Another member of Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy is off to greener pastures. Greg Vanney, the manager of the Galaxy Academy Under-14s, has left the organization to become Assistant General Manager and Academy Director at Toronto FC.
Vanney originally joined the Galaxy Academy in July and, serving as the U-14 head coach in their inaugural season and leading them to a 10-2-2 record. Vanney’s team averaged better than three goals per game in his tenure while conceding just 15 goals in 14 games. As a player, he won the 2000 CONCACAF Champions Cup and 2001 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup with the club while earning 37 U.S. Men’s National Team appearances and a 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
“Greg is a visionary when it comes to player development,” said Toronto FC general manager Tim Bezbatchenko. “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. 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 endeavors.”
“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,” said Vanney. “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. I look forward to getting to work with the staff and players in the coming weeks and the Ontario soccer community at large.”
In other Academy news, Under-16 forward Haji Wright earned the Nike Golden Boot for his work for the U.S. Men’s Under-17 National Team. The States defeated England 5-1 and Brazil 4-1 while drawing Portugal 1-1.
A pair of Galaxy Academy goalkeepers are in Lakewood Ranch, Fla., playing for the U-17’s at the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Winter Showcase. Abraham Romero and Eric Lopez will each represent Clint Peay’s U-17 squad in games against U-18 teams from Solar Chelsea SC of Texas, Pennsylvania club PA Classics and the New England Revolution. Romero is a member of the U.S. Soccer Under-17 Residency Program while Lopez has made five appearances this season for the Galaxy U-16’s.
Finally, in first team news, Sean Franklin is on his way to D.C. United after being picked up by Ben Olsen’s men in Stage One of the MLS Re-Entry Process. Franklin ranks eighth in club history with 160 regular season appearances and 150 starts in a Galaxy kit. In all competitions in his Galaxy career, Franklin appeared in 195 games, making 182 starts while scoring seven goals and adding 24 assists.