Ryan Nelsen was hired without any prior coaching experience in Jan. 2013. His staff has also been relieved, with Greg Vanney taking over at TFC.Ryan Nelsen has been fired by Toronto FC.
The former New Zealand international was relieved of his duties as head coach of TFC on Sunday afternoon, one day following a listless 3-0 home loss to Eastern Conference rival New England. Nelsen took aim at TFC general manager Tim Bezbatchenko after the loss, calling out the rookie GM for comments made midweek about the team's need "to take it up a notch" for the final stretch of the regular season.
It seems like Nelsen's comments were the final straw.
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In his place, Toronto announced that TFC Academy director Greg Vanney would take over the head coaching duties.
"I believe in the group of players we have here at Toronto FC," Bezbatchenko said in a club statement. "This is a group that we know is capable of winning and it's our job to put them in a position to be successful. Our recent results have fallen below our expectations and a change was needed. Greg is a person that possesses all the qualities that align with our vision for Toronto FC."
Along with Nelsen, assistant coaches Fran O'Leary, Jim Brennan, Duncan Oughton and Stewart Kerr were also let go by TFC on Sunday. Former Canadian international Jason Bent remains as the only member of Nelsen's staff to survive the purge.
TFC has a 9-9-6 record so far in 2014, and it currently sits in fourth place in MLS' Eastern Conference.