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Vancouver Whitecaps part ways with coach Marc Dos Santos

Jul 31, 2021; Sandy, Utah, USA; Vancouver Whitecaps head coach Marc Dos Santos instructs his team from the sideline during the first half against Minnesota United at Rio Tinto Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 31, 2021; Sandy, Utah, USA; Vancouver Whitecaps head coach Marc Dos Santos instructs his team from the sideline during the first half against Minnesota United at Rio Tinto Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

The Vancouver Whitecaps parted ways with coach Marc Dos Santos on Friday.

Whitecaps director of methodology Vanni Sartini will serve as acting head coach, beginning with Sunday’s home game against Real Salt Lake. Coincidentally, RSL coach Freddy Juarez parted ways with the club Friday to become an assistant with the Seattle Sounders.

Dos Santos went 22-37-18 in 2 1/2 seasons with Vancouver. His tenure was disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic as the team was housed in Portland for most of the 2020 season and Sandy, Utah, for most of the 2021 campaign.

Last Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Los Angeles FC was the team’s first home game in Vancouver in 11 months.

“I am very grateful for my time with the Whitecaps and appreciate the support I received during a challenging two-plus seasons,” the 44-year-old Dos Santos said in team’s news release. “There are a lot of great people at this club, who work extremely hard, and I’m thankful for the time we shared together. I am also especially thankful to the players, technical and support staff and wish everyone all the best. I am very excited about the future.”

Vancouver (5-7-8, 23 points) is currently tied for ninth place in the Western Conference, three points behind the seventh-place San Jose Earthquakes for the final playoff spot.

The departure comes at a time in which the Whitecaps have an eight-match unbeaten streak in MLS (3-0-5). However, on Thursday the Whitecaps were knocked out of the Canadian Championship in a 4-3 loss to Pacific FC, a Canadian Premier League side.

The Whitecaps said that assistant coach Phillip Dos Santos — Marc’s brother — also is no longer with the organization.

“We are very grateful to Marc and Phil for the hard work and sacrifice that they put in to lead our team over the past two and a half years,” Whitecaps sporting director Axel Schuster said in a statement.

“We are extremely committed to continue moving this club and team in the right direction, and at this time we felt that it was necessary to make a change to achieve our next steps.”

–Field Level Media