The lone remaining head coaching vacancy in Major League Soccer has finally been filled, and just in time for the start of preseason.
New York City FC has announced the hiring of Norwegian coach Ronny Deila as the team’s new head coach, ending a prolonged search for a replacement for Domenec Torrent, who left the club at the end of the 2019 season.
“When I come in, it’s important to continue to build on what’s already proven to be a strong foundation and to get some of my ideas across,” Deila said in a statement issued by the team. “The way I want to play and the way NYCFC has played is very similar. I’m a very attacking coach. We want to have the ball as much as possible, but also try to be direct when you have those opportunities.”
Deila joins NYCFC from Norwegian side Valerenga after previously spent time as manager of Scottish powerhouse Celtic. Deila’s managerial career began in Norway after a lengthy playing career, taking charge of Strømsgodset in 2008. Deila won his first trophy in 2010, capturing the Norwegian Football Cup and then led Strømsgodset to its first league title in 43 years in 2013.
Deila joined Celtic FC in 2014 and won back-to-back Scottish Premiership titles during his time in Glasgow, along with the Scottish League Cup in 2015.
The 44-year-old coach is the fourth head coach in NYCFC’s history, after Jason Kreis, Patrick Vieira, and most recently Torrent, who helped guide the team to a first-place finish in the Eastern Conference in 2019. Torrent and NYCFC mutually agreed to part ways, ending Torrent’s two-year stint with the club after replacing Vieira, who left NYCFC in 2018 to manager Ligue 1 side OGC Nice.
Deila’s arrival caps a tumultuous offseason for NYCFC, which included the departure of long-time sporting director Claudio Reyna, who left to take the same position with MLS expansion side Austin FC.
NYCFC is one of the first MLS teams to begin action in the preseason, kicking off the knockout rounds of the Concacaf Champions League in February against Costa Rican side AD San Carlos.
Deila’s debut as NYCFC manager could come later this month in the preseason Florida Cup. NYCFC is scheduled to face Brazilian side Corinthians on January 15.