Dos Santos' tenure as head coach was hardly a stellar one -- Vancouver was 8-16-0 in 2019 and 9-14-0 in 2020 and is 5-8-7 in 2021-- but the 'Caps have an eight-game winning streak in MLS and have won their last two games.
The loss to Pacific FC in Langford on Thursday night marked the second straight time Vancouver has fallen to a CPL team in its entry into the Canadian Championship -- the Canadian cup tournament expanded since the CPL's launch -- as a knockout competition, and it appears to have been the last straw.
Axel Schuster, the Whitecaps sporting director and chief executive officer, explained the impetus for the change in a media call on Friday:
“I’m convinced it could be at exactly the right moment, that it’s the wake-up call to go back and focus also on the small things that we’re not doing well. We decided this morning that this project needs another push, that this project needs some new life.”
Vancouver also parted ways with assistant coach Phillip Dos Santos, Marc's brother.
Whitecaps director of methodology Vanni Sartini will be interim head coach. Assistant coach Ricardo Clark, the former U.S. national team midfielder, and goalkeeper coach Youssef Dahha will remain on the first-team staff.
Canadian Championship (Round 1)
FC Edmonton 0 Cavalry FC 2. (Goals: Mason 31, Fisk 62. Att.: 1,189.)
HFX Wanderers 2 AS Blainville 1. (Goals: Bent 10, Morelli pen.72; Essome Penda pen. 52. Att.: 3,780.)
York United 5 Master's FA 0. (Goals: Ferrari 38, Ramirez 45+2, Wilson 59, Ulbricht pen. 85, 90+1. Att.: 1,102.)
Atletico Ottawa 2 Valour FC 3. (Goals: Wright 16, Martinez Goal 90+2; Rea 30, Ricci 60, 63. Att.: 2,881.)
Pacific FC 4 Vancouver Whitecaps 3. (Campbell pen. 8, Aparicio 28, Heard 63, Diaz 75; Gauld Goal 14, 66, Dajome 90+8. Att.: 4,997.)