VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced today that the club has re-signed head coach Carl Robinson, assistant coaches Martyn Pert and Gordon Forrest, and goalkeeper coach Marius Røvde to multi-year contract extensions. Per club policy, terms of the deals were not disclosed.
“In just one year, Carl and his staff have done an exceptional job in establishing a foundation, bringing in quality players and people, and taking this team to the next level,” said Whitecaps FC president Bob Lenarduzzi. “They are all highly respected not only within our club, but also around the league and the soccer world. We are confident that their eye for talent, dedication and hard work will continue to yield positive results.”
Robinson and his staff receive extensions after leading Whitecaps FC back to the MLS Cup Playoffs in their first year together. Under the current coaching staff, Vancouver hit the 50 point-mark in 2014, which was the club’s highest-ever point total in MLS and the most ever by a Canadian MLS club. The 'Caps also set a new MLS club record with 18 road points, recorded their fewest amount of losses in a single MLS season, won the Cascadia Cup, and qualified for the CONCACAF Champions League for the first time in club history.
“I’m proud to be the head coach of this team and I know I speak for the rest of my staff when I say how delighted we are to re-sign with Whitecaps FC on a multi-year extension,” Robinson said in an open letter addressed to fans. “I am thankful to everyone involved - from fans, to players, to front office - for having faith in our vision, for being a part of it and for supporting it since day one.”
Robinson, 38, was named head coach of Whitecaps FC on December 16, 2013, after two years as an assistant. Prior to joining Whitecaps FC, Robinson began his coaching career as a player/assistant coach in his second and final season with New York Red Bulls. Robinson also played three seasons with Toronto FC, where he served as the co-captain from 2007 to 2009, and was twice named the club's most valuable player.
In addition to his MLS experience, the native of Llandrindod Wells, Wales, played for more than a decade at the top levels in England and on the international stage with Wales. Notably, the former midfielder enjoyed stints at Wolverhampton Wanderers FC, Portsmouth FC, Sunderland AFC, and Norwich City FC, in addition to having earned 52 caps with the Welsh national team.
Pert, 37, was named assistant coach of Whitecaps FC on January 27, 2014. Hailing from Norfolk, England, Pert had previously served as an assistant coach with English Premier League outfit Cardiff City FC, Football League Championship side Coventry City FC, and the Bahrain senior men’s national team.
A graduate of Loughborough University’s Sport & Exercise master’s program, Pert has held head of conditioning/sports science positions with Watford FC, Fulham FC, and Cardiff City FC. With Cardiff and eventually Watford, Pert served the dual-role as head of conditioning and assistant coach. Additionally, Pert was the reserve team manager with both Watford FC and Coventry City FC.
Pert, a former Norwich City FC youth player, is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese.
Forrest, 38, was named assistant coach of Whitecaps FC on January 9, 2014. The Dunfermline, Scotland, native joined the club in October 2012 as head coach of the U-18 Residency team and manager of coaching development, before taking on the role as head of high performance. Forrest remains responsible for fostering the connection between the first team and Residency and assisting in the development of the Residency players and coaches.
Prior to joining Whitecaps FC, Forrest spent nearly a decade working in soccer development for New Zealand Football and the Scottish Football Association, as well as a period as the assistant coach of East Fife FC in the Scottish Second Division. As a player, Forrest enjoyed a 10-year professional soccer career in which he played for Raith Rovers FC (Scotland), Livingston FC (Scotland), KS Leiftur (Iceland), East Fife FC (Scotland), and Berwick Rangers FC (Scotland).
Røvde, 42, is the longest-serving member of the Whitecaps FC coaching staff, having initially joined the club in June 2011. As goalkeeper coach, the Norwegian works closely with all the club’s goalkeepers, including David Ousted, whose 13 clean sheets topped MLS this past season. Ousted also had the longest shutout streak (393 minutes) in MLS and led the league with 29 “saving catches,” defined as a save without a rebound.
A professional goalkeeper and goalkeeping coach for more than two decades, Røvde has previously served as the head goalkeeper coach at Trinidad & Tobago Professional Football League (TT Pro League) side Joe Public FC and as the director of goalkeepers for the Trinidad & Tobago Football Federation. Røvde's playing career included spells in Norway's top-flight Eliteserien with Stabaek IF, Lillestrom SK, and Hamarkameratene (HamKam), as well as spells in Scotland with Ayr United FC and Motherwell FC. He also had a brief stint in English League One with Welsh outfit Wrexham AFC.
Participate in the best sporting experience in Vancouver! The 2015 Whitecaps FC season kicks off on March 7 versus Toronto FC at BC Place. Whitecaps FC Season Tickets are now on sale. In addition to Season Tickets, Whitecaps FC offer a flexible range of ticket products, including Half-Season Packs, 5-Packs, Student Half-Season Tickets, and a Youth Soccer Half-Season Ticket. For more information on 2015 Season Tickets, visit whitecapsfc.com/tickets.