VANCOUVER, BC - The Marc Dos Santos era has begun in Vancouver.
The 41-year-old Canadian was announced as Whitecaps FC’s fourth permanent coach of their MLS era on Wednesday after weeks of speculation.
With a NASL and USL championship under his belt, Dos Santos brings with him 12 years of coaching experience across Canada, America, and Brazil, the most recent of which was in MLS as Bob Bradley's assistant at LAFC. That experience and the success that he's had everywhere he's gone led Vancouver to feel that Dos Santos was their ideal choice to move the club forward.
“The fact that he's won,” was Whitecaps FC president Bob Lenarduzzi's response as to why Dos Santos. “Everything that he's done from the time he started coaching until now, it feels to us that what he's strived to do is to make sure that he's put himself in different situations so that he could eventually, when the opportunity came, be in the best position possible to have success.
“It's a jump up in levels, but the fact that he had the experience in Kansas City and the invaluable experience this past season in LA, I think he's as ready as he's ever going to be to have success at the MLS level. For us as a club, we wanted someone that was like-minded. We believe we can win a championship and we wanted someone to come in and feel the same way, and from the time was started talking, it was evident that that was what his objective.”
Whitecaps FC co-owner Jeff Mallett revealed that the club had received close to a hundred qualified resumes for the position of Vancouver's head coach, and after whittling that number down and undertaking a number of interviews, for him, Dos Santos was clearly the number one choice.
“There's three things for me for Marc,” Mallett told the assembled crowd. “First of all it's his strong character. He's a good man. Secondly, he knows his football plan. He knows how he approaches the game, how he prepares for the game, and he's learned a lot.
“As we were looking against other candidates, and there were some big names that would have looked good for some announcements, Marc clearly was open-minded about how do we build a plan, like let's look at the Academy, what do we do here. So his ability to come in with a direction, come in with a conviction, but be open to how to how I augment that and how do I build upon that.”
The discussions with Dos Santos began three weeks ago, and after looking at the structure of the club, he felt the ‘Caps were the perfect fit for him on many levels.
“Number one, they're a Canadian club,” Dos Santos said. “I've got a passion towards this country. It's the country that gave me the opportunity to start my career and I have the dream of seeing this country grow in the soccer world.
“Then everything regarding the structure of the club. All the work that's been done in the Academy ... That is very appealing to me. It's a club that has a dream of building players through the Academy and working on that vertical integration."
Tied in with that is ambition.
Dos Santos has always come across as a very driven coach with a serious desire for success. He wants to win titles and he feels he can do that in Vancouver.
“It's a club I've followed, I've seen grow, and I've competed a lot against,” Dos Santos said. “We all share the same passion and that's to grow this club into a championship team. That's in my DNA and it's a dream for me to be in a club and right away to think how can we win titles and I know I share that dream with all the owners at this club.”