When fellow MLS side NYCFC decided to relieve coach Jason Kreis of his duties on Monday, it didn’t take long for Kreis to be mentioned as front runner for coaching vacancies around the league.
One of the clubs that Kreis was linked to was Toronto FC, but according to mlssoccer.com, Greg Vanney will stick around for the time being.
It is a bizarre circumstance to have Vanney on the hot seat already. The club made the playoffs for the first time in its history, has the MLS Golden Boot winner and probable MVP winner in Sebastian Giovinco on their side, and has a history of being quick to cast judgement on their coaches.
Yes, the club just made the playoffs, scored the same amount of goals as they conceded, and lost to bitter rivals Montreal Impact in embarrassing fashion. However, Vanney should not take the full blame for this. The clubs defensive woes hurt the team at a time when they really needed help, and both Columbus Crew and the Impact were able to quite TFC’s attack with strong defensive plays.
In its nine year history, Toronto FC have had nine head coaches. That is a staggering amount for a club that isn’t a decade old yet.
If all things go well for current coach Greg Vanney, he will become the first coach in team history to manage the side for two straight seasons. That is a big moment for the 41 year-old.
Back to Kreis. The former NYCFC and Real Salt Lake coach has been apart of the league for awhile, and knows how it works. The reason why some people thought Kreis would be heading to Toronto, was simply because he use to work with current TFC president, Bill Manning, at Real Salt Lake back in 2008.
Kreis helped guide the side to a 2009 MLS Cup win and the only Championship the club has, so far. Manning was asked by reporters yesterday at TFC’s end of the season press conference about Vanney and Kreis, and he spoke briefly about the rumours. His answer was simple, No.
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“Sometimes it’s easy to say, ‘Fire someone’, but had I fired Jason Kreis, RSL wouldn’t of had the history they have,” said Manning.
“so I look at this scenario, and I find [it] very similar. With another season, with the group that we’ve built and fine tuning, Greg can be a very good coach in this league.”
Manning is right. Why would the club fire a coach who brought success to the team and has a plan for the players involved? If Manning fired Kreis in 2008 when the club finished 10-10-10, the club might have never won the cup the year later. Manning even brought up that fans wanted Kreis out of Salt Lake, just like some want Vanney out of Toronto.
How the club handles the offseason and the draft will be good indications on how the club plans on doing business going forward. Obviously, it is very early to say where TFC, or any club will finish next year. But what is for certain, TFC wont settle for just making the playoffs and losing in the first round next year. They will want to see improvement and hopefully a place in the semi-finals or even final are in store for the team that turns 10 next season.