But they have sealed a deal for another influential player in Vanney’s TFC tenure, in midfielder Victor Vazquez.
The Spaniard, who came through FC Barcelona’s system before embarking on a career spent abroad, was arguably the final piece to help Toronto clinch not only their first MLS Cup title, in 2017, but also an unprecedented domestic treble to date in MLS history that year.
The 34-year-old has 16 goals and 25 assists in MLS regular season play across two seasons in his career, and notching those tallies in 52 games is pretty, pretty good for a midfielder. Needless to say, the Galaxy hope the playmaker can help unlock their attack this upcoming season.
Vanney had high praise for Vazquez when discussing the player’s signing with reporters last week.
“He is one of the most intelligent soccer players that I’ve ever been around,” Vanney said. “His ability to organize the game, understand what the game needs, his vision for the final pass. His leadership within our group I think is going to be really important as we establish the culture and a vision of where we’re moving forward. And his technical ability is off the charts but he processes the game in his mind as fast as anyone I’ve ever seen and so his recognition of things is excellent.”
The Galaxy have talent on their roster in attack, starting with star forward Chicharito, who had a terrible debut season in MLS. Vanney, unsurprisingly, has pinpointed Vazquez as a key player to help Chicharito get back to his best.
“I think for a player like Javier who, one of his strengths is his running and his quick movements and second and third runs to get himself open, a guy like Victor is going to recognize those runs and put the ball where he needs it, where sometimes players tend to play his first run when he needs it on his second or third run and so again I think just he’s another guy that really can organize the final action for us, it’s different than I think most guys ever in the history of this league. He’s got that quality,” Vanney said.
Vanney said last week that Vazquez both had to get his visa and successfully clear quarantine before joining the Galaxy in full preseason camp, and the player had a message for LA fans on Monday, his physical location unknown.
Vanney was asked about Vazquez’s age and how much he projects to use the player in 2021. The coach wouldn’t commit to a set number of games, but admitted the squad would clearly need to be rotated throughout a long season to keep everyone fresh.
And Vanney acknowledged Vazquez is a player for now, not the future. But he emphasized what he thinks the midfielder will bring to a new-look Galaxy team in 2021.
“I think it’s an objective of our whole team to create chances and to put Javier and others in positions to score goals. But I think Victor is one with the special qualities and an eye for the pass that sometimes most of us don’t see, he finds a way to see it and deliver it. So there’s a couple of things that have to happen: As I’ve been saying collectively we’ve got to be better and more clear about how we want to go about creating chances but even inside of that you’ve got to have the special players who can deliver some of those balls more frequently than others or see them more frequently than others and that’s what he brings to the equation,” Vanney explained.
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