U.S. international defender Greg Vanney is back in MLS, having reached an agreement Thursday to join FC Dallas. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
"This is a very exciting day for FC Dallas," said FC Dallas head coach Colin Clarke. "Greg has proven to be a strong defender on the highest levels of soccer having played in Major League Soccer for six years, in the French first division for four years and being a national team member since 1996.
"We are thrilled to have him on our side and look forward to his contributions to our soccer club this season."
Since Feb. 1, 2002, Vanney has played for FC Bastia in France's Ligue 1. He originally joined the French side on a loan deal from the Los Angeles Galaxy, and the move was made permanent six weeks later. Recent reports in the media have suggested Vanney was unhappy at Bastia, particularly concerning his desire to play center back and the potential for Bastia to be relegated to Ligue 2 this season.
With FC Dallas, Vanney is odds-on to play in the center, and playing in MLS could also help him get more attention from U.S. national team manager Bruce Arena than he would get from playing in France's second tier. After making six appearances and scoring a goal for the USA in 2004, Vanney has yet to appear for his country this year.
"I'm really looking forward to coming back to the States and competing with an up-and-coming team like FC Dallas," said Vanney. "I enjoyed my time in France, but felt like this opportunity with FC Dallas was something I could not pass up."
In six seasons with the Galaxy, Vanney established himself as one of the premier defenders in MLS. Coupled with his distribution out of the back and his strong left foot, Vanney's defensive ability helped the Galaxy advance to three MLS Cup Finals in his time with the club, and he also helped the Galaxy win the 2001 U.S. Open Cup. For his efforts in both 2000 and 2001, Vanney was named to the MLS Best XI. He totaled 21 goals and 19 assists during his time with the Galaxy.
With the U.S. national team, Vanney has been a steady presence and consistent performer since 2000 after making one appearance each year from 1996-1999. In all, Vanney has made 32 appearances for the U.S., registering one goal and three assists. He was selected to the 2002 U.S. World Cup squad, but suffered a knee injury just a month prior to the competition.
Jason Halpin is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.