When Greg Vanney announced that he had stepped down as Toronto FC coach and technical director Tuesday, it became the sixth head coaching change of the most-unusual 2020 season as the coaching carousel continues to turn.
Toronto FC are the fourth team in search of a permanent head coach, joining Atlanta United, the LA Galaxy and D.C. United, while the New York Red Bulls and FC Cincinnati filled their vacancies with appointments from abroad.
Here's a look at each of the coaching changes in 2020.
Vanney was a big part of the culture shift at Toronto, a club that failed to reach the postseason in its first eight years. But that changed when Vanney took over in 2014. He holds every coaching record in TFC history, including matches managed (250) and wins (112) and led the club to a treble in 2017, winning MLS Cup, the Supporters' Shield and Canadian Championship.
Given the club's stature, there will surely be no shortage of candidates who will emerge in the coming weeks.
Dom Kinnear guided the Galaxy on an interim basis to close out the regular season after Guillermo Barros Schelotto was relieved of his head coaching duties on Oct. 29.
It is Kinnear's second interim stint with the Galaxy, but will he be given the reigns full-time? He's one of the winningest coaches in MLS history, capturing MLS Cup twice with the Houston Dynamo after claiming the Supporters' Shield with the San Jose Earthquakes. It is a worldwide search with GM Dennis te Kloese in charge of the hire.
The profile the Galaxy are looking for in their next head coach is one with a defined identity, as well as someone adept at working with young players.
“This is a good project," te Kloese said last month. "We need to be looking at coaches who are hungry, eager to make something out of this. I know Los Angeles and the Galaxy is something glamorous, but people who work here need to be here for the right reasons. We need to show much more ambition than we showed in the last few years.”
There's been a number of candidates mentioned with this vacancy after Ben Olsen ended his long tenure with D.C. United on Oct. 8. Chad Ashton, who closed out the season as the interim coach, is among those being considered. That list also includes former US women's national team coach Jill Ellis, as well as former New York Red Bulls coach Chris Armas and MLS assistants Ezra Hendrickson (Columbus Crew SC), Pat Noonan (Philadelphia Union) and Gonzalo Pineda (Seattle Sounders) and reportedly Manchester City first-team assistant coach Rodolfo Borrell.
Steve Goff of the Washington Post reports the club appear set on a domestic-based hire within the next two weeks.
Atlanta United mutually agreed to part ways with Frank de Boer on July 24 after a lackluster showing at the MLS is Back Tournament. Stephen Glass navigated the remainder of the season as the caretaker manager. There has been a scarcity of names linked, though reports out of South America suggest Gabriel Heinz is a candidate. Technical director & VP Carlos Bocanegra provided no update on the search in a video conference call with reporters late last month, but assured fans not to worry.
"These were decisions we had to make, there’s a timeline and deadline," Bocanegra said. "As we bring a new coach in and start working towards the future, it’s still early. There’s a lot more to be done in the offseason. We’ll have some deep discussions with the new coach when they come in.”
New York Red Bulls
The New York Red Bulls parted ways with Chris Armas Sept. 4, ending his 61-game stay in charge of the 2018 Supporters’ Shield winners. Bradley Carnell took over as interim manager and the club hired Gerhard Struber as his permanent replacement on Oct. 6. Struber coached the club in their 3-2 defeat to Columbus Crew SC in Round One of the Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs.
Jaap Stam was hired as FC Cincinnati head coach on May 21, taking over for fellow Dutch native Ron Jans, who stepped down in the preseason after just six months on the job in the wake of an investigation surrounding a complaint made by the MLS Players Association accusing Jans of making "extremely inappropriate comments.” Yoann Damet took over on an interim basis and guided the club through its first two matches of the 2020 season before Stam arrived in Cincinnati after a short coaching stint at Feyenoord that ended with his resignation on Oct. 28, 2019.