Vancouver Whitecaps: 5 Issues Martin Rennie Must Sort Out

The "Rennie-sance" has begun.As of this writing, new Vancouver Whitecaps head coach Martin Rennie, 36, is leading his team through an evaluation mini-camp that runs from November 2 to November 5. What Rennie hopes to achieve in the next few days is an understanding of the team he has inherited: their strengths, weaknesses and psychology.After two days of the camp so far, Rennie is saying all the right things in pinpointing what needs to be done. There is of course a lot more to do to right the ship, but it seems like Rennie and the 'Caps are off to a great start.Here are five issues that the Scotsman needs to sort out before next season starts.Begin Slideshow
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Vancouver Whitecaps Season Review: 5 Bright Spots from a Troubled Season

A loss against defending MLS Cup champions Colorado Rapids on Saturday left the Vancouver Whitecaps with the worst record in the league.It was a performance that was indicative of how the Whitecaps season has gone all year long—a bad bounce here, a blown call there, a bit of luck for both teams at either end—and in the end, it proved that incoming head coach Martin Rennie has a lot of issues he needs to iron out over the offseason if the Blue and White are to compete for a playoff spot next year.That said, it hasn't been all bad for the Whitecaps in a tough expansion year.Over the course of the season, the Whitecaps have managed to give their fans a number of intriguing storylines, breakout stars and rays of hope. They've given "Goal of the Week" nominated strikes, thrilling comebacks and hard-fought 1-0 wins.Here are five of those bright spots for fans to look back fondly upon, and to begin hoping for the future.Begin Slideshow
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Vancouver Whitecaps vs FC Dallas: 4 Thoughts From Saturday’s Loss

The Vancouver Whitecaps (6W-17L-10D) broke their modest two game winning streak in a 2-0 loss to playoff-bound FC Dallas (15W-11L-7D). The defeat leaves the Blue and White winless (0W-12L-5D) on the road in their inaugural MLS season.Coming off a midweek match, head coach Tommy Soehn made a number of changes to his starting lineup.He inserted Michael Boxall for injured centre-back Carlyle Mitchell, left Alain Rochat on the bench, pushed Jordan Harvey back into defense with Shea Salinas starting in his place in midfield.He handed Designated Player Mustapha Jarju a start in place of Chinese striker Long Tan.The changes didn't help the Whitecaps as they fell to two goals by Honduran international Marvin Chavez and United States international Brek Shea.Here are four thoughts from a disappointing night in the Lone Star State.Begin Slideshow
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Vancouver Whitecaps vs. DC United: 5 Thoughts on Wednesday’s Win

In front of an energetic crowd at BC Place, the Vancouver Whitecaps (6-16-10) defeated DC United (9-11-11) 2-1, earning their second victory in a row for the first time and severely damaging DC's playoff hopes.The goals came in quickfire fashion from forwards Camilo Sanvezzo and Long Tan. With less than a minute gone in the first half, Jordan Harvey thumped a cross into the DC penalty box for Camilo to poke into the net, adding to his team-leading goal tally.Not to be outdone, with only a few minutes gone after the restart in the second half, Alain Rochat thumped a ball into the DC penalty box for Long Tan to strike home.And although DC managed to pull a goal back through Brandon McDonald, the Whitecaps stood their ground and held on for a memorable victory.Here are five thoughts on the game.Begin Slideshow
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Vancouver Whitecaps vs. DC United: Predicting Vancouver’s Starting Lineup

The Vancouver Whitecaps (5-16-10) host DC United (9-10-11) Wednesday night at BC Place and are looking to record their first back-to-back wins of the season.Head coach Tommy Soehn gambled on youth against Real Salt Lake last week, starting rarely used youngsters Long Tan, Nizar Khalfan, Jeb Brovsky and newcomer Carlyle Mitchell. The plan paid off as the Whitecaps recorded an energetic and commanding win over RSL.Will Soehn stick with last week's lineup? Or will he give some returning veterans an opportunity to regain their starting places?Begin Slideshow
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Vancouver Whitecaps vs Real Salt Lake: 5 Thoughts from Thursday’s Win

The Vancouver Whitecaps have had a tough inaugural season, no doubt about it. It's been a season of red cards and injuries, coaching staff turmoil and lineup uncertainty; a season where the team has yet to win at all on the road.But, as the difficulties piled up all season long, a bright spot stood on the horizon: The newly renovated BC Place, with its state of the art facilities, was awaiting to welcome the 'Caps with open arms. The excitement in sports-mad Vancouver was building as the Whitecaps prepared to host the Portland Timbers for the opening game at the stadium on Oct. 2, 2011. Surely, the city told itself, surely we would win.Well, it didn't happen, and the Whitecaps had to wait for the next game to get their first win against a depleted Real Salt Lake side.But what a win it was! On two penalties by Camilo Sanvezzo and one cracking volley by Nizar Khalfan, the Whitecaps finally gave BC Place the christening it deserved.Here are five thoughts from a great night in downtown Vancouver.Begin Slideshow
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Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Houston Dynamo: Defense Wins Game

Before another packed house at Empire Field, the Vancouver Whitecaps picked up their fourth victory of what has proven to be a troubled inaugural MLS season. With a goal by substitute winger Shea Salinas, his first as a Whitecap, the team improved its record to 4-13-9. It was a solid performance and the win was a big lift for the team, but the bigger story lies under the surface, and it's one that should give Whitecaps fans hope moving forward. After enduring some deservedly harsh criticism after the Portland game last week, the Whitecaps back line, including goalkeeper Joe Cannon, put in a solid shift to blank the Dynamo's vaunted strike force. It is a soccer truism that defense wins games, and for much of the season the Whitecaps defense was not doing its job too well. Whether it was due to injuries (captain Jay DeMerit and Alain Rochat, notably) or a combination of youth and fatigue (Michael Boxall and Greg Janicki), the Whitecaps were hard pressed to field a consistently strong defense. Add to that the constant flip-flopping in goal between Cannon and Jay Nolly, and you've got a recipe for poor organization and communication issues galore. All of ...
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