and February 2004. The centre back made his international debut in a 1-0 friendly win over Germany on April 28, 1999, before scoring his lone international goal in qualifying for the 2000 UEFA European Championship, as Scotland fell 3-2 away to Czech Republic on June 9, 1999.
Currently working towards his Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Pro Licence, Ritchie holds UEFA 'A' and 'B' Coaching Licences, as well as a Scottish Football Association Youth Licence.
Born August 21, 1975, in Kirkcaldy, Scotland, Ritchie grew up in the nearby town of Glenrothes, Scotland. He is married to wife Gill and has two boys named Jordan and Dylan.