Head coach Chris Armas names new Toronto FC coaching staff

·2 min read

TORONTO — New Toronto FC coach Chris Armas named his coaching staff Wednesday, with goalkeeper coach Jon Conway the lone holdover from Greg Vanney's era.

Conway is joined by Javier Perez, Ian Russell and Ewan Sharp.

"I am excited to have Javier, Ian and Ewan join Toronto FC to complete my staff," Armas said in a statement. "I am equally pleased that Jon Conway will continue in his role with us moving forward.

"This group brings a diverse amount of experience and success both within MLS and outside of the league. They all have great passion and knowledge for the game, and I am looking forward to working with them."

The 48-year-old Armas was named the franchise's 10th head coach on Jan. 13, filling the void left by Vanney's resignation. Vanney is now running the Los Angeles Galaxy, taking assistant coaches Dan Calichman, Nick Theslof and Canadian Jason Bent with him.

Perez spent the last four seasons as an assistant coach with New York City FC. Prior to that the Spanish native spent four years with U.S. Soccer, serving as head coach of the men's under-18 team and assistant coach with both the U.S. men’s senior and under-20 squads.

He was part of the senior men’s staff at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil and the U-20 squad at the 2015 U-20 FIFA World Cup in New Zealand. Prior to going to the U.S. in 2007, Perez spent six years at Real Madrid as head coach for youth teams from under-nine to under-19.

Russell spent the last four seasons as head coach of the USL's Reno 1868 FC, earning USL Championship coach of the year honours last year when his team won the USL Supporters Shield.

Prior to Reno 1868, he spent 2008 to 2016 as an assistant coach with the San Jose Earthquakes. As a player, Russell spent six seasons with the Earthquakes, winning two MLS Cups (2001, 2003) and one Supporters Shield title (2005). He ended his playing career in 2007 with the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Sharp spent the last four seasons as a performance analyst with the New York Red Bulls.

Conway begins his eighth season with TFC. He joined the first-team staff in August 2014 after spending the previous two seasons as goalkeeper head coach with the Toronto FC academy.

Armas, a former coach of the New York Red Bulls, won 66 caps for the U.S. as a defensive midfielder and was named to the MLS Best XI five times.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 16, 2021

Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press