New Galaxy coach Greg Vanney gets to work as preseason training begins – Daily News
The Galaxy has gone back in time for its new coach, hiring Greg Vanney in January.
Vanney and the Galaxy kicked off the 2021 preseason on Monday, hoping it’s the first step out of the darkness that has surrounded the franchise in recent years. The new MLS season kicks off on April 17.
“It’s exciting, it’s nice to be back home at a club that’s obviously so familiar over the years,” said Vanney. “It’s also different now, because I feel like as a player you’re out there and giving it your all and you can impact the game and the game just through your own performance, now I’m here as a leader of many people and a leader of a group of men, who are trying to be successful, both individually and collectively and it is a wonderful feeling.
Vanney, who played for the Galaxy from 1996 to 2001, has spent the last seven seasons coaching Toronto FC. He replaces Guillermo Barros Schelotto who was sacked last season.
Since the last season of Bruce Arena (2016), the Galaxy has finished 11th, seventh, fifth and 10th in the Western Conference. His last appearance in the MLS Cup dates back to 2014.
Another factor in the decline was the lack of consistency on the sidelines. Vanney is the fourth Galaxy coach since 2016.
“It’s like a breath of fresh air,” Galaxy midfielder Sebastian Lletget said of Vanney’s assumption of duty. “He’s definitely trying to change the culture of this club and instill his philosophy, and create an identity for this club. I am delighted to continue working with him and everyone else involved.
The offseason has been busy as the club acquired left-back Jorge Villafana, signed defender Oniel Fisher, as well as goalkeeper Jonathan Bond. The Galaxy have also added teenagers Marcus Ferkranus (17), Jalen Neal (17) and Adam Saldana (19) as local players, but Vanney added that he would like to see them continue playing with Galaxy II.
“As far as we need to, we have a lot of opportunities to keep adding to our group,” he said. “When I look at our squad now, we have really veteran players and we have very young players and we have to fill that space in the middle.
“We also want to develop this aspect of things, so we are moving forward and I hope there are some things that can be done here soon and announced. They’re right at the edge where we just need to tip them over the edge, whatever that last piece is. Nothing is really easy at the moment, signing players, visas, all that kind of thing is happening, everything is slow.
Vanney added that there remained “between 6 and 8 players to continue to be added to this group”.
“We still want to add to this core of veterans who are in their twenties, probably mid twenties, with 3,4,5,6,7 years (of experience) so that we can build some longevity with this group. “said Vanney. “And once we’ve got the groundwork laid, we’ve got a bunch of guys who will hopefully be able to be here for a while.”
A key question is whether or not the Galaxy will finalize a deal with Boca Juniors regarding Cristian Pavon.
Pavon, who played the last two seasons with the Galaxy on loan from the Argentina club, saw his loan deal expire and returned. However, Pavon and Boca Juniors have been at odds since his return. He recently had ankle surgery and to complicate matters, he now faces allegations of sexual abuse in Argentina.
“I don’t know the facts of the situation so I don’t have an opinion,” Vanney said. “It’s a situation that, you know, whoever is involved or when they figure out what happened or what the accusations are, they’ll lead. I don’t have an opinion until I really know the facts and where we are. I only heard wonderful things about the young man so I have no opinion on the situation, we’ll see where it goes.