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.