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In 2011, Swiss-Italian playmaker Davide Chiumiento was enigmatic to say the least. On his day, he was capable of brilliant technical showmanship, unlocking defenses with pin-point passing and breezing by his markers with the greatest of ease. The Whitecaps assists leader, Chiumiento also scored one of the best goals of the season with a snapshot against New York.
But the mercurial maestro was also capable of shocking displays of moodiness that affected both his own play and the games of those around him. When he wasn't in form, he looked dreadful.
Some would argue, myself included, that Chiumiento did not flourish under Tommy Soehn. It may be a matter of man management or tactics, but it was soon after Soehn came on that Chiumiento started his inconsistent play. Some reports from the locker room suggest that Soehn never communicated well with the lads, which is intriguing because in every interview since his troubles, Chiumiento always stressed that he wanted honest, straightforward communication between himself and his coach.
Martin Rennie comes into the Whitecaps organization with a reputation for honesty and direct straightforwardness which should play to Chiumiento's desires. But Rennie also released a nugget the other day which bodes well for the Maestro's future at the 'Caps.
Rennie stressed that he wanted to see more penetrating runs, more meaningful passes and more purposeful possession. Too often last season, we saw the 'Caps retain possession and just slow the play down, pinging the ball back and forth without penetrating opposing defenses. Under a setup like that, a direct player like Chiumiento would flounder.
But under Rennie's philosophy, the Swiss-Italian now has a chance to flourish. Indeed, in interviews with Chiumiento since the camp began, he has looked all smiles.
If all goes well, a free-flowing Davide Chiumiento has the potential to absolutely dominate the league next year. Let's see if Rennie can draw that performance out of him.