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Toronto FC names John Herdman as new head coach


Toronto FC appointed a familiar face to Canadian soccer fans on Monday with hopes of getting the club back on track.

John Herdman was named TFC’s new head coach, the club announced Monday. Herdman recently served as head coach of the Canadian men’s national team from 2018-23, leading them to the FIFA World Cup in 2022.

He will officially begin his new role on Oct. 1.

“I’ve had a great relationship with John over the years and have always been impressed with his ability to get the most out of his teams,” said Toronto FC President Bill Manning. “John is more than just a coach. He’s a great leader and a culture builder. We look forward to John having the same positive impact with TFC as he has had with Canada Soccer.”

Herdman also was head coach of the New Zealand women’s national team from 2006-11 and the Canadian women’s national team from 2011-18. He registered a 98-22-46 record with the Canada men’s and women’s teams, leading the women’s team to bronze medals at the 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics.

“I am keen to start this new opportunity with Toronto FC. Personally, it’s the right time for me to step into a new challenge in my career, and the structure of a club environment is a context I’ve aspired to operate in. Having access to connect and collaborate with the staff and players daily allows for a different depth of development and connection, both on and off the pitch,” said Herdman.

“To continue my coaching journey in a Canadian city that I know well, playing at BMO Field – a stadium where I’ve experienced some of my favourite sporting moments, with incredible fans, is quite amazing. I want to thank President Bill Manning and MLSE for trusting me with this project. I am motivated to work with this team and an organization of this caliber.”

Born in Durham, England, Herdman took over the Canada men’s national team in 2018. He led the Canadians to their first World Cup appearance in 36 years while Canada also reached its highest FIFA ranking to date in February 2022 (33rd).

Toronto FC has struggled for majority of the 2023 MLS season, currently sitting last in the Eastern Conference on 19 points. They have lost 10-straight matches across all competitions, including two group stage matches at the recent 2023 Leagues Cup.


  1. Herdman will have a hard time. Great teams are built around a few great players and a good number of solid players. Toronto does not have enough of those. I am afraid he will just be pushing chairs around on the deck of the Titanic as it sinks.

  2. i’d suggested him as a WNT option and apparently he was available — which i figured with their fiscal issues.

    • As I pointed out to you at the time he loves Canada. To him coaching USWNT would be like a Celtic manager going to Rangers. He wasn’t going to do it. Apparently Herdman contacted TFC about the opening. In his statement he said he really wanted the challenge of coaching a club which he’s never done before.

      • my guess is it’s more complicated than that. british guy, coached in NZ before americas, kid even plays NZ U20 (we played against). i’d be curious if his kid playing for vancouver 2 is out of the nest. that and after balogun, pefok, and the tillmans i am somewhat skeptical of absolutes on such things. i was aware of them before many on here and was told for years they wouldn’t happen.

        let’s be real, if this is back to standard recent USSF process the GM job is in the application phase — which will consume through october — and we aren’t even looking for HCs yet. we have to take the process very very seriously before ultimately hiring some second rate schmuck.

      • Do we know the process hasn’t started?
        After WC New Zealand made a run at Herdman he turned them down saying he was committed to Canada. I’m sure John knows exactly how bad the financials are for Canada. Like am I going to get paid and sought out Toronto.

    • It could go really well or equally bad as it now. He’s kind of a rah rah guy not sure how that will play with the DPs. Of course not sure how long Insigne and Bernadeschi will be there. He’s also tended to over tinker for Canada at times, if he’s with the team all the time will he be more consistent or be changing things even more because he has time.

      • I love how people nitpick. Look at results. The Canadian women did exceedingly well under Herdman and, while some of it is due to their best players getting older, they did much worse after he left. As for his time with the men, in case people forget, they won the group, while the US was 3rd. Of the 3 teams that qualified for the last WC, I would rather have the US pool over that of both Mexico and Canada. While Canada may have underachieved in the WC, that is not uncommon for a team that hasn’t been there in decades.

      • Gary,
        Herdman’s time with CWNT was successful but not their best. Herdman won 2 bronze medals, after his departure they won gold in Tokyo. He led them to the quarterfinals in 2015 WC, but on home soil that was a disappointment. The 2003 Canada side had made the semifinals of the WC. Is there a trophy for finishing first in qualifying? Has Herdman ever won an international or continental trophy? I guess if you count the 2011 Pan Am games (US didn’t play). I don’t see how anyone could see this as a slam dunk. He never played professional soccer and his only club experience is as a youth development coach at Sunderland 20 years ago. The roster at TFC is full of guys in their mid 30s then a bunch of homegrowns. They paid a ton of money for the two Italians that don’t really seem all that interested in playing or getting on board with any manager. Kudos to him for taking the challenge but this will not be easy.

      • Yeah, it definitely looks like the Italian guys decided it was a bunch of palookas around them and decided to mail it in…kind of the complete opposite of Messi, who showed up from Minute 1 still full of zeal to play the game. I doubt Herdman reaches them and if those two aren’t interested there is no point. Maybe the Saudis will bail out TFC and buy them.

        I am genuinely shocked by how poorly TFC has built itself over the years. They have deep, deep pockets by MLS standards – for the last two years they were the biggest spenders in the league until Miami said Hold My Beer and spent $60+ million bringing in Messi and Busquets, but their front office has seemed a clown show.

      • Q: apparently the relationship with Alphonso Davies was strained according to Total Soccer Show so that doesn’t bode well his managing the Italian DPs. The upper management is such a mess at TFC Herdman could do all the right things and still not win.

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