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Toronto FC appoints Chris Armas as head coach


Toronto FC hired its 10th head coach in club history on Wednesday, bringing in a former Eastern Conference hire to take over up north.

The Eastern Conference club announced the hiring of Chris Armas, who recently served as head coach of the New York Red Bulls for two years. Armas led the Red Bulls to a Supporters’ Shield in 2018 before being fired this past September in the midst of a disappointing season.

“I could not be more excited to join a club with Toronto FC’s level of excellence and winning tradition and I will work tirelessly to uphold those standards,” said Armas. “I’m grateful to Mr. Tanenbaum and to Bill Manning and Ali Curtis for their belief in me and for giving me this opportunity.”

“As an opposing coach I felt the passion the fans and supporters bring to BMO Field. It is next level. I can’t wait to put a team on the field that will not only make them proud with the way we play, but also with the way we run, battle and compete every minute of every game.”

Armas’ appointment comes one month after Greg Vanney decided to leave Toronto FC, a move that came shortly before he took the head coaching job at the LA Galaxy. For the 48-year-old Armas, Toronto FC will mark his second professional head coaching gig.

Armas took charge of the Red Bulls in July 2018, but had mixed results in his two-and-a-half seasons. The American helped lead the team to a Supporters’ Shield in his debut campaign as head coach, but struggled to replicate that level of success over the next two seasons.

It was reported earlier in the offseason that Armas was in talks with D.C. United over its coaching vacancy, but a deal could not be reached.

One of the highest-spending organizations in MLS, Toronto FC has appeared in three of the last five MLS Cup Finals and won its sole league title in 2017. The team went 13-5-5 in 2020, good enough for second place in the Eastern Conference, but crashed out in the first round of the playoffs.


  1. It is hard to give Armas too much credit for the Supporters Shield since the Red Bulls had a stable roster and were well on their way to winning it when he took over in July. He basically did not screw it up. Things for the Red Bulls have gone downhill since. Of course, losing BWP to injury for most of the 2019 season would have been a big blow to any team/coach and that was beyond his control.

    I don’t know how personnel decisions are made in NY, but since Marsch left things have clearly gone downhill. Perhaps trading or releasing team leaders (McCarty, Kljestan, BWP, Adams, Robles, etc. then replacing with unproven Home-Grown players) routinely was not a sustainable plan.

  2. hard done by for getting SS with a record points total

    they dismantled the name brand player version of the team and went more in an academy driven direction, that’s not his fault

  3. It’s funny that coaches in MLS sometimes complain about about the carousel of blundering Premier League boy’s club coaches always getting appointed to the relegation-threatened jobs while right here at home, at a time where youth development and homegrown talent is just getting exciting, the same tired names keep getting new opportunities that they’ve fallen into from fresh failures. Can’t wait until Jason Kreis, Pablo Mastroeni, or Ben Olsen are back in the MLS head coaching fold…

    • i think winning SS with a record points doesn’t make you ben olsen stumbling about for years. olsen would be recycling. a coach who wins the regular season should probably get hired again, duh. just like there are EPL regulars with some winning history eg roberto martinez and there are some who correlate to relegation fight. it is important to separate the two which one can do by looking at resumes.

      the one distinction i would make is there are some coaches like kreis who had success in one particular situation, then a longer resume where that is not replicated at later stops. that suggests it was a fluke or they were handed a good roster. but again that would be specific to their resume/history.

      if the implication is foreign is better, houston brought in coyle from england and he sucked. one could have anticipated that based on relegating some teams before he came here. and then he sucked after too when he got recycled in the UK. but this too could have been foretold from the resume. just like if tata wanted to come back to MLS you throw him a parade.

      • Yeah I appreciate you looking for clarity, because I don’t think foreign managers are necessarily better (remember Ruud Gullit? What a joker). I’m really only pointing out that the same thing is happening here, and i think there are far better managers, and some of them might be domestically based, that are better options.

  4. wow, cant imagine Toronto fans are excited about this, but they probably were NOT excited about Varney either.


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