Marc Dos Santos.
Marc Dos Santos has taken the reigns at the helm of a constant MLS underachiever, the Vancouver Whitecaps. At first glance, I look at Dos Santos and see a coach that has little top level pedigree however, delving deeper into his experience, he’s actually got a strong and diverse resume. At just 31, Dos Santos was named manager of the Montreal Impact where he stayed until 2011. Upon leaving Montreal, Dos Santos headed to Brazil where he managed at several levels – he won a youth title with Palmeiras, one of the most famous clubs in Brazil, consequently sticking to the media who had classified him as a donkey when he initially arrived from Canada. He then managed in the NASL where he won a title with the San Francisco Deltas before moving to the MLS as an assistant for the expansion, Los Angeles FC. Albeit slightly amateur, his background may prove a decent fit with a Whitecaps organization that’s never actually had an identity.
Let’s be honest, the Whitecaps aren’t going to splurge on a marquee signing(s) which means that the manager has to utilize his resources and ensure that he is frugal in the transfer market. With the reputation that Dos Santos holds in lower echelons of the US and Brazil, he may be able to attain some bargain basement talent complimented by the right attitude to make an positive impact for the Whitecaps.
The MLS isn’t a league where you need a marquee signing to win championships – just look down th Portland. If Dos Santos efficiently utilizes his competencies in the transfer market, the only thing he’ll have to improve is the culture of the organization
Which brings me to my next point. The culture in the Whitecaps dressing room is obviously massively fractured and in my opinion, it’s pathetic. Kendall Waston came out and said he wants out of Vancouver. He stated that he didn’t like ‘two-faced people’ and ‘if he can’t trust, he better walk away.’ I get it, a coach who he had a strong bond with was sacked by the club; Waston was probably told that he would be kept on board and he was blind-sided by the firing but this is professional sports; can you really trust anyone? Coming out with that kind of opinion shows that Waston may have been a part of the problem.
Regardless, Dos Santos will have the option of a clean slate. The Whitecaps have 10 expiring contracts in 2018 and four in 2019. He could show the entire core of this squad the door and begin building his own empire. I don’t think any of the back office or ownership will be a blocker to his squad development but his main barrier will be financial clout in a fiscally irresponsible environment. His ability to overcome this will surely define his tenure in Vancouver.