Vancouver, BC (SportsNetwork.com) - Vancouver Whitecaps FC has named assistant coach Carl Robinson its new head coach, the club announced on Monday.
Robinson replaced Martin Rennie, who was relieved of his duties in late October. Rennie led the Whitecaps to their first-ever playoff berth after a fifth-place finish in the Western Conference in 2012.
But he failed to repeat the feat in crowded 2013 field despite earning five more points than in 2012 and boasting the services of Golden Boot winner Camilo. He leaves Vancouver with a 24-25-19 record in league play and 28-27-22 record across all competitions.
Robinson joined the 'Caps coaching staff in January 2012 shortly after announcing his retirement from a 16-year playing career and is now tasked with lifting the Whitecaps into rarified air in MLS after missing the playoffs two of their first three seasons in the league.
"We are thrilled to announce Carl Robinson as our new head coach," said club president Bob Lenarduzzi in a statement. "During his time with the club, Carl has shown the qualities you look for in a successful head coach -- a strong leader, great communicator with both youth and experienced players, high soccer IQ, technical and tactical intelligence, and a great work ethic. We are confident that Carl is a coach who will bring out the best in his players and help our club achieve success this season and beyond."
Robinson started his professional playing career in 1995 and spent seven years with Wolverhampton before bouncing around England until 2007. He made the move to MLS in 2007 and appeared in 74 games over four seasons with Toronto FC.
He was traded to the New York Red Bulls in March 2010 and spent two seasons with the club.
Robinson also made 52 appearances for the Welsh national team from 1999-2009.
"I have thoroughly enjoyed my first two seasons in Vancouver, and am looking forward to the start of the 2014 season -- the club's 40th anniversary," Robinson said. "We have an exceptional fan base, a solid core of youth and experience, and a committed ownership group. I'm really excited about the opportunity to drive this club forward."