Greg Vanney is headed back to Los Angeles.
The LA Galaxy have hired Vanney, the former Toronto FC manager, to be their next head coach, turning to a former Galaxy player in hopes of bringing past glory back to the club.
The 2017 MLS Coach of the Year, Vanney surprisingly stepped away from his role as TFC coach and sporting director on Dec. 1, leaving a club he took to MLS Cup and Canadian championship titles, a Supporters' Shield and a Concacaf Champions League final. He replaces Guillermo Barros Schelotto, who was fired prior to the end of a season that wound up with the Galaxy missing the MLS playoffs. Dominic Kinnear, for a second time, was the Galaxy's interim manager while a search for a full-time successor was conducted.
“Greg is a part of the history of the LA Galaxy, and we are confident that he is the right person to lead our team moving forward,” LA Galaxy general manager Dennis te Kloese said in a statement. “He has deep knowledge of this club and Major League Soccer as a player and a coach and has proven to be a consistent winner with a championship pedigree. His accolades as Toronto FC’s manager are evidence of his ability to create and sustain success in our league. We look forward to working with Greg to continue to build a team that will compete for trophies.”
Vanney was a two-time MLS Best XI defender in his time as a Galaxy player, and he also spent time in Southern California in college, when he played for UCLA. One of his chief tasks will be extracting the most out of Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez, who struggled to meet expectations in his first season in MLS. He'll also look to remedy a defensive unit that conceded 46 goals in 22 matches, a total that was second-worst in the league.
“I am extremely excited about the opportunity to coach the LA Galaxy,” said Vanney, whose staff was not yet announced. “The LA Galaxy are an iconic club with a rich history in Los Angeles, MLS and North American soccer over the last 25 years. I want to thank Dennis te Kloese, Chris Klein, Dan Beckerman and Mr. Anschutz for the opportunity to coach this team and represent a club so close to my heart. I am committed to working tirelessly for this club, our fans and Los Angeles to win a championship. I look forward to this new challenge in my career and am eager to get started.”
With Atlanta United having hired Gabriel Heinze, Toronto and D.C. United are the last remaining clubs with coaching vacancies ahead of the 2021 season.