Soccer

Whitecaps fire Rennie as coach in MLS

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP)

The Vancouver Whitecaps fired coach Martin Rennie on Tuesday after a second straight up-and-down season doomed the club's chances of making the Major League Soccer playoffs.

Vancouver started the season strongly but was eliminated from the playoff race with a 3-2 loss to the Colorado Rapids on Oct. 19.

The Whitecaps rebounded to beat Colorado 3-0 in Sunday's regular-season finale, with Brazilian forward Camilo Sanvezzo getting a hat trick to win the MLS Golden Boot as the league's top scorer. But it wasn't enough to save Rennie's job.

Whitecaps president Bob Lenarduzzi said the club's inconsistency over the past couple years was problematic.

''If we look back over the two years, we had two relatively good starts, and in each of those seasons we seemed to tail off,'' he said.

Last year, Vancouver recovered in time to squeak into the 2012 playoffs - a first for a Canadian MLS team. But Vancouver's 2013 record of 13-9-12 wasn't good enough to get back into the postseason, even though the club had just one fewer win than Portland, which finished atop the MLS Western Conference.

Rennie also failed to win the Canadian championship in his two years at the Whitecaps' helm, which would have qualified the club for the CONCACAF Champions League.

Lenarduzzi said the search for a new coach - the Whitecaps' fourth in four seasons - will begin immediately.

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