New Galaxy coach Greg Vanney ready to get to work – Daily News

Greg Vanney knows how to handle a rebuilding project.

He did it with Toronto FC, where he coached for six seasons, taking over a franchise that had failed to qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs for eight seasons.

Now, at 46, he’s back with the Galaxy, this time as a coach, but still with a lot of work to be done. Sort of like the early days of his playing career, which began with the Galaxy in 1996.

“The old days of when I was part of the Galaxy the first time, we trained at the parking lot outside of the Rose Bowl, where the grass is,” Vanney said Wednesday. “There was glass and we would walk around as a team and pick up the glass and put it in the garbage, there were manhole covers on the field and somehow we managed to get to three championships playing in circumstances like that.

“It’s about mentality and the work that you do and being purposeful every day and how you approach things and not looking for problems, but finding solutions and being willing to go the extra mile, for under any circumstances, whether that be the game or training to try to improve and having that mentality is what it means to me to be part of the Galaxy.”

After spending his first six professional years (1996-2001) with the Galaxy, Vanney returned in 2008, his final year as a player.

Tuesday, he was officially announced as the new coach of the Galaxy, a franchise that’s in need of a reboot.

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Vanney replaces Guillermo Barros Schelotto, who was fired in October, just shy of completing two years of a three-year contract.

“Ther are a lot of quality people who can coach, certainly in our country and across the world, who were interested in this job,” Galaxy president Chris Klein said. “Part of what we were looking for was someone who can come in and lead our team on the field, who had a culture and real love for this club. Greg certainly has that.”

Vanney takes over a Galaxy team that finished in 10th place in the Western Conference last season, missing the playoffs for the third time in the last four years.

Getting the team turned back toward the top of the standings will be challenging.

The Galaxy is still in a holding pattern regarding Cristian Pavon. Pavon has spent the last two seasons with the Galaxy on loan from Boca Juniors in Argentina. The loan deal expired on Dec. 31. Boca Juniors requested a $20 million price for the Galaxy to purchase Pavon, but the Galaxy has so far balked at that price.

“We formally declined the option price, which is a mere formality because our interest stays alive,” Galaxy general manager Dennis te Kloese said. “We’ve been in contact in the last month, month and a half, formally with Boca (Juniors), those conversations have been very friendly and open, but we haven’t reached any agreement.”

The Galaxy has taken its time regarding building the roster, whereas several teams around the league have already undergone makeovers.

Now, as he settles in, Vanney will begin the work on his latest project.

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“Our legacy means nothing to our future if we don’t show up and work every single day and try to build off of it,” he said. “We can’t just talk about the five championships that we’ve won. It’s about what we do today to prepare for the game on the weekend to try and get a result.

“That takes humility, it takes foresight, it takes some planning, some direction and it takes buy-in. We are looking for players who want to be here for the right reasons. We will always respect the legacy of this club and I think it’s our responsibility to try to build off of that. That legacy exists for those players and this club and now what can we as a working group do to add to that and that starts with Day 1.”


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