Martin Rennie

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Martin Rennie
Martin Rennie at Burnaby Lake Sports Complex West field 5.jpg
Personal information
Date of birth (1975-05-22) 22 May 1975 (age 39)
Place of birth Thurso, Scotland
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Seoul E-Land FC
Teams managed
Years Team
2005 Cascade Surge
2007–2008 Cleveland City Stars
2009–2011 Carolina RailHawks
2011–2013 Vancouver Whitecaps FC
2014– Seoul E-Land FC

Martin Rennie is a Scottish football manager who accepted the job to manage South Korean side Seoul E-Land FC which is scheduled to join 2015 K League Challenge.

Early life[edit]

Born in Thurso, Scotland to Fiona and Cliff Rennie on 22 May 1975, Martin Rennie spent the first 10 years of his life growing up in Bettyhill where his father was a Church of Scotland minister. In 1985, Rennie's father accepted a call to the Old Parish Church, in Larbert and the family moved there. Rennie was schooled at Ladeside Primary, and Larbert High School, at weekends he would watch Falkirk F.C. play, later becoming a ballboy for the team.[1][2][3][4]

Rennie went on to study for a business degree at Glasgow Caledonian University. In his final year, he received a tryout for the Charlotte Eagles but suffered a cruciate ligament injury to his right knee. Returning to Scotland, Rennie continued to play for Scottish Junior Football Association teams Dunipace and Bo'ness whilst working in sales and marketing for Blackbaud. With the money earned from his sales and marketing work, Rennie was able to personally pay for his SFA coaching course costs. Rennie quickly rose through the coaching ranks and attained his UEFA ‘A’ License becoming assistant manager at Rosyth F.C. at 26.[1]

In 2003 Rennie was asked by AIS to embark on a playing tour of Africa, visiting, Mozambique, Sudan and South Africa. The tour comprised players from the MAI owned teams Charlotte Eagles, Cascade Surge, and Minnesota Thunder as well as selected European players. After returning, Rennie was offered an opportunity to assist with running coaching camps in Salem, Oregon along with coaching the Cascade Surge.

Coaching career[edit]

Cascade Surge[edit]

Rennie took over as Head Coach with the Cascade Surge in Oregon, in 2005. He took the Premier Development League team to the best level of success the franchise experienced during its existence between 1995 and 2009. In his one and only season in charge Rennie led the Surge to the North West Division Title, West Coast Championship Final, US Open Cup Qualification and the Fair Play Award. In 16 games, the Surge won 12 games, and drew 2.[1] Following this success Rennie had to return to his work with Blackbaud, and began to make plans for full-time work with AIS. In 2006 Rennie accepted an invitation to become the a director of AIS, as well as Head Coach of both USL-2 expansion team, the Cleveland City Stars and youth team Ambassadors FC (both owned by AIS).[5][6]

Cleveland City Stars[edit]

In the club's remarkable first season, the City Stars lost only one game in the entire regular season and drew admiration from all quarters of the US Professional soccer community. Rennie won the coach of the year award in a season where the team allowed a USL all-time record low of 13 goals. The team finished its first season in existence as the runners up in the USL Second Division.

The only way that Rennie could build on the success of 2007 would be to win the 2008 Championship and that is exactly what the Cleveland City Stars Achieved with a 2–1 victory over the Charlotte Eagles in front of a sold out crowd at Krenzler Stadium in Cleveland and live to a TV audience throughout the United States. Again Rennie’s work was recognized in the shape of the coach of the year award. What made the Championship winning success even more impressive was the fact that many of the top young players that Rennie had recruited and coached in 2007 were transferred to professional teams at a higher level before the 2008 season began. Once again at the end of the 2008 season many of the most talented players were recruited by MLS and European teams.

Carolina RailHawks[edit]

These unprecedented levels of coaching success did not go unnoticed and this time the opportunity to coach the Carolina RailHawks from USL 1 was too much to for Rennie to resist. With the Carolina RailHawks he inherited a team that had only made the playoffs once in the history of the Franchise and had never finished above eighth place in a regular season campaign. Rennie decided to completely clean house and only kept 3 players from the previous RailHawks roster. He then completely changed the team culture and environment, introducing psychological, tactical and physical concepts that had never been implemented at this level before. The results were astonishing. In 2009 the team missed out on the regular season title by only 2 points finishing runners up to Portland who recorded one of the best regular season records in the 25 year history of the USL. Rennie was finalist for the coach of the year award and his team was recognized for the incredible turnaround that had taken place in just one season.

In 2010, the RailHawks established themselves as arguably the premier team in US Soccer outside of MLS. The RailHawks won the NASL league title and continued their success all the way into the post season with a run to the Championship final. For a team that had never even scored a playoff goal far less recorded a playoff win throughout the history of the franchise this was an even more impressive achievement. For the fourth year in a row Rennie was recognized as a finalist for the Coach of the Year Award, a feat that has never been achieved before at this level of professional soccer. The RailHawks also broke every franchise record in the book for a single season including conceding only 14 goals and scoring 54.

Rennie attributes much of his coaching success to the leadership and psychological lessons he learned during a hugely successful career in the corporate world as well as the invaluable support he has had from assistant coaches Brian Irvine and Paul Ritchie, both former Scotland national football team players.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC[edit]

Rennie took over head coaching role for the Vancouver Whitecaps FC The Whitecaps went from last place to the Play Offs in Rennie’s first season. In the process Rennie became the first coach to lead a Canadian team to the MLS post season. [7]

This success was built on in Rennie's second season with the Whitecaps where he revamped the playing squad, reduced the age of the team and introduced young exciting players like Kekuta Manneh, Russell Teibert and Sam Adekugbe to the Whitecaps first team. Along with young players like Johnny Leveron, Gershon Koffie, Camilo Sanvezzo and Darren Mattocks the Whitecaps became known throughout MLS for their attacking and entertaining style.

Rennie was fired[8] from the Whitecaps after their most successful season to date where they finished in fifth place in the Western conference, eleventh in Major League Soccer. The Whitecaps won the 2013 Cascadia Cup[9] and had a winning season for the first time in their history.[10]

Seoul E-Land FC[edit]

On 17 July 2014, he was appointed as manager of newly formed South Korean side Seoul E-Land FC which is scheduled to join K League Challenge in 2015 season.

Managerial record[edit]

As of 29 October 2013
Team From To Record
G W D L Win %
Cascade Surge 1 January 2005 31 December 2005 18 13 2 3 72.22
Cleveland City Stars 1 February 2007 1 November 2008 44 23 16 5 52.27
Carolina RailHawks 13 November 2008 26 October 2011 68 31 18 19 45.59
Vancouver Whitecaps FC 26 October 2011 29 October 2013 68 24 25 19 35.29
Total 198 91 61 46 45.96

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Mackie, Fraser (25 September 2011). "A different approach pays rich dividends; Rennie's background in sales and faith in God have led him from obscurity to the Major League;". The Mail on Sunday. 
  2. ^ "Martin Rennie". Vancouver Whitecaps F.C. Retrieved 14 April 2012. 
  3. ^ "Out and About (Bettyhill):Cliff Rennie Obituary". The Northern Times. 18 December 2008. 
  4. ^ "Larbert lad enters the major League". The Falkirk Herald. 14 April 2012. 
  5. ^ Rennie, Martin (March 2006). "Newsletter from Martin and Amy as the Prepare to go to America". Larbert Old Buletin: 5. 
  6. ^ Miller, Andrew (23 February 2013). "Martin Rennie’s coaching dream comes true with MLS Vancouver Whitecaps". Retrieved 29 October 2013. 
  7. ^ "2012 MLS Post season - MLS Soccer". 
  9. ^ "2013 Cascadia Cup - MLS Soccer". 
  10. ^ "2013 MLS Standings - MLS Soccer".