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Toronto FC announce coaching staff

Toronto FC announced today that Javier Perez, Ian Russell, Ewan Sharp and Jon Conway will form newly appointed head coach Chris Armas’ coaching staff.

“I am excited to have Javier, Ian and Ewan join Toronto FC to complete my staff,” said Toronto FC Head Coach Chris Armas. “I am equally pleased that Jon Conway will continue in his role with us moving forward. This group brings a diverse amount of experience and success both within MLS and outside of the league. They all have great passion and knowledge for the game, and I am looking forward to working with them.”

Perez, a native of Spain, most recently worked as an assistant coach with New York City FC, where he spent four seasons (2016-20). Prior to his work with NYCFC, Perez spent four years with US Soccer, serving as head coach of the U-18 Men’s National Team and assistant coach with both the U.S. Men’s National Team and U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team. He was part of the senior men’s national team’s staff at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil and the U-20 squad at the 2015 U-20 FIFA World Cup in New Zealand. Before going to the U.S. in 2007, Perez spent six years at Real Madrid as a head coach for youth teams from U-9 to U-19 at the club’s foundation development center (2001-2007). Perez holds his UEFA Pro Licence, UEFA “A” Licence and a Ph.D. in Sports Science from Universidad De Leon in Spain.

Russell, a longtime MLS player and assistant coach, spent the past four seasons as head coach of USL side, Reno 1868 FC, where his side made the playoffs all four seasons, winning 64 matches during that time. Russell was named the 2020 USL Championship Coach of the Year as his side won the 2020 USL Supporters Shield. Prior to joining Reno 1868 FC, Russell was an assistant coach with the San Jose Earthquakes for eight seasons (2008-2016) and was part of the club’s 2012 Supporters’ Shield winning team. As a player, Russell spent six seasons with the San Jose Earthquakes and won two MLS Cups (2001, 2003) and one Supporters Shield title (2005). He spent his final season in 2007 with the LA Galaxy. Russell holds both his PRO Licence and “A” Licence from the U.S. Soccer Federation.

Sharp joins after spending the past four seasons as a performance analyst with the New York Red Bulls. Sharp worked closely with the coaching staff and played an important role in opposition scouting, match planning, in match and post-match analysis. He also assisted the scouting department in identification and recruitment. Prior to his time with the Red Bulls, Sharp was the Director of Performance Analysis for the Northwestern University Men’s Soccer program (2015-2017). In addition, Sharp held roles with the Chicago Fire as First Team Video Assistant during the 2016 season and as an assistant coach with the Mercyhurst University Men’s Soccer program (2014-15). Sharp holds a “C” Licence from the U.S. Soccer Federation and a UEFA “C” Licence – Phase 1.

In addition, Armas has retained goalkeeper coach Jon Conway. Conway enters his eighth season with Toronto FC. He originally joined the first team on August 31, 2014 after spending the previous two seasons as goalkeeper head coach with the Toronto FC Academy.