Toronto FC says Javier Perez, who took over as interim head coach after Chris Armas was fired on July 4, will remain in charge for the remainder of the season.
The MLS club did not elaborate on Perez’s future after that in a two-sentence statement Monday announcing that it would remove the “interim” tag for the remainder of the 2021 season. Presumably, the coaching job is his for win or lose.
With Pérez, Toronto has lost just once in seven games (2-1-4) heading into Saturday’s game against the New England Revolution.
Still, Toronto has nowhere else to go other than upstairs. Thanks to winning just one of its first 11 games, TFC is at the bottom of the 27-team league and is nine points behind a playoff position in the Eastern Conference, with six teams between it and Columbus, which it currently occupies. last postseason spot.
TFC has shown more composure with Perez, although he has still delivered performances of great variety in quality, sometimes in the same game. And defense remains a problem as the club have conceded the worst 38 goals in the league.
Hired in mid-February to join Armas’ coaching staff, the 44-year-old Spaniard left Toronto in late March for training camp in Florida as an assistant coach. He returned last month as the man in charge after Armas was fired with the club bogged down at the bottom of the standings at 1-8-2.
Pérez spent time with US Soccer as a youth coach and assistant coach with the senior team after leaving Spain, where he was a youth coach with Real Madrid. He was an assistant coach for New York City FC from 2016 to 2019.
Toronto players like Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore, and Alex Bono worked with Pérez during his US Soccer days.
With his UEFA Pro license and a PhD in sports science from the University of León in Spain, Pérez brings many qualifications to his work as a coach.
He speaks Spanish and English, French and German, “all pretty bad,” he joked.
He said he moved to North America in 2009 after visiting New York City for the first time. He fell in love with the city, but wasn’t sure what it meant to a professional soccer coach.