New York City FC is coming off the best season in its brief history, but will need to find a new head coach to help try and improve on that success.
NYCFC and Domenec Torrent have agreed to part ways, ending a marriage that lasted just one and a half seasons, including a 2019 campaign that saw NYCFC finish in first place in the Eastern Conference.
Torrent’s departure doesn’t come as a shock. Not after he made it clear following the team’s elimination from the MLS playoffs that he wasn’t certain if he would return. Torrent voiced concerns about the team’s spending, making it clear he had no intention of staying with NYCFC if the club wasn’t going to commit more resources to strengthening the squad.
Torrent helped lead NYCFC to the best record in the MLS Eastern Conference in 2019, improving on an inaugural campaign that saw him struggle at times after taking over for Patrick Vieira at midseason. He helped NYCFC improve on its overall quality, and led the team to the best season of its short tenure in MLS.
After NYCFC’s playoff elimination at the hands of Toronto FC, Torrent made it clear he believes the team has the qualities to continue playing well, even if he were to leave.
“They are ready for another coach, because they are a group, a big group.,” Torrent said after NYCFC’s playoff loss to Toronto FC. “They are ready. But don’t worry. If Patrick is not here, it’s Dome. If Dome is not here, it’s another coach.”
Torrent did allude to issues behind the scenes with the club, and pointed out that NYCFC is in the middle of the pack in terms of spending by MLS teams. He said he would have talks with City Football Group leadership and make his final decision then on whether or not to return.
The ESPN report that initially broke the news of Torrent’s looming departure suggested Torrent could wind up coaching elsewhere in MLS, though it would seem unlikely that NYCFC let Torrent out of the remaining year of his contract without ensuring he wouldn’t take another MLS job.
One potential replacement for Torrent could be Dutch manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst. The former Feyenoord manager has close ties to NYCFC sporting director Claudio Reyna. The two are very close friends from their days playing together at Glasgow Rangers, and van Bronckhorst recently attended NYCFC’s final home game of the regular season, against Atlanta United.