VANCOUVER, B.C. – New Vancouver Whitecaps head coach Martin Rennie wrapped up his postseason evaluation camp on Wednesday with a second intra-squad match.
It was a more open affair than the weekend's 0-0 stalemate, as the “Blue” and “White” teams drew 2-2 before the White team prevailed 3-1 on penalties.
“Today was a much more enjoyable game to watch,” Rennie said. “There was much more forward movement and attacking play. I thought it was quite lively – obviously one team did well in the first half, one team did better in the second half.”
The Scotsman has certainly not hidden his intentions to improve Vancouver's attacking style, filled with goals and creativity. Rennie felt even at this early stage that his side are taking that mentality on board.
“But it was much more what I would be hoping to see,” Rennie said. “There were chances created, shots on goal and goals being scored. Overall, I was pretty pleased with it. It was mainly a lot of younger players playing in that game, and I thought they all acquitted themselves pretty well.”
Rennie feels the camp has given him some insight into certain players, and said he's happy players have been receptive to his suggestions.
“Overall, it's improved as the week's gone on,” Rennie said. “I've enjoyed getting to know the guys. I think they're very respectful and responsive to everything that we've asked them to do, and that's a very important thing. They've worked very hard considering it's the end of the season which is often difficult, but I've enjoyed it and it gives me a clearer idea on what we have to do to make the team better and I'm happy to do that.”
Now the club enters the offseason proper, but that doesn't mean the technical staff won't be as busy as ever. They will continue to look at their discovery list and prepare for scouting trips, at least one of which will be to Central America.
The next significant event for the club will be the Nov. 23 MLS Expansion Draft. Rennie and the technical staff must look at which 11 players to protect from incoming Canadian rivals Montreal Impact. The manager told reporters he doesn't expect the club to make any roster moves prior to the Expansion Draft, and that includes releasing or waiving players.
Martin MacMahon covers the Vancouver Whitecaps for MLSsoccer.com.