Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
For Vancouver's Rennie, size does matter
by Ridge Mahoney, January 17th, 2012 2:43AM

MOST READ
TAGS:  mls, vancouver whitecaps

MOST COMMENTED

[MLS SPOTLIGHT] If Vancouver head coach Martin Rennie goes about his business a little differently than most of his counterparts, that won’t bother team president Bob Lenarduzzi.

In the five months or so since Vancouver hired Rennie as its third MLS head coach, Lenarduzzi -- who coached Canada’s national team and several clubs after a 16-year pro playing career -- has learned many things about Rennie, including that the Scotsman likes his players to fit their positions. Literally.

“He’s pretty calculated,” says Lenarduzzi of the former Carolina Railhawks coach hired in August to replace Teitur Thordarson, who was dismissed after a dozen games and temporarily replaced by director of soccer operations Tom Soehn. “He has a plan and he knows exactly what he’s looking for with specific positions.

“Not just the type of player but actually even the size of a player he wants in a position. That was quite more detailed than what you would normally expect even for someone like me who’s coached before. My feeling always was if the player was good enough to play that position, size was irrelevant. He’s pretty adamant about what he’s looking for from a position-specific point of view.”

Prior to the SuperDraft, the Whitecaps signed a fleet of players, two of which -- former U.S. international Lee Nguyen and South Korean defender Young-Pyo Lee -- are on the smallish side at about 5-foot-9. To bolster the central defense, Argentine Martin Bonjour (6-foot-3, 190 pounds) has been added.

The 'Caps already have striker Eric Hassli, one of the biggest field players in the league at 6-foot-4, 200 pounds, as well as rather diminutive attackers Davide Chiumiento (5-foot-8) and Camilo (5-foot-7).

Neither of the Whitecaps’ two SuperDraft selections are physically extreme yet both come to the club well-regarded. Forward Darren Mattocks, the No. 2 overall selection, is a speedy 6-footer Rennie believes can supplement the strengths of his fellow attackers. Chris Estridge (5-foot-11, 160) is a right back who can also play in midfield.

The ‘Caps have nowhere to go but up: they won just six games in their expansion season and finished tied with New England at the bottom of the overall standings with 28 points (6-18-10). They also scored a league-low 35 goals.

“The tactics and everything will be different from before anyway,” said Rennie at the SuperDraft. “I’ve got my own ideas on that. I’m always looking for players who can get behind and stretch people and [Mattocks] does that. That’s his strength. He’s not necessarily the guy who always comes short for the ball, he’s the guy who goes in behind. In every league, it’s all about penetration and movement, and he’s got that.”

Aside from the size issue, Lenarduzzi is encouraged by the moves his head coach has made and believes the additions of Nguyen and Mattocks can pump up the attack. Last season, Camilo led the team with 12 goals and Hassli scored 10; the rest of the roster managed only 13.

“Martin in his previous coaching stints, he’s always been someone who’s very disciplined in terms of how he wants to defend but he likes to attack, so that’s a lot of attacking options to pick from,” says Lenarduzzi. “He’s very thorough and does his homework. I think that’s evident up to now; with players in and out, we’ve made 16 roster changes and there’s more to come.”



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
NCAA Division I Women's Tournament Scoreboard    
[SCHEDULE: Friday] The NCAA Division I Women's Tournament moves into the second round at regional sites ...
NCAA Division I Men's Tournament Scoreboard    
[ROUNDUP: Thursday] San Diego converted penalty kicks in the 89th and 103rd minutes from Keegan Smith ...
Toronto FC becomes sixth MLS club to launch second team    
[USL PRO] A sixth MLS club announced plans to enter a second team in USL PRO ...
A glimpse into the thinking of Sounders' brain trust    
[MLS SPOTLIGHT] The closest thing any MLS club is to a European-style members club, like Barcelona ...
Ferguson named Honorary All-American    
[NSCAA] The NSCAA will honor Alex Ferguson as the 2014 Honorary All-American at the organization's All-America ...
Keane, Martins and Nguyen are MLS MVP finalists    
[AWARDS] Robbie Keane, Obafemi Martins and Lee Nguyen, who will all take part in the conference ...
Well, that's rather embarrassing     
[VIDEO PICK: Off the Post] During a scoreless tie with Lithuania earlier this week, Ukraine midfielder ...
Howard wins second Athlete of the Year honor    
[AWARDS] Tim Howard was voted the U.S. Soccer Male Athlete of the Year for the second ...
What They're Saying: Nathan Arnold     
"This is just a starting point for me. Back home I did my mates' hair and ...
Good or bad news on D.C stadium front?    
[MLS SPOTLIGHT] So what's the meaning of the pronouncement by Washington, D.C. mayor-elect Muriel E. Bowser ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives