The threat of Domé Torrent leaving New York City FC before next season has become a real possibility over the past week. After City’s crushing 2-1 defeat to Toronto FC in the Eastern Conference Semifinal last Wednesday, it’s been a bittersweet week of reflection for club supporters.
The good news? NYCFC’s stadium search may be nearing a close. The bad? The man who leads the club may not be around for the champagne.
As reported by Pro Soccer USA’s Glenn Crooks — with an assist by John Rojas on the translation — Torrent has revealed to Spanish podcast Se Llama Soccer his issues with managing NYCFC during his year-and-a-half tenure and expressed less-than-glowing feelings towards how the team has been run by the front office this season.
Dome Torrent may leave #NYCFC - thanks to @jrojasa75 for his translation of Spanish pod @sellamasoccer which provided some startling revelations from the City coach @NYCFC @MLS #MLSCupPlayoffs #MLSCup #MLS @ThirdRailSC @NYCitySC @SiriusXMFC @joetolleson https://t.co/i9DkQSvsDM— Glenn Crooks (@GlennCrooks) October 29, 2019
In the interview — which took place days before NYCFC’s early exit from the 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs — Torrent voiced his frustrations on a number of things, including City’s status within the league and the difficulties of signing a striker after the departure of David Villa last year.
“We started the season without a proper No. 9, and you have to know that Heber was our ninth option,” Torrent said. “This means that the club couldn’t sign the first option or the second, for many reasons — sometimes financial, sometimes because the player at the last part of the process decided to stay where he was. But the fact is that Heber was the 9th option, and then when I said, ‘I want this player,’ we took 50 days to sign him.”
Héber joined the club as a striker on March 21, a few weeks following the start of the season. The Brazilian didn’t see the field until April 6 against Minnesota United.
“I have no doubt that having a player like Heber from the beginning we would be talking about the chance of winning the Supporters Shield. I’m convinced of that,” Torrent said.
Not only did the Catalan manager voice his struggles with getting a striker on the field — Torrent also questioned NYCFC’s reputation within MLS, comparing the Blues unfavorably to a mid-table La Liga side in terms of spending.
“People think that New York City FC has this big impact because of the name of the city,” Torrent continued on the podcast. “But looking at the league, it is comparable to Espanyol in Barcelona. Of the 20 teams in La Liga, Espanyol is 10th in players’ budget and in NYCFC we are the 12th of 24 teams. This is something that many people don’t know, and maybe because of this we couldn’t sign the exact player that would replace David Villa like for like, because that wouldn’t fit in the budget.”
As someone who wasn’t always Domé’s biggest fan, this is kind of rough to hear. Torrent was forced to bear the brunt of the blame for New York City’s early struggles. But if this information he’s revealed is true, then maybe we had the wrong guy... maybe the FO should be held somewhat accountable.
Two weeks before NYCFC’s playoff loss, it was rumored that Torrent’s future with the club was uncertain. Should he leave, former Barcelona left back and Feyenoord manager Gio van Bronckhorst has reportedly been “earmarked” for the manager job in New York.
Albert Puig — Domé’s lead assistant coach — has already departed the club according to one of Crooks’ sources.
I really don’t what to say about the situation at this point. Despite NYCFC being unceremoniously dumped on their head by Toronto last week, I never really blamed Domé for that as it was two costly defensive mistakes that lead to each of TFC’s two goals.
I hope that Torrent stays and finishes what he started. And if he decides to move on, I hope the front office doesn’t shortchange whoever takes over and actually decides to spend cash on valuable players.
At the very least, I hope this saga ends soon so we know where we stand.