Despite not being without modest success in their short run, New York City FC has seen three head coaches in just their five years of existence. The club’s inaugural season saw MLS lifer and former MLS Cup winner Jason Kreis take control over New York’s latest foray into the beautiful game. After an abysmal 2015 season, Kreis was handed his walking papers and in came former Arsenal legend and Manchester City academy coach Patrick Vieira.
Though he could never quite lead the club to silverware, Vieira had been shown capable of squeezing productivity out of NYCFC and lead them to second place finishes in both 2016 and 2017.
Midway through a 2018 season that had the makings of NYCFC’s best showing yet, Vieira left NYCFC to coach Ligue 1’s OGC Nice and in his place came former Pep Guardiola assistant Domé Torrent.
After an initial series of good results, NYCFC’s quality seemed to deteriorate under Torrent’s tutelage in the final phase of the 2018 season as they fell to third place in the East. Despite winning their opening playoff round against the Philadelphia Union, City were then methodically torn to bits by eventual MLS champs Atlanta United in the two-leg Eastern Conference Semifinals.
Early on in 2019, things didn’t seem to get better as the Pigeons only collected four points in their first five games, leading to a multitude of calls for Torrent to hand in his resignation or be handed his pink slip.
But the Catalan manager endured the ire of the New York sports media and since that initial rocky start, Torrent has turned NYCFC into one of the best sides in all of Major League Soccer by leading them to a first place finish in the East and clinching their first-ever berth into the CONCACAF Champions League. With the MLS Cup Playoffs still on the horizon, City are among the favorites to hoist the MLS Cup come next month.
But earlier today, the Daily Mail alerted NYCFC fans to a frightening possibility — another coaching change in the midst of a performance renaissance. With NYCFC’s impressive performance this season, Torrent is reportedly drawing interest from Europe and may even return into Guardiola’s team of tactical geniuses. His purported replacement should he depart for greener pastures? Former Feyenoord boss and Barcelona alum Giovanni van Bronckhorst, known to the footballing world as Gio.
Amid European interest for Dome Torrent, Giovanni van Bronckhorst earmarked as a future manager of #NYCFC.— MLS Buzz (@MLS_Buzz) October 10, 2019
Bronckhorst won 5 titles in 4 years at Feyenoord, his only full managerial role, and has been working with CFG since then. https://t.co/lgzESGkJLF
As things currently stand, Torrent is contractually tied to NYCFC until after the 2020 season. But as we saw with Vieira last summer, a mid-season departure isn’t off the table. And should the former Barcelona assistant find it necessary for his own career to move overseas mid-way through next year, the rumor is that City Football Group have “earmarked” Gio for the NYCFC job.
With Feyenoord, Gio won the Eredivise in 2016-17, won two KNVB Cups, as well as two Johan Cruyf Shields. Obviously, the guy is doing well for himself and is a capable manager
But it should be noted that with the way Torrent has NYCFC playing at the moment, a rough adjustment period may occur if any potential changing of the guard isn’t treated with the utmost care and respect. Vieira’s departure brought about a near-disaster meltdown for the Bronx Blues. And to be honest, City weren’t playing nearly as well then as they are now.
This news should definitely be taken with a grain of salt. After all, the Daily Mail is a tabloid and isn’t above exaggerating a story and has been linked in the past to several controversies. But if what they are reporting about NYCFC’s coaching situation proves true, we could be looking at a serious development for the club’s future whether it be good or bad.
We’ll update you should more details emerge.