Valour FC head coach Phillip Dos Santos addressed media for the first time Thursday, taking over from now-departed three-year gaffer Rob Gale following an official confirmation from the club.
Dos Santos was most recently the assistant head coach of Vancouver Whitecaps of MLS, taking a spot alongside his brother, Marc. At Valour, the 43-year-old is appointed to lead a team that’s collected just five points since leaving the opening season Kickoff bubble atop the table – and are winless in five matches.
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The freefall means Valous stands three points out of the fourth and final playoff spot – something he sees as a stepping stone to the right challenge: “There’s a foundation that’s been built – we need to have the humility to say what we know what worked for our team and what didn’t,” Dos Santos said.
Gale, Dos Santos’ predecessor, departs the club on an 18-8-30 record at the helm across 2019, 2020, and 2021 campaigns.
Dos Santos added his move to Winnipeg came quickly as the club looked to make a change before the CanPL playoff race intensified.
“It was very quick, I think it was a five, six day process,” he revealed. “I was sitting back home in Vancouver with the plans to just see how things would go in the offseason, take some time to be with my family, and we received the phone call with this opportunity sometime last week. It was one of those where, there are 11 professional teams in reality in Canada, and just being at home, being in the Canadian market was something that for me and my family felt well.”
Dos Santos inherited a team chock-full of talent from recently-injured striker Austin Ricci to midfield operator Raphael Ohin. When asked how he wanted his inherited team to play during Thursday’s presser, Dos Santos defaulted to the well-known book series “Twilight” and the vampiric connections that come with it.
His first match in charge will come Sunday when Valour visits York Lions Stadium to face York United (2pm ET/1pm CT) live on OneSoccer.