Toronto FC are preparing to part ways with defender Gregory van der Wiel after an “altercation” with head coach Greg Vanney during the Reds’ preseason training camp in California, according to multiple media reports.
“Year one had ups and downs but I found my joy back and I could not wait to get started this new season. I was ready to give it all,” wrote van der Wiel in an Instagram post late Wednesday night. “Unfortunately year two will never come due to differences with the coaching staff. I just want to win and do that no matter what the consequences are. I guess that mentality was a little too much for them and they decided they do not need me for this season.”
TFC confirmed to MLSsoccer.com that the 30-year-old Dutchman is expected to depart in the days ahead.
Sources: Gregory van der Wiel has been ‘removed from Toronto FC camp’ after an altercation with Greg Vanney for insubordination. Will never play for the team again. Some within the club explored options of possibly releasing him in the offseason over character concerns. #tfc— Kristian Jack (@KristianJack) January 24, 2019
“Gregory is a good player but not the right fit,” said a club spokesperson. “We are working with he and his agent to explore opportunities both in and outside of MLS.”
Arriving from Italian side Cagliari a year ago via the use of Targeted Allocation Money, the Netherlands international made 27 league appearances (25 starts) for Toronto in 2018, contributing four assists, and also played six games in TFC’s run to the Concacaf Champions League final.
But the Reds’ relentless injury crisis often forced him to fill in at center back at times instead of his preferred fullback slot, and Toronto eventually failed to qualify for the 2018 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs.