The news comes one week after the end of the club’s 2020 season
It’s the end of an era for one Toronto sports team.
Toronto Football Club (FC) head coach Greg Vanney announced he has stepped down from the position on Tuesday.
Vanney first took over as head coach for the club in August 2014. At the time, the club had never reached the Major League Soccer (MLS) playoffs. Three years later, the Toronto FC won the 2017 MLS Cup, the Supporters’ Shield — given to the team with the best regular season record — and the Canadian Championship.
Vanney held a virtual press conference on Tuesday following the announcement. He said his resignation was a “personal family decision” and nothing more.
“First, I’m going to attempt to get through this without getting emotional,” said Vanney. “I don’t know if that’ll happen.”
In six full seasons as head coach, Vanney took the team to three MLS Cup finals, won MLS coach of the year in 2017 and, according to an article from the MLS website, Vanney holds every Toronto FC coaching record.
Before Vanney, no Toronto FC coach had held the position longer than two seasons.
Star midfielder Michael Bradley, who’s been with the club since 2014 as well, posted a statement to his Instagram on Tuesday, thanking his now former coach.
“Seven years of incredible emotions together. Seven years of blood, sweat and tears to get this club where we both wanted. Nights that I’ll never forget,” wrote Bradley. “That will live in the history of this club forever.”
Toronto FC forward Jozy Altidore also thanked the coach in an Instagram post on Tuesday.
“Trophies galore and the best season ever. We did what we talked about 6 years ago,” wrote Altidore, who joined the club in 2015. “Most importantly though, you were a good person every step of the way.”
All three visits to the MLS Cup were against the Seattle Sounders FC. Toronto lost to the Sounders in 2016 to penalty kicks, but won 2-0 in the 2017 rematch. Last season, Toronto lost 3-1 to the Sounders. These three MLS Cup matches have made the rivalry one of the most intriguing in the league.
This year, Vanney led the Toronto FC to a second-place finish in league standings for the regular season before being eliminated by the seventh seeded Nashville club in a 1-0 November loss.
Toronto was the last Canadian team standing in the playoffs after the Vancouver Whitecaps FC missed the playoffs and the Montreal Impact fell to the New England Revolution in the Eastern Conference play-in round.
Vanney has not yet announced any new position, and the Toronto FC have not announced his replacement.