MLS: Ritchie Declined Shot At Whitecaps’ Top Job

Written by Ian Thomson

Former Vancouver Whitecaps assistant coach Paul Ritchie was invited to interview for the Major League Soccer franchise’s head coaching position after the dismissal of Martin Rennie.

“I was offered the interview, but I turned it down” Ritchie told BBC Scotland’s Off the Ball programme last Saturday. “It was the right thing to do.”

Paul Ritchie at Vancouver's pre-season training camp in Florida in 2012 (Photo: Ian Thomson)
Paul Ritchie at Vancouver’s pre-season training camp in Florida in 2012 (Photo: Ian Thomson)

Ritchie ended his playing career with a brief stint under Rennie at the Carolina Railhawks in 2009. The former Scotland national team defender joined Carolina’s coaching staff the following year and he followed his countryman to Vancouver at the end of the 2011 season.

The pair led the Whitecaps to the club’s first MLS play-off appearance in 2012. Rennie was relieved of his duties last October after Vancouver ended the campaign three points short of a return to the post-season.

Former Wales midfielder Carl Robinson, another member of Rennie’s coaching staff, was appointed as the Whitecaps’ new head coach on Dec. 16. Two days later, Ritchie was notified by email that the team no longer required his services.

“Vancouver is a beautiful city and it’s a fantastic club,” Ritchie said. “It’s got the potential to be one of the biggest clubs in MLS.

“They will be successful. The foundations have been laid for a bright future.”

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