If there was any question on whether or not the Vancouver Whitecaps believed in Head Coach Carl Robinson, that was certainly answered on Wednesday morning. The club announced the re-signing of Robinson through 2020, as well as multi-year extensions for assistant coaches Martyn Pert and Gordon Forrest.
It’s a vote of confidence for a coaching staff that had a tumultuous 2016 season, in which a club that seemed ready to contend for a playoff spot, failed to qualify. Still, management obviously think this is not going to be the norm from Carl and his team, rewarding him with a strong sign of faith.
From the news release on WhitecapsFC.com:
The 2017 season started for us as soon as the final whistle went on Sunday,” said Whitecaps FC president Bob Lenarduzzi. “Today’s announcement is a statement that everyone is committed to the vision of our club.
“Carl’s body of work over the course of his five years at the club has shown that he is one of the top up-and-coming head coaches in North America. While this past season was certainly a learning experience for everyone involved within the club, we have complete faith in Carl’s continued vision in acquiring the necessary players to build a team that will compete with the best in MLS.”
Now that Robinson is certain he has a job for next season, the work really begins. He must find a consistent scoring threat up front, he must find a way to reform the Whitecaps backline into the dominating presence it used to be. Most importantly, he must figure out what to do with Pedro Morales, the Captain that isn’t earning his paycheque. In a quote from the press release, Robinson acknowledges changes will be made.
As we’ve said all along, we’re building the club for not only the short term, but the medium and long term as well,” said Robinson. “We’re excited to continue building our foundation. We’ve brought in a number of players who have contributed greatly to the successes that we have achieved so far. We have a comprehensive plan for 2017 and beyond; changes will be made and players will be brought in to give our fans the team that they deserve.”
I think owners and top management can be too hard on their managers sometimes, and it’s certainly refreshing to see a team allow their coach to continue with his vision. That being said, If the Whitecaps struggle again in 2017, I can’t imagine Robinson will escape the chopping block again.