‘I just want to start working’: Marc Dos Santos named new Whitecaps head coach

The Whitecaps finished the season with a 13-13-8 record, two spots out of a playoff position

A bright red line will soon go on display in the Vancouver Whitecaps locker room, marking a shift in culture under the club’s new head coach.

The Whitecaps announced Wednesday that Marc Dos Santos has been appointed to lead the team through 2021. The 41-year-old Montreal native has spent 12 years coaching professional soccer, most recently as an assistant for Major League Soccer club Los Angeles FC.

In each coaching role, Dos Santos has drawn a red line on a board to mark the split between teams bound for the post-season and those that are not, then posted the board in the dressing room before the season kicks off.

“The first thing that’s going to be clear with players is that we have to be above that line every day,” Dos Santos said at a press conference on Wednesday.

The Whitecaps finished the season with a 13-13-8 record, two spots out of a playoff position.

Some players and the team’s general manager have said a “divided” locker room caused problems on the field, and that the issue grew after the organization fired coach Carl Robinson and his staff in late September.

Veteran Whitecaps midfielder Russell Teibert and defender Doneil Henry said last week that some of their teammates hadn’t been playing with the club’s interests in mind.

The team’s captain, Kendall Waston, also announced that he wants to leave Vancouver and has asked his agent to find him a new place to play.

“There were things that happened in the past locker room that were very good, others that were not so good. I’m here to try and change it and try to bring it to another level,” Dos Santos said.

Creating a new culture and identity isn’t easy, he added.

READ MORE: Canadian Marc Dos Santos gets Vancouver Whitecaps coaching job

“It’s not a Power Point presentation to the players or a motivational speaker or Harry Potter with a wand and now we have culture. That’s done in the day-to-day, every day.”

Despite the challenges ahead, Dos Santos said he’s looking forward to his new role with the ‘Caps.

“We all share the same vision and the same passion, that is to grow this club into a championship team. That’s in my DNA. It’s a dream for me to be in a club and right away be thinking ‘How can we win titles?’ … I just want to start working,” he said.

Dos Santos previously worked with the San Francisco Deltas of the North American Soccer League, where he earned manager of the year honours in 2017. He also guided the Ottawa Fury to the NASL final in 2015, his second and final year with the squad.

His track record of winning in a variety of circumstances is part of what earned him the Whitecaps role, said general manager Bob Lenarduzzi.

“For us as a club, we wanted someone who was like minded,” he said. “We believe that we can win a championship and we wanted someone to come in and feel the same way.”

The coach stood out from other “big names” up for the job because of his strong character, his clear plan for the team and his open mind about the future, said ‘Caps co-owner Jeff Mallett.

“He’s here because he’s the right coach and the right person to take us forward,” Mallett said.

“There’s a heck of a lot of work to do, but I feel confident that we’ve re-aligned, got ourselves going and have the right person in the middle of it to get us there.”

Dos Santos now begins the process of hiring assistant coaches and making decisions about the roster.

He said he has an idea of who he wants on his staff, but will speak with management about specific names in the coming days.

The new coach also plans to sit down with each of the players currently under contract or options with the club. While it would be great to sign a big-name multimillion-dollar player, Dos Santos said his focus has always been on getting the most out of the talent that’s already available.

“In my career, I’ve always focused on maximizing what I have,” he said. ”You waste a lot of energy, sometimes, talking about what the others have.”

Dos Santos will also work closely with Whitecaps FC Academy director Craig Dalrymple, who stepped in as coach for the final five games of the season.

Last season, the club agreed to a record-breaking transfer deal with German soccer giant Bayern Munich for star midfielder Alphonso Davies, who worked his way through the Whitecaps development program.

The team also has promising young talent in 16-year-old midfielder Simon Colyn, who made his debut with the MLS team in the Whitecaps final game of the season.

The opportunity to develop homegrown talent is part of what drew Dos Santos — who has dual Canadian and Portuguese citizenship — to Vancouver.

“I have a passion towards this country,” he said. “It’s the country that gave me a chance to start my career. I have a dream of seeing this country grow in the soccer world.”

Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

International Guitar Night back in Duncan for incredible night of guitar showmanship

Guitarists celebrate 19 years of touring by returning to Cowichan

Former Chargers helping VIU teams to successful seasons

Groenendijk sisters team up with undefeated Mariners

‘Be Our Guest!’ say the Medford Singers, as they present two concerts

It’s Disney time in Duncan and Lake Cowichan as this enthusiastic choir sings songs from the movies

Bulldogs a big part of football bowl games

Five Cowichan Bulldogs midget football players helped Team BC to a come-from-behind win in ABC Bowl

Cowichan rowing club thrilled that national rowing centre moving to Quamichan Lake

Saanich’s bid for national rowing centre at Elk Lake sunk

VIDEO: U.S. Congress to probe whether Trump told lawyer Cohen to lie

At issue is a BuzzFeed News report that about negotiations over a Moscow real estate project

Coming up in Cowichan: Anti-pipeline meeting; women’s shelter open house

Public meeting in Duncan to support pipeline protests A public meeting has… Continue reading

Charges upgraded against mother of murdered B.C. girl

Kerryann Lewis now faces first- rather than second-degree murder in the death of Aaliyah Rosa.

Explosion sends B.C. firefighter to hospital

Kelowna fire crews responded to a blaze at Pope’sGallery of BC Art & Photography on Friday

Ex-Mountie investigating ‘Surrey six’ murders pleads guilty to obstruction

Derek Brassington entered his plea in B.C. Supreme Court on Friday

Rare ‘super blood wolf moon’ takes to the skies this Sunday

Celestial event happens only three times this century

Arrest made after historic B.C. church hit by arson

The fire at the 150-year-old Murray United Church in Merritt was considered a possible hate crime

B.C. dangerous offender in court for violating no-contact order, sends letter to victim

Wayne Belleville was shocked to see a letter addressed to him from his shooter, Ronald Teneycke

Man blames his loud car radio, sirens for crash with B.C. ambulance

Tribunal rejects bid to recoup ICBC costs after crash deemed 100-per-cent his fault

Most Read