VANCOUVER, B.C. — As the search to replace outgoing Vancouver Whitecaps head coach Martin Rennie begins this week, there's a popular option to replace him on already on the payroll.
To listen to Russell Teibert and Camilo tell it, Whitecaps assistant coach Carl Robinson would be welcomed should he land the gig.
“Of course I would,” winger Russell Teibert told reporters when asked if he'd like to see the club seriously look at giving Robinson the role following end-of-season fitness testing at the University of British Columbia on Thursday. “Carl Robinson's been fantastic to me ever since I got here, and I really respect him. Even when times were tough, he was always the one that was building me up.
“Even when times were going well, he was the one that was saying, 'You've got to come down to Earth,' or, 'You need to work on things, you're not there yet.' He's really honest with every individual player and you can't not respect the man because he's been there and he's done that. For me, I'd be thrilled and I think everyone else on this team would be thrilled as well.”
Under Rennie, Teibert broke through to the first team on a regular basis for the first time this season. But when asked about his time under the former coach, who hardly played him at all in 2012, the Canadian international opted instead to speak about Robinson and fellow assistant coach Paul Ritchie.
“I spent two years under [Rennie], and the first year I obviously didn't get much playing time, and I had to work my way into his system,” Teibert said. “Credit to the assistant coaches and a lot of people within the club that helped me persevere through the hard times.”
Another big fan of a potential Robinson appointment is Golden Boot winner Camilo. The Brazilian regularly brings up the coach, often unprompted, during media scrums and one-on-one interviews.
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Robinson, also a former EPL midfielder with Sunderland and Norwich City, often spent extra time with Camilo after practice. And that work showed in the forward's 22-goal season, Camilo said.
“He's a good guy,” Camilo said of Robinson. “He knows how to talk with the players. He knows how to give the confidence, too. If [the Whitecaps appoint him], he's going to make a good coach.”
Martin MacMahon covers the Vancouver Whitecaps for MLSsoccer.com.