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Greg Vanney & Tim Bezbatchenko set for Toronto FC contract extensions

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Bill Manning has confirmed he plans to tie down Reds’ head coach and general manager beyond the current season.

MLS: Toronto FC at Chicago Fire Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto FC’s braintrust has preached continuity in terms of the club’s playing staff this winter, and the message is much the same when it comes to the management team.

Reds president Bill Manning confirmed at the club’s preseason breakfast for season-seat holders last week that both head coach Greg Vanney and general manager Tim Bezbatchenko, who are out of contract at the end of 2017, will be offered extensions to their current deals.

Manning indicated that he considered it such a formality that, assuming salary negotiations come to a successful conclusion, we may not even hear publicly that Vanney and Bezbatchenko have signed on the dotted line.

MLS: MVP Press Conference Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

When asked if their contract situation is something he would like to sort out soon, Manning replied: “Yes. [The talks are] ongoing right now and hopefully it’s a non-news thing and it’ll be done privately. Both are very talented and I’ve said publicly, my stance is that I want to build this thing for many years to come.”

While, like every front office, certain duties are assigned specifically to one of Vanney, Bezbatchenko or Manning, there is a general understanding that the trio takes most major decisions together. Manning has previously stated that they will not sign a player, for instance, without total agreement between the three of them.

That affords Vanney - who also holds the title of technical director - power that not all MLS head coaches have, something that is in line with the model MLSE has adopted with its flagship franchise, the Maple Leafs, where Mike Babcock has direct input at a team-building level.

Later at the same event, meanwhile, Bezbatchenko stated his belief that Toronto’s retention of the same core for the 2017 season was one way of establishing an edge in a league that restricts spending and emphasizes parity.

“In a league with a salary cap and very tight restrictions on the rules so that there’s equal opportunity - or some people would call it parity - I think you have to find any competitive edges and advantages that you can, and we feel that keeping our group together and a consistent roster is one competitive advantage,” he explained.

“On average, we now have about five years of MLS experience in our starting group, and we’ve crossed two years of average experience in terms of being with the club, approaching three, which obviously is a good sign that we’re keeping players around, the players know each other and we can build on the chemistry that they left with last year.”