TFC appoints former Red Bulls coach Chris Armas to succeed Greg Vanney: sources


Former New York Red Bulls boss Chris Armas has been chosen as Greg Vanney’s successor as head coach of Toronto FC, according to a source.

The source spoke on condition of anonymity because the appointment had not been made official. That is expected to happen later Wednesday.

The hire was first reported by TSN.

Vanney stepped down Dec. 1 after more than six years at TFC’s helm. He subsequently was named coach of the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Armas, an elite defensive midfielder during a 12-year playing career with the Los Angeles Galaxy and Chicago Fire, was let go as head coach by the Red Bulls last September with the team at 3-4-2.

He inherits a Toronto club that finished runner-up in the regular-season standings at 13-5-5 despite playing just four games at home due to pandemic-related travel restrictions. TFC shifted operations to East Hartford, Conn., exiting in the first round of the playoffs after a 1-0 loss to lower-seeded Nashville.

Armas will join the search for a new designated player, with Toronto opting not pick up the option of Argentine forward Pablo Piatti. Depth in the backline is also a need.

After succeeding Jesse Marsch as head coach of the Red Bulls in July 2018, Armas led the team on a 12-2-3 run to clinch the 2018 Supporters’ Shield. His overall record with New York was 29-21-11.

Armas had previously served as a Red Bulls assistant coach for 3 1/2 seasons, two of which as the top assistant in charge of New York’s attack.

Current Toronto GM Ali Curtis was sporting director of the Red Bulls from December 2014 to February 2017.

Prior to the Red Bulls, Armas was an assistant coach with the Chicago Fire and head coach of the Adelphi University women’s team in Long Island, N.Y.

The Galaxy drafted Armas seventh overall in the 1996 MLS supplemental draft. That same year, Los Angeles selected Vanney 17th overall in the inaugural MLS College Draft.

Armas, a former Long Island Rough Rider, spent two seasons in L.A. before being traded to the Chicago Fire ahead of their inaugural 1998 campaign. He helped the Fire win both the MLS Cup and U.S. Open Cup that year.

He was named to the MLS Best XI from 1998 through 2001 before being sidelined by a knee injury. He returned in 2003, earning MLS Comeback Player of the Year and MLS Best XI honours.

Armas, who captained Chicago from 2003 to 2007, played in 264 MLS regular-season games (260 starts) with two goals and 48 assists. He retired at the end of the 2007 season.

On the international front, Armas won 66 caps for the U.S., and was chosen U.S. Soccer’s Male Athlete of the Year in 2000.

Read more at CBC.ca