The LA Galaxy have named Greg Vanney as their head coach, the club announced Monday. Vanney stepped down from the same role with Toronto FC in December.
Vanney takes over in Los Angeles from Guillermo Barros Schelotto, who the club parted ways with at the end of October after two years in charge. The Galaxy have missed the playoffs in three of the last four years. They had only missed the playoffs three times during the first 21 years of their existence.
“I am extremely excited about the opportunity to coach the LA Galaxy,” Vanney said in a club statement. “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's first senior head coaching gig was with Toronto, where he became a club legend and one of the league's most respected head coaches. He led Toronto to a treble in 2017, winning MLS Cup, the Supporters' Shield and Canadian Championship. He holds every coaching record in TFC history, including matches managed (250) and wins (112). He originally took charge during the 2014 season before stepping away after the 2020 season.
The 46-year-old Vanney inherits a Galaxy squad in transition, though not bereft of talent. They have Mexico internationals Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez and Jonathan dos Santos leading the way as well as rising duel nationals Julian Araujo and Efra Alvarez. There will be plenty of additions as the team have only 13 players under contract so far for 2021.
“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,” GM 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. 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.”
The Galaxy will be hoping Vanney can replicate his work at Toronto, a club that did not have the reputation they enjoy today prior to Vanney taking charge.
The club failed to make the playoffs in their first eight seasons in MLS, then broke that streak in Vanney's first full season. On top of the treble in 2017, Vanney helped guide the club to two more Canadian Championship titles and two more trips to MLS Cup. They also got to the Concacaf Champions League final in 2018, losing on penalties. No MLS club has ever won that competition.
Vanney spent seven years with the Galaxy during his playing career (1996-01, 2007) and was twice named to MLS Best XI while with the club.