TORONTO – Saturday’s 1-0 win over NYCFC carried an extra significance.
Not only did it kickoff the home portion of the season in style, continue Toronto FC’s unbeaten start to the 2020 season, and extend a regular season undefeated run to 12 matches, but it marked the 100th win in all competitions for Greg Vanney as head coach.
“I couldn't be happier for him,” said Jozy Altidore post-match. “We had a little moment for him. His vision, his way of wanting to play football, even with sometimes not the most talented group, he finds a way to get a group that works hard together and works hard for him.”
“It's a testament to what he's built here,” continued Altidore. “As much as we've had some great players come through here the past four or five years, none of it happens without a man with such a vision and a strong personality like him. He’s done a terrific job.”
Vanney took over the managerial reins mid-2014 and has gone on to surpass the win total of every one of the eight coaches that came before him, both individually and combined.
According to Quentin Westberg, it is hard work and creating the right environment for his players to succeed that has paved the way for this milestone.
“It's the best: coming to practice every day to follow his lead, the tactical stuff he wants to set up,” said Westberg. “The vibe of him and his staff is great. It's this settled environment, this calm and very strong environment that they set.”
“I really cherish it; I'm really grateful for being in such an environment,” added the veteran keeper. “Being able to get his 100th win in MLS is just one of the many milestones he’s going to achieve.”
That quiet confidence Vanney typically exudes is not the only tool on his belt, however. He will bring some fire when needed.
“I was close enough to him on the sidelines today that he definitely does have a vocabulary,” laughed Richie Laryea, asked if Vanney was always as understated as he appears. “But no, he's usually calm and composed. That's what he feeds us to make sure we're able to execute.”
Vanney pushed any talk of plaudits to his players.
“I'm pleased for what the 100th win stands for,” he said. “Over the course of this we've raised trophies, many of them; we've played in eight finals in just the last four years; we've been in it every single year; we won a Supporters’ Shield and an MLS Cup. All 100 of them are special in their own way, tonight included, and so I'm happy for the guys that I get to work with because they're the ones who win the games.”
“I try to set them up to understand what the game is going to look like and give them as much preparation as I can, but when the game starts they're the ones that execute, the ones that step on the field and make it happen,” Vanney continued. “A lot of these guys have been here since the first win and I'm proud of them. That's what it's about at the end of the day. My job is just to help organize them and give them a framework in which to go win games.”