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#ThankYouPatrick: Vieira departs NYCFC for OGC Nice

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MLS: New York City FC at Columbus Crew SC Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

I don’t think any of us had actually prepared for it, despite all of the rumors. But sister club Manchester City has confirmed that New York City FC manager Patrick Vieira has departed the five boroughs to coach Ligue 1 side OGC Nice.

Vieira took over the club after the firing of coach Jason Kreis, the latter of which was brought upon following a terrible 2015 season, the club’s inaugural campaign. From day one, the French gaffer began building a winning tradition for New York City, leading them to two straight second place finishes in the Eastern Conference through the 2016 and 2017 seasons.

The former Arsenal legend gave NYCFC a legitimate identity, something that was lacking under Kreis. Vieira brought with him a signature, but fluid 4-3-3 formation, a play-from-the-back style, and was also key in signing players that have played key roles for the Bronx Blues like Alex Ring, Maxi Moralez, and — most recently — Ismael Tajouri-Shradi.

Vieira spoke to ManCity.com about his departure. “Having the opportunity to be a Head Coach in New York is something many dream of,” he said. “Our incredibly passionate fans have made this one of the most special experiences I’ve had in football. Thank you to each and every one of you that stands by the team day in and day out.

“From the fantastic staff in the front office, the outstanding sporting department lead by Claudio Reyna and the immensely talented players, New York City FC is a Club with a wonderful future ahead of it – I will always be a fan and it will hold a special place in my heart.”

Vieira brings with him three assistant coaches, including Christian Lottanzio who many onlookers considered to be a potential replacement.

We here at Hudson River Blue thank Patrick Vieira from the bottom of our hearts for what he has brought to this football club. His brilliance and aura will be missed in the Bronx.