Toronto FC Head Coach Greg Vanney Announces Club Departure
Toronto FC head coach Greg Vanney has left the club.
The MLS side was Vanney’s first-ever head coach role, with the 46-year-old gaffer bringing Toronto FC its first-ever MLS Cup in 2017 alongside the Supporters Shield and the Canadian Championship that same year.
With the club having had a revolving door of head coaches prior to his arrival in 2014, few would have predicted that the former MLS athlete would be the one who granted the side stability after a tumultuous start as a Major League Soccer side.
He was awarded the MLS Coach of the Year award in 2017 after the treble-winning campaign, and now departs as the club’s most longest-serving head coach.
During his time with the club, Vanney reached the MLS Cup Final three times, claiming it once while collecting three Canadian Championship titles. He also led the team through a historic Champions League run where they were one cup final away from lifting the trophy in 2018.
While the reason for his departure is presently unclear, Vanney offered a goodbye for fans in today’s unexpected announcement:
I want to thank Mr. Tanenbaum, the board of directors and MLSE for their unwavering support for the past seven years. I recognize that I have been extremely fortunate to work for one of the best ownership groups in all of sports. I also want to thank Bill and Ali for their support and leadership and most importantly the relationships we’ve developed over the years. Thank you to all of the TFC staff and players for the incredible experiences we’ve shared together during this journey. I’m forever grateful to each of you. Lastly, to the TFC Fans. You’re truly amazing and the memories and emotions from our biggest nights together will be cherished.Greg Vanney
Toronto FC bowed out of the playoffs this year against expansion side Nashville SC. In the MLS Is Back Tournament held in Orlando earlier this year, Toronto FC topped their group but bowed out in the round of 16 against NYCFC.
Several key figures from the 2017 era squad have now moved on, with former assistant coach Robin Fraser now leading the Colorado Rapids and former general manager Tim Bezbatchenko now President of the Columbus Crew.
Given that Vanney’s playing career ended with the LA Galaxy and the California-based club currently has a head coach vacancy, rumours are already circulating that the 46-year-old may be poised for a return to the StubHub Centre (now known as Dignity Health Sports Park).
Toronto FC President Bill Manning offered a heartfelt thanks to the longtime TFC boss:
I wish Greg nothing but the best in the future. Back in 2014 he took over the head coach duties for a team that had never made the playoffs and turned them into an MLS champion. More than that, he is of high character and a great family man. I thank him for time well served for our club, his legacy here in Toronto is secureBill Manning
Toronto FC recently provided a roster update that revealed that Vanney’s nephew Eriq Zavaleta was now out of contract alongside Justin Morrow and Laurent Ciman. Designated player Pablo Piatti is out of contract as well, suggesting that he will either return on a TAM deal or will be moving on.
Toronto FC has confirmed that the search for Vanney’s replacement will begin immediately. His replacement will have an early chance to acquire some silverware via the Voyageurs Cup in early 2021.
Vanney is scheduled to speak to media later today.