Whitecaps icon Valentine returns as staff coach

Carl Valentine will serve as an ambassador and staff coach for the Vancouver Whitecaps said in a news release Tuesday.

One of the most popular members of the Vancouver Whitecaps has a new job with the team as it prepares for its first Major League Soccer season in 2011.

Carl Valentine will serve as an ambassador and staff coach for the team, the Whitecaps said in a news release Tuesday. The former striker had been head coach of Ottawa Fury in the USL Premier Development League.

In his role as ambassador the 52-year-old Valentine will make appearances at various Whitecaps events. He also will serve as one of the club's online video hosts and be a guest website columnist.

The former Canadian international will continue his role as a specialist coach with the men's team. Valentine worked with the midfielders during their current off-season training camp. He will also spend time with the club's residency and prospects programs, plus various camps and clinics during the year.

"I'm excited to be back on board again with the club, and at such a great time in their history," Valentine said in a release "To have this opportunity to serve the club in these new roles is a great fit for me. I'm really looking forward to it."

As a player, Valentine was part of the Whitecaps team that won the 1979 North American Soccer League (NASL) championship. The native of Manchester, England, also played with the Vancouver team that won four straight Canadian Soccer League titles starting in 1988. He was the team's coach between 1994 and 1999.

Valentine is Vancouver's all-time leader in appearances with 409. He is third on the club's career points list with 65 goals and 69 assists for 199 points.

As a member of Canada's national team, Valentine made 31 international appearances between 1985 and 1993. He was part of the Canadian team that played at the 1986 FIFA World Cup.