Marc Dos Santos Opens Up About His Time With The Whitecaps And The Move To LAFC
I am sure Whitecaps fans remember that day in August when Marc Dos Santos was let go. It was a clear night from Starlight Stadium in Victoria, British Columbia, and the Caps had just fallen, embarrassingly, at the hands of Pacific FC 4-3. A long night and a cheeseburger led Axel Schuster to his eventual decision to relieve Marc of his duties.
I spoke with Marc about his departure from the Whitecaps, His offseason, his relationship with Maxime Crepeau, and settling into a role with LAFC. It was evident Marc wanted to stay with the Whitecaps, but his time was up.
A Departure From The Whitecaps
To think a beautiful night in Langford would be the last time Marc Dos Santos would line up to coach the Vancouver Whitecaps in the Canadian Championship would have shocked anyone. The team seemed to be finding their form in MLS action, but a loss to their Island rivals was the breaking point for Whitecaps management. Marc Dos Santos and Phil Dos Santos saw the ax fall, and they were relieved of their duties with the Caps,
Marc spoke about how he wasn’t just thrown out and could go say his goodbyes to the team. Apparently, he had no hard feelings about the decision but had made a special connection with the players.
“look, I was when I left the Whitecaps, I said goodbye to the players in the locker room. So it wasn’t like I texted them to say I was like, I don’t know if you guys are aware, but in my last conversation with Axel, I said I want to go down and tell the players goodbye. So it was a disappointment from all of us that it didn’t work, you know, and we tried our best, and it’s the game, the game is like that.”
The veteran coach wasn’t oblivious to how things work. I mentioned the quote, “Coaches are hired to be fired” and he completely agreed. “Yeah, you hear it a lot.”
“It’s very few coaches are going to be ten years in one club.” Marc said, “You know you come and go in; there’s a beginning and an end. I am very close to a lot of players, I’m close to a lot of players of the Vancouver Whitecaps, so of course that those players when I saw them again, we were able to talk to each other to speak to you know, we miss each other so, so it was a great night also to see the staff.
The next question was, what would Marc Dos Santos move on to in the future?
Figuring Out His Future in Footy
There was no lack of options for Marc Dos Santos after being relieved of his duties with the Vancouver Whitecaps.
“There was a period where I wasn’t sure where I would end up., I was evaluating some opportunities in Europe. But then Steve and John called me, and when they called me, it became obvious for me where I wanted to be, you know, I’m not in the game because of ego or positions. I’m in the game because I liked the game, and I wanted to be in a place where I would enjoy and be happy with Steve. It’s obvious. We get along very, very well. I already knew very well from the time we were together in 2018. I got to meet. I think it’s a fantastic staff and a fantastic place to be right now. For me, where I am in my life.”
So the options were there for Marc to head overseas, but the hiring of Steve Cherundolo swayed his decision.
“I was preparing some documents because of interviews. So, you know, it’s not a secret that I suppose in Ottawa, I don’t think it’s a secret for everyone. There were two situations in Europe that I could have gone and I could have coached in Europe, but I was not too fond of some of the things surrounding some surely one of the problems you know. I’m not in a place in my life where I want to be fighting for salaries being paid late and players being paid late. So there’s a lot of that happening in certain places in Europe that at the moment where I was in my I am in my life, I don’t need that or I don’t want that. But I kept everything open. So there was even a possibility I was on analyzing certain projects in Dubai.”
“And when I was kind of not knowing where I’m going to be in the world. John, John, and I always kept in touch, and when Steve got into the picture of possibly coaching the team, he was unequivocal that he wanted me to join him, and then everything started to become clear on where I wanted to go. And LA, for me, was always an extraordinary day. So there was no doubt in my mind if I had the chance to come back.”
A Move Back To LAFC For Marc Dos Santos
It almost seemed like the perfect fit for Marc, so much to the point his fingerprints were still all over the organization.
“Yeah, no, it’s good. You know, it’s a club that I knew very well. It was straightforward to come back and get one of the things that were special coming back is that, you know, fingerprinting doors here in the facility. And they have taken my fingerprints off ever since 2008. So I left for three years. When I came back, they told me, Hey, your fingerprint may be working, so it was still on, so it was effortless to get back into to get back to work.”
“There was a period where I wasn’t sure where I would end up. I was evaluating some opportunities in Europe. But then Steve and John called me, and when they called me, it became very clear for me where I wanted to be; you know, I’m not in the game because of the ego because of positions. I’m in the game because I liked the game, and I wanted to be in a place where I would enjoy and be happy with Steve. It’s very clear. We get along very, very well. I already knew very well from the time we were together in 2018. I think it’s a fantastic staff and a fantastic place to be right now for me where I am in my life.”
And despite meeting Will Ferrell, that never went into his decision. Even though he does love the movie Elf. “Yeah, and this is the movie that I watch every Christmas. It’s part of our tradition with my kids every Christmas.”
His Relationship With Keeper Maxime Crepeau
It shocked Whitecap fans when Maxime Crepeau was traded to LAFC for 1 million in MLS Funny money and a 2025 first-round SuperDraft pick. However, it didn’t seem to surprise Marc Dos Santos, who has had a relationship with Max since he was 15, and their time together in Montreal. Max wanted to move on to bigger and better things, and what better place than LA.
“Yeah, so there’s no secret about a relationship, and like when I was coaching my first year coaching the Montreal Impact by back then. Max was 15 years old, and it was at the National Training Center. Back then, there was no Academy yet. And we called them because we needed an extra keeper for training and he came with 15 years old and already there, I remember in small and little bit chubby still baby fat have a still developing, and he was telling me I want to play in the World Cup.”
So when the opportunity to rekindle the relationship arose, both parties were keen to reconnect. “When I arrived and started talking with John, it was more about a look. We will try to make them an offer if we can afford this guy.”
There were some worries that Marc snatched up Maxime out of Vancouver’s hands, but he assured me LAFC was very aware of how good a keeper Max was. Also, with tampering rulers, Marc wasn’t involved in the process.
“I had to stay away from all of that because there are MLS rules of tampering. The people involved in the negotiations were John and Axel. It was more about character check, training check, how he is as a guy, how he is as a leader.”
“On our side, LAFC, on Max’s side, on my side, we’re very, very happy. On the Vancouver side, you have to ask Axel. But I look only at numbers and negotiation; when we went after Max when I was there, we paid 50,000$ [to] Montreal. So now I’m looking at the numbers. I think it’s a good deal.”
The Whitecaps got their money’s worth from the trade. Maxime Crepeau picked up right where he left off for LAFC and his old coach. Vancouver made the playoffs last season, and Vanni Sartini has been a fan favorite. Marc was able to get the last laugh when the two sides met in March, but we won’t be so nice to him when he returns to BC Place in July.
Sports Talk Line Network And The MLS
It was great catching up with Marc Dos Santos, former head coach of the Vancouver Whitecaps, about his time with the team, relieved his duties and found his feet again for LAFC. Marc Dos Santos and his new squad will take on LA Galaxy in another “El Traffico” matchup.
Follow the Sports Talk Line Network for even more about MLS and the Vancouver Whitecaps. Follow me on Twitter @JoshuaGriffith0 for the latest news and notes about the Caps. And if you missed it, then make sure to check out episode 71 of the 90 + Podcast for the full interview with Marc Dos Santos.
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