Patrick Vieira leaves New York City FC, Domènec Torrent next up

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK - March 11: Patrick Vieira, head coach of New York City FC on the sideline during the New York City FC Vs Orlando City SC regular season MLS game at Yankee Stadium on March 17, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK (June 11, 2018) – In 1994, a young midfielder from Dakar, Senegal, made his way to France to begin his professional career.

For two seasons, Patrick Vieira featured for AS Cannes. Located about 30 minutes away from Nice, Cannes sits at the bottom of France.

Now, over 20 years later, Vieira is returning to France.

Patrick Vieira leaves New York City FC, accepts Nice coaching post

This time, he’s making that 30 minute trip over to Nice. After two and a half years as head coach of New York City FC, Vieira has announced his departure from MLS.

Currently, New York City FC sits in second place in the Eastern Conference. The team made two back-to-back playoff appearances under Vieira.

Vieira thanked the club and City Football Group for giving him the chance to coach New York City FC.

Meanwhile, Vieira called New York City FC “tremendous.”

“Leaving New York is an incredibly difficult decision for me and for my family and one that has not been taken lightly,” Vieira said, via a press release. “From the beginning, City Football Group and its leadership, particularly our Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak, Brian Marwood, Ferran Soriano and Marty Edelman have believed in me and have helped guide me through the last eight years of my career – starting with my time as a player and ultimately culminating with my first opportunity to manage a First Team.”

In 91 matches, Vieira compiled a record of 40-23-28.

He was responsible for bringing in players like Maximiliano Moralez, Alexander Ring and Rodney Wallace. Vieira oversaw the resurgence of David Villa and Andrea Pirlo.

However, Pirlo is now retired.

“Patrick has been a fantastic role model at NYCFC and a true leader on and off the field,” Marty Edelman, NYCFC vice chairman, said. “We know that leaving the Club has been a difficult decision for him but we understand his choice to return to Europe where he spent his whole playing career.”

Also leaving the club and following Vieira to Nice are Christian Lattanzio (assistant coach), Kristian Wilson (performance coach) and Matt Cook (physical performance coach).

New York City FC announced on their press release that a new head coach announcement will be “in the very near future.”

Meanwhile, New York City FC will gear up for their next test. After the international break, NYCFC will host Toronto FC at Yankee Stadium.

The June 24 match will begin at 5 p.m. ET.

UPDATE: Domènec Torrent named HC

(June 11, 2018 at 12:20 p.m.) — Not long after Vieira announced his departure, New York City FC found their next man in charge.

The Spanish-born former midfielder has coached since 1994. He began his coaching career with FC Palafrugell in Spain. His most recent coaching excursion was alongside Pep Guardiola at Manchester City. His coaching career with Guardiola was totaled to 11 years.

Torrent served as a co-trainer. His decision to come to New York City FC lied with the opportunity to manage a team again.

“I really couldn’t have hoped for a better opportunity than at this football club,” Torrent said, via a press release. “I know we have a very talented team, I have watched many of the matches and I enjoy the way the team plays and I now can’t wait to begin working with the players on the training pitch.”

Torrent said that he has visited New York City before. However, he is now looking forward to living and coaching “in this special city.” Torrent also said he wants to meet fans “as soon as possible.”

“I am eager to experience and play a part in the soccer culture of New York,” Torrent said. “I’d like to thank the players and all my colleagues at Manchester City for making my time at the football club such a wonderful and memorable experience.”

Torrent is 55-years-old.

Reaction to Vieira’s exit

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