Toronto FC announced Wednesday that it has hired Greg Vanney as Assistant General Manager and Toronto FC KIA Academy Director. As a result, Thomas Rongen is no longer the Director of the Academy.
“Greg is a visionary when it comes to player development. He shares our Club’s passion for innovation and is an educator of both players and coaches. We are pleased to welcome him to Toronto FC,” said Toronto FC General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko. “I’d like to thank Thomas for the tremendous job he has done over the past two years here. I have a great deal of respect for him and wish him well in his future endeavours.”
Vanney, 39, joins Toronto FC after most recently serving as the head coach for LA Galaxy’s U-14 Academy side and Technical Director of the LA Galaxy partner club LA Galaxy South Bay. He is also currently taking part in the Elite Formation Coaching Licence program, a development course partnered by Major League Soccer (MLS) and the French Football Federation. Vanney holds a USSF “A” Coaching License and has been involved with the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.
Vanney previously held titles of Director of Soccer Operations and Director of Real Salt Lake-Arizona Youth Academy at Grande Sports World. It was there that he oversaw program and business development at the Grande Sports World facility. Vanney, Grande Sports World, and Real Salt Lake were responsible for creation of the first MLS Residential Academy in the United States, which began play in the Fall of 2010. Vanney also held a dual role at Chivas USA from 2011-2012 as assistant coach under Robin Fraser and technical director of the youth academy.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to join the Toronto FC family and lead a great staff in the development and preparation of players for the TFC First Team. The vision and commitment to success and innovation of the ownership, MLSE President & CEO Tim Leiweke, and General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko, make this a very exciting challenge,” said Assistant General Manager & Toronto FC KIA Academy Director Greg Vanney. “I look forward to getting to work with the staff and players in the coming weeks and the Ontario soccer community at large.”
Vanney played professionally for 13 years, starting with the LA Galaxy in 1996. During his time with the Galaxy, Vanney helped lead the club to three MLS Cup championship finals, one Supporter's Shield, a US Open Cup Championship and a CONCACAF Champions Cup title. He was named to the MLS Best XI in 2000 and 2001. Following the 2001 season, Vanney transferred to SC Bastia, of France’s Ligue 1, where he remained until 2005 helping the club reach the Coup de France Final in 2002. He re-joined MLS, signing with FC Dallas and spent two seasons with the Hoops; where he earned two All-Star selections, captaining the 2005 team to a 4-0 victory over Fulham. Vanney was traded to the Colorado Rapids in January 2007, and then to D.C. United later that same season. Vanney re-joined the LA Galaxy in February 2008 and retired at the conclusion of the season. During his playing career, Vanney earned 36 caps and scored one goal for the United States Men’s National team. He was part of the U.S. side that won the 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Rongen, 57, was hired on January 6, 2012, and spent the past two seasons heading the Toronto FC KIA Academy.