Domenec Torrent’s tenure as New York City head coach could be over after his first full season in charge.
According to a report by ESPN, Torrent plans on leaving the club after 1.5 seasons in charge.
Torrent has a year left on his contract with the MLS club, but 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 suggests Torrent has made up his mind, and if he is, in fact leaving, then that could be taken to mean NYCFC’s upper management wouldn’t increase spending.
It should be noted that NYCFC spent big money in its early years to sign the star trio of David Villa, Frank Lampard and Andrea Pirlo, but actually enjoyed more success once Lampard and Pirlo left and the team focused on players who weren’t necessarily big names, but younger and less expensive options, such as Heber and Alexandru Mitrita.
The ESPN report suggested Torrent could wind up coaching elsewhere in MLS, though it would seem strange for NYCFC to allow Torrent out of his contract and still remain within MLS.
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.