Gregory van der Wiel says goodbye to Toronto, blames differences with TFC coaches
Toronto FC defender Gregory van der Wiel (9) leaves the field after defeating Atlanta United during MLS soccer action in Toronto, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston
The Canadian Press
Published Friday, January 25, 2019 3:47PM EST
Last Updated Friday, January 25, 2019 4:04PM EST
TORONTO -- Dutch international Gregory van der Wiel blames "difference with the coaching staff" for his split with Toronto FC.
And the 30-year-old defender appeared to take a parting shot at the MLS team in a farewell social media posting.
Van der Wiel was sent home Wednesday from the MLS training camp in California after an altercation with coach Greg Vanney, according to a source.
In an Instagram posting that started "Dear Toronto," van der Wiel said he thought he had found a place he could call home.
After playing for Ajax and Paris Saint-Germain, van der Wiel had been unhappy in stints with Turkey's Fenerbahce and Italy's Cagliari prior to signing with Toronto last February.
"Year One had ups and downs but I found my joy back and I could not wait to get started this new season," van der Wiel wrote. "I was ready to give it all.
"Unfortunately Year Two will never come due to differences with the coaching staff. I just want to win and do that no matter what the consequences are. I guess that mentality was a little too much for them and they decided they do not need me for this season. Teammates and fans, I will miss you guys. All the best."
A club spokesman said Toronto was trying to find a new home for him, either inside or outside MLS. The club has not detailed went down between the player and coach.
Van der Wiel, who made US$835,000 in his one season with TFC, played 27 games (25 starts) last season in a variety of positions across the Toronto backline.
It has been an eventful pre-season already for Toronto.
Spanish playmaker Victor Vazquez has left to join Qatar's Al-Arabi SC. Defender Nick Hagglund was traded to FC Cincinnati for $300,000 in allocation money and first spot in the league's allocation ranking.
Star striker Sebastian Giovinco also caused a minor ruckus when he told reporters that there was "serious talk" of an offer from another club, forcing Toronto to deny that it had received any formal offer.
Giovinco and fellow designated player Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore are all in the last year of their contracts.