Whitecaps FC did not have to search far to find the man to lead their squad into its inaugural MLS season.

On Thursday, the team announced that Whitecaps FC coach Teitur Thordarson would continue at the helm in the 2011 season, the team’s first in Major League Soccer.

Whitecaps president Bob Lenarduzzi praised the 58-year-old Icelander for his even-keel temperament and ability to motivate players without yelling.

Thordarson, he said, is also a great ambassador for a sport that is beloved around the world but still trying to sell itself to North American audiences.

He also joked that, with the signing, the club was forced to implement a ban on elaborate Icelandic-style goal celebrations (there are a several on YouTube — search for Stjarnan).

Thordarson joined the club in 2007. Despite capturing the USL-1 championship in his first season and making it to the final in his second, the former Estonian national team coach said he felt like he had to prove himself this season.

“It’s the same process for me as the players. We’ve been assessed all the way though. The team is performing and I think I’m a part of that.”

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