Home MLS Vancouver Whitecaps Whitecaps show Thordarson the door after 12 MLS games

Whitecaps show Thordarson the door after 12 MLS games

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Expansion team or not, the Whitecaps’ brass expected better than winning just one out of its first dozen games in a home-heavy early season schedule.

Coach Teitur Thordarson paid for it with his job. The club’s Director of Soccer Operations, Tom Soehn, takes over as the new coach of the club. Before coming to Vancouver, Soehn spent a tumultuous three years coaching D.C. United after being promoted up to the job. After winning the Supporters’ Shield in 2007, the club underwent a decline through the end of his reign, in 2009.

Goalkeeping coach Mike Salmon was also terminated.

Teitur Thordarson: One win in 12 games

“Teitur and Mike have served the club extremely well in recent seasons but we feel that today’s changes are necessary in order to accelerate the process of turning around our difficult start to the season,” said Whitecaps’ CEO Paul Barber in a release. “We wish Teitur and Mike well for the future.”

Denis Hamlett, the former head coach of the Chicago Fire, also gives the Whitecaps MLS experience behind the bench. And it would be easy to make the argument that he should have got the call over Soehn; the Fire was a contender in both of Hamlett’s season in charge. The rub on Hamlett was the Fire’s capitulation in the 2008 and 2009 playoffs when it was favoured to make runs deep into the playoffs and even get to MLS Cup.

In MLS, a league where expansion teams can come in an be successful right away (Chicago won it all in its expansion year; Seattle and Portland have looked good right off the bat), it is clear that the club didn’t see itself bringing up the rear of the Western Conference when it kicked off the season in March.

MLS is a league where rebuilding phases take months, not years.

In Teitur Thordarson’s case, his examination lasted all of 12 MLS games. He led the Whitecaps to one USL championship and got the club to another USL title game; but the very short leash he was on was yanked back on Saturday after the draw with the New York Red Bulls, when Barber, Soehn and team president Bob Lenarduzzi decided it was time for the change.

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