On Tuesday December 1, Toronto FC Head Coach Greg Vanney announced he would be stepping down from his role as Head Coach and Technical Director . The announcement comes as a shock to many as Vanney never seemed to be in any jeopardy of losing his employment. Vanney has cited his decision to step down citing family reasons.
Vanney originally was brought into Toronto FC in December 2013 as the club’s assistant general manager and academy director. When manager Ryan Nelsen was fired in August of 2014, Vanney would assume the role as Head Coach becoming the club’s ninth manger in their eighth season of existence.
He leaves as being the most successful and longest serving manger in Toronto FC’s history. His accolades include an MLS Cup Championship , a Supporters Shield , and three Canadian Championships . Vanney was also named both MLS and CONCACAF Coach of the Year for 2017 . Under Vanney , players such as Jozy Altidore , Michael Bradley, Jonathan Osorio, Justin Morrow , and others players would become the pillars of strength on the pitch that would transform Toronto FC from being a basement dweller to a championship contender in MLS.
The 46-year-old Vanney leaves Toronto FC after 7 years cementing his legacy within the team and the fan base. While the club has announced the search for a new hire, the uncertainty of the direction of the club going forward from Vanney may prove anxiety to the fan base. Before Vanney was Head Coach , Toronto FC never qualified for the MLS Playoffs and never posted a winning season.
American midfielder Michael Bradley is 33 years old, American striker Jozy Altidore just turned 31 years old at the start of November this year, and Spanish central attacking midfielder Alejandro Pozuelo will turn 30 years old in September 2021. Both Bradley and Altidore have played with Toronto for the entirety of Vanney’s tenure with Toronto FC . It’s clear Pozuelo is in the club’s plan as the playmaker for the long term having just finished his second season this year. However, Bradley and Altidore are in the twilights of their tenure with Toronto FC .
According to the website Transfermarkt, Altidore is under contract until 2022. Bradley signed a new contract after his original contract expired at the end of the 2019 season going from being paid $ 6.5 million per year using a designated player spot to taking a pay cut being signed using targeted allocation money. It is unclear the duration of Bradley’s contract he signed.
It will be the up to the next Head Coach and TFC’s management to decide the direction of the club moving forward from Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley when that day comes. That includes searching for the suitable replacement players. Toronto FC found consistent success at last under the guidance of Greg Vanney but, only time will tell if the new hire is able to maintain that success or return to the dismal state the club was before Vanney took the reins.