Official: Toronto FC name Chris Armas head coach

Chris Armas - close up - general

Toronto FC have appointed Chris Armas as their next head coach, the club announced Wednesday. Armas replaces Greg Vanney after the now- LA Galaxy head coach left the club in December. 

Armas was previously the head coach of the New York Red Bulls from 2018-2020, where went 29W-21L-11T. He helped the club reach the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs during the 2018 and 2019 seasons. He also led the team to the Supporters’ Shield in 2018, taking over midseason after now-RB Salzburg coach Jesse Marsch left the club for RB Leipzig.

“I could not be more excited to join a club with Toronto FC’s level of excellence and winning tradition and I will work tirelessly to uphold those standards,” Armas said in a club statement. “I’m grateful to Mr. Tanenbaum and to Bill Manning and Ali Curtis for their belief in me and for giving me this opportunity. As an opposing coach I felt the passion the fans and supporters bring to BMO Field. It is next level. I can’t wait to put a team on the field that will not only make them proud with the way we play, but also with the way we run, battle and compete every minute of every game.”

One Toronto connection for Armas arrives via sporting director Ali Curtis. Armas was an assistant coach at RBNY when Curtis was sporting director there in the mid-2010s, creating some familiarity.

“Chris has an excellent winning pedigree and is a fiery, competitive guy who wants his teams to play on the front foot. He is the right fit to build upon the foundation that’s been established at TFC,” said Toronto FC President Bill Manning. “Our fans are going to love his intensity and how that’s going to translate into our team’s style of play for years to come.”

During his playing career, Armas was one of the league's best-ever defensive midfielders. He featured in 264 matches for the LA Galaxy and Chicago Fire FC while also earning 66 caps for the US men's national team. He was named to MLS Best XI five times. 

Prior to joining Marsch's RBNY coaching staff in 2015, Armas was the head coach of the women's soccer program at Adelphi University. 

Toronto earned the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference in 2020, placing just behind the Philadelphia Union in the Supporters’ Shield race. Led by reigning Landon Donovan MLS MVP Alejandro Pozuelo, they return most of their 2020 roster.