Back in late October of last year, the Vancouver Whitecaps began their search for a new head coach. Lucas Hernandez Jersey . Martin Rennie – who joined the club in August 2011 with a reputation as a young, up and coming manager - had just been fired after failing to lead the club to a second consecutive playoff berth. The Whitecaps were understandably hesitant to go with another young, up and coming manager; they wanted an experienced coach to guide their early steps in Major League Soccer. Their view was that the club needed someone in charge who not only had experience, but who also knew the league inside and out. MLS has proven to be a difficult league for foreign managers to come to grips with, given the single entity structure and salary cap restrictions that are in place. After the Chicago Fire snapped up Vancouverite Frank Yallop to be their new coach, the leading candidate for the Whitecaps job was former United States mens national team coach, Bob Bradley. He certainly fit the bill; over three decades of coaching experience, with stints in charge of the Chicago Fire, New York/New Jersey Metro Stars (now the New York Red Bulls) and Chivas USA, as well as with the U.S. and Egyptian national teams. But landing Bradley was always going to be a long shot. While the Whitecaps reportedly interviewed a number of coaches, including former Montreal Impact boss Jesse Marsch and Toronto FC head coach Preki, they always had a fallback option; one of Martin Rennies assistant coaches, Carl Robinson, who wanted the job. The Whitecaps were very hesitant to appoint Robinson without first exhausting their other options, which is one reason why it took the club the best part of six weeks to make their decision. In the end, after Bradley rejected the Whitecaps overtures, the club announced that Robinson would become their new head coach. The decision that Vancouver didnt want to make will prove to be the best thing that ever happened to them. In a relatively short period of time, Robinson has brought a vision and a direction to Vancouver. They play an attacking brand of soccer, where pace and technique are prized assets. He has a young squad, but has given his young players a chance to play by surrounding them with experienced veterans who are great leaders. Players like Pedro Morales and Mauro Rosales not only lead by example, they also take the time to teach their younger teammates the finer points of the game. Robinson has his team on the verge of a playoff berth in the difficult MLS Western Conference – and he has done so without a recognized goal scorer in his squad. The loss of Camilo at the end of last season (before Robinson was hired) coupled with the departure of Kenny Miller to Glasgow Rangers in May left Vancouver without a proven experienced goal scorer. Neither 23-year-old Erik Hurtado nor 24-year-old Darren Mattocks are consistent enough to lead the team week in, week out. This season, they have a combined return of just 11 goals in 56 total games. At times this season, Robinson has had to rely on unproven youngsters to get the job done. The latest example was 18-year old Kianz Froese, who made his professional debut as a halftime substitute – replacing 19-year old Kekuta Manneh – in the Whitecaps 1-0 victory in Seattle last weekend. Froese was excellent, and put in a display that belied his age. Relying on youngsters can be dangerous, because a coach can never be sure if those players can handle the step up to competing against seasoned veterans. But Robinson and his coaching staff have created an atmosphere where young players are considered valued assets, rather than risks that should only be deployed in desperation. This atmosphere has in turn brought out the best in those youngsters; while they can be inconsistent – as all young players can be - they still have the confidence to take the field and play with freedom. From the very beginning of his tenure, Robinson has been completely transparent about what he is trying to do in Vancouver, even taking the unprecedented step of opening training at all times to the media. His reasoning is clear – he wants people to see him work, so they can make up their minds about whether or not he is good at his job. That is not arrogance; it is the mark of a coach who is confident in his own abilities. Vancouver has just two games remaining in their regular season schedule – away to the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday (10:30pm et/7:30pm pt. on TSN) and home to the Colorado Rapids on Oct. 25 – and they might still find themselves just outside the playoff places when it is all said and done. The Portland Timbers are snapping at Vancouvers heels, just one point back with two games remaining, and could surpass the Whitecaps if Vancouver slips up. But regardless of whether or not the Whitecaps make the playoffs, Carl Robinsons job is safe. In fact, if Vancouvers leadership group is wise, theyll not only keep Robinson, theyll extend his contract. Because the coach that got the job by default is now an asset that the club simply cannot afford to lose. Sime Vrsaljko Jersey . PETERSBURG, Fla. Jesus Gamez Jersey . Messis father, Jorge Horacio Messi, is apparently still under investigation for an alleged 4 million euros ($5.3 million) in unpaid taxes from Messis image rights from 2007-09. Messis public relations firm confirmed Spanish media reports that the state prosecutor has asked for Messi to be dropped from the investigation that began in June 2013.MILWAUKEE - With Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in the house, the Milwaukee Bucks played like NBA champions. They shot 57 per cent. They held an opponent under 100 points for the first time in 12 games. And they enjoyed a rare breather for most of the second half in a 114-88 victory Monday night over the Utah Jazz. "It all came together tonight and that was really good to see," coach Larry Drew said after the Bucks most lopsided win of the season. Ersan Ilyasova scored a season-high 31 points on 13-of-14 shooting to lead five Bucks in double digits. Zaza Pachulia added 14 points, six rebounds and five assists, and the NBAs worst team improved to 12-47. Enes Kanter had career-high 27 points to lead Utah, mired by a mistake-prone third quarter in which the Bucks regularly led by at least 20. "It doesnt matter how many points I scored because it was a loss in the end," Kanter said. Hard as it is to believe these days, Milwaukee was once a force in the NBA with Abdul-Jabbar, who was drafted No. 1 overall by the Bucks in 1969. Then named Lew Alcindor, the big man with the famed sky hook was joined by fellow future Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson on a team that won the NBA title in 1971. On Monday, Abdul-Jabbar was in town to promote a tourism ad for the state of Wisconsin that played off his acting role in the movie "Airplane." He watched a game that turned into a laugher in the second half. Everything went right for the Bucks. Pachulia hit a layup in transition for an 11-point lead before guard Nate Wolters got the break going again after a Utah miss with 11:07 left in the third quarter. After a Jazz miss, Wolters rushed the ball into the lane to draw defenders before pitching back to Pachulia for an open 15-footer. "Everything started defensively. We got stops. We got rebounds and fast breaks, then Nate did a good job with the penetration," Pachulia said. Later, Ilyasova found himself open from 22 feet for another jumper and an 85-60 lead with 3:08 left in the third quarter. There have been nights this season wheen the Bucks have struggled to get to 85 for a game. Diogo Jota Jersey. But on Monday, Drews club pulled away after allowing an early 12-point lead to get erased in the second quarter. "It was really refreshing that our guys came out to start the third quarter with some energy and some juice," Drew said. "I thought the third quarter we were just really good. Ersan was just unbelievable." Ilyasova had 15 points in the third. Whether hitting wide-open shots from the perimeter or getting off-balance putbacks, he could rarely be stopped. In the fourth, precocious rookie Giannis Antetokounmpo entertained the crowd by converting a touch pass from O.J. Mayo into a dunk and a three-point play for a 108-79 lead with 6:07 left. It was a deflating outing for the Jazz, one night after they lost to the NBA-leading Pacers 94-91 in Indiana. Theyre 0-3 on the first three stops of their six-game road trip. "Its frustrating after the performance last night, the growth we showed last night. We just didnt get it back tonight," coach Tyrone Corbin said. Gordon Hayward provided some of Utahs limited highlights, finishing with 20 points. Kanter came off the bench to shoot 8 of 16 and 11 of 12 from the foul line, with 14 rebounds. Otherwise, the Jazz were overrun in Milwaukee. Milwaukee has won two of its last four, with both wins coming by at least 20 points. Still, even with Abdul-Jabbar in town for a publicized appearance, the rebuilding Bucks drew a season-low 10,222 fans. NOTES: Count Corbin as captain of the campaign to get Utah point guard Trey Burke in the conversation for the Rookie of the Year award. "Oh absolutely, absolutely. You look at his growth all year. ... You look at how this team has grown because of his play, should be factored in also," Corbin said. Burke is averaging 12.6 points and 5.4 assists. He finished with seven points and five assists in 30 minutes Monday. ... Bucks F Jeff Adrien, acquired at the trade deadline from Charlotte, has at least 10 rebounds in four of five games with his new team. 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