The Vancouver Whitecaps parted ways with one of the longer tenured managers in Major League Soccer, and two of its stars are not happy with the move.
Carl Robinson was fired Tuesday after nearly five years in charge of the Caps, when Vancouver elected to hire him over Bob Bradley and other candidates.
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But things turned sour this season, and Vancouver president Bob Lenarduzzi is hoping a late coaching change can propel the Caps back into the playoffs. Vancouver is four points back of the final spot with five matches to play.
Kendall Waston joined Vancouver at the end of Robinson’s first season, and was twice named to the MLS Best XI in addition to making the All Star Team in 2016. From MLSSoccer.com:
“It’s a difficult moment. I’m not happy at all. But as a player, you have bosses, and even if you don’t like the things that happen, you have to respect what those bosses say. … I was thinking, with five games to go, was this the right moment? Personally, I don’t think it was the right moment, but I’m not in charge of the club.”
The Costa Rican captains Vancouver, so his feelings certainly matter when it comes to how they rebound from the decision.
And star striker Kei Kamara admits he feels the firing in his bones.
“He believed in me, he believed in how I could play, he believed that I can fit the system, and I respect him so much as a coach and for everything he’s done here,” Kamara said. “So when I heard the news, I took it personally too because I feel that we did that to him as players. … I feel responsible for part of it.”
The Caps have a rough run into the end of the season, with a visit to the desperate LA Galaxy before heading across the continent to meet Toronto FC at BMO Field. They finish home to Sporting KC, away to LAFC, and home to Portland.