Why Martin Rennie should keep his job
By Jon Szekeres
His job has been on the line ever since the Whitecaps devastating Canadian Championship loss to the Montreal Impact, but should Head Coach Martin Rennie really be feeling as much heat as he is? Really, it's the nature of the beast. Sports is a 'what have you done for me lately' business, and the Whitecaps playoff appearance is firmly in the review mirror for management, and more importantly, fans. Many have pointed to Rennie's lack of a killer instinct as reason for jettisoning him from the squad, and I understand the frustration many fans are feeling. Up 2-1, and with their foot firmly on the gas pedal, Rennie decided to take out Kenny Miller and plug in Jordan Harvey, a defensive player for an offensive one. Clearly, Rennie was playing to defend the lead, instead of trying to extend it. With all the pressure and momentum Vancouver was carrying Montreal's way, it's a head scratcher as to why he did what he did, but it happened. The Impact would eventually tie the score, and with the 'Caps needing a goal late, the football gods mocked us once again, giving Jordan Harvey the final two chances of the match.
Sports is rooted in passion, and so you will occasionally see knee-jerk responses. However, hasn't Rennie done enough lately to earn a little slack? The Whitecaps have one loss in their last 9 matches, and that includes a powerful 2-1 victory over the New York Red Bulls on the weekend. In fact, in their last three MLS matches the Whitecaps have beaten the LA Galaxy 3-1, tied the Portland Timbers in a match they were minutes away from winning, and bested the New York Red Bulls 2-1. Really, the Vancouver Whitecaps are red freaking hot now, and fans want the general gone? I understand the devastation of being a five time runner up for the Canadian Championship, but does no one else want to see what Rennie and this club can do for the rest of the season? There is plenty of football left to be played, and the Whitecaps seem to be peaking at the right time. Today, they sit in 7th place with 16 points, but the gradual climb to the playoff bubble could start to take shape soon. If the 'Caps beat the Sounders this weekend, they'll leapfrog Seattle into 6th, one point behind a playoff spot. With so many matches left to be played, it would be downright foolish to mess with the chemistry of this team now.
I know fans and media alike want heads to roll after the draw to the Impact. I know Rennie has been behind the helm of some lengthy losing streaks, and I know more was expected this season. However, let's give Rennie a few more weeks to show us what he really has, because right now, the Whitecaps are playing their best football in recent memory.