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  • Rumours swirl as Whitecaps announce yet another "important club announcement"


    The Vancouver Whitecaps are preparing to make yet another "important club announcement" tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. Pacific Time.

    There's the usual rumours floating around about Owen Hargreaves and friends, but signs seem to be pointing to a coaching change.


    The first hint was in the wording of the press release itself. Tommy Soehn was listed as "Director of Soccer Operations," whereas in previous releases, his title read as "Head Coach."

    Perhaps a glitch, perhaps an oversight, but it was noticeable immediately. And yes, Soehn did retain that position when he stepped in, but it's the fact that his title was changed for this press release that caught the eye.

    So, if he is indeed going back up to the director's box, who is stepping into his shoes?

    Well, if you do the math, it could very well be Martin Rennie, head coach of the Carolina RailHawks of the North American Soccer League. The RailHawks have called a press conference for tomorrow as well, to deal with "a matter of importance to the club."

    Rennie is highly thought of in the North American soccer community, and reports have indicated that he was interviewed for the Montreal Impact head coaching position ahead of that club's move to Major League Soccer, and rejected the offer he was given.

    Rennie is a young coach at only 36 years of age, but has had success in the lower levels of North American soccer, having won a championship with USL Division 2 team Cleveland City Stars in 2008. He also won Coach of the Year in both of his seasons with the Stars.

    His success with the Stars led to an opportunity in USL 1 with the Carolina RailHawks, where he has been coaching since 2009. He demolished the existing squad upon taking over and brought the team to within two points of the regular season title, before following up that year with a championship in the 2010 season.

    If you have a look at the standings in NASL this year, Rennie's side is 12 points clear at the top of the table and look on course for at least a regular season title.

    Nothing is certain, but if Rennie is indeed named the long-term Whitecaps coach, it's my hunch he'll want to see out the rest of the season with the RailHawks before going to Vancouver.

    Taking over at this stage would have its benefits, but in terms of getting to know the players, given Rennie's previous decision to clear house upon taking over in Carolina, "getting to know the squad" might be irrelevant.

    Anyway, whatever happens, Canadian Soccer News will keep you up to date.


    Martin MacMahon is a broadcast journalism student at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. He covers Vancouver Whitecaps FC for a number of soccer websites.

    Follow him on Twitter: @martinmacmahon

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