Former defender Vanney returns to LA Galaxy as head coach

Los Angeles (AFP) – Greg Vanney was named coach of the Los Angeles Galaxy on Tuesday, returning to the Major League Soccer club where he began his football career as a defender in 1996.

The 46-year-old American spent the past six years as manager of Toronto FC, guiding the Canadian club to the 2017 MLS crown and being named 2017 Coach of the Year before leaving last month.

“I am extremely excited about the opportunity to coach the LA Galaxy,” Vanney said. “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 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.”

Vanney, who went 112-82 with 56 draws at Toronto, takes over a Galaxy squad that won only six of 22 matches in a Covid-shortened 2020 campaign and missed the playoffs for the third time in four seasons after missing only three times in the club’s first 21 years.

“We’re thrilled that Greg is returning to the LA Galaxy,” team president Chris Klein said. “Greg is focused on building a culture that will serve as the foundation of this club.”

Vanney replaces Argentine Guillermo Barros Schelotto, who parted ways with the Galaxy at the end of October after two years in charge. 

The squad boasts talent in Mexico internationals Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez and Jonathan dos Santos.

Toronto reached the playoffs in five of the past six seasons under Vanney, who played for the Galaxy from 1996-2001. He also had stints at French side Bastia and MLS stops at Dallas, Colorado and DC United before closing his career in 2008 with the Galaxy.

“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,” Galaxy general manager Dennis te Kloese said.

“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.”

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