Bob Lenarduzzi

Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images

Waston, Kamara upset by Vancouver coaching change

Leave a comment

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.

[ MORE: Pulisic shines in BVB blowout ]

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.

It’s time to ask why can’t Canada have nice things?

Leave a comment

Vancouver Whitecaps president and former Canada national team coach Bob Lenarduzzi is sick and tired of watching his country fail on the international stage.

The latest embarrassment was an 8-1 drubbing at the hands of Honduras, a defeat that dramatically and emphatically ended the Maple Leafs World Cup aspirations. Lenarduzzi believe it’s time for changes.

“In my opinion, we haven’t stopped to say what we’re doing isn’t working,” he told MLSSoccer.com. “From a [Canadian Soccer Association] perspective, perhaps what they could do is coordinate the stakeholders that have a role with the elite players to figure out how we can address the problem and give our best young players the opportunity at the best development they can have.”

There is a disconnect between the youth levels — up through the U-20s — and the senior side as players leave the game or simply don’t improve. The arrival of the Whitecaps along with Toronto FC and the Montreal Impact will help, but there needs to be more coordination between the clubs and the federation.

That said, changes take time and patience. You can’t create a wonderful national team overnight, no matter how many tweaks you make.

“I’ve heard it suggested that MLS is here now, so why aren’t we seeing a difference? Well, that’s naïve,” Lenarduzzi said. “Development requires patience and time, and if in eight years by 2022 we’re not seeing a distinct difference as a result of this, then it probably means we haven’t been doing a good job of developing players — but it won’t be for a lack of trying, that’s for sure.”

Hmm, sound like anywhere else in North America?