Patrick Vieira - Nice - sidelines coaching

Former New York City FC head coach Patrick Vieira has been dismissed as manager of Ligue 1 side OGC Nice, the club announced Friday.

Vieira departed NYCFC in June 2018 to take over Nice, returning to Europe after working with the academy program at Manchester City. During his MLS stay from 2016 to midway through 2018, NYCFC twice finished second in the Eastern Conference table before Dome Torrent succeeded Vieira. The former France midfielder originally took over from Jason Kreis, who led the Cityzens during their expansion season in 2015.

Results had gone bottom up for Vieira as of late, with Nice losing five straight and dropping a 3-2 decision against Bayer Leverkusen in the Europa League on Thursday. Les Aiglons currently sit 11th in the Ligue 1 table, dropping considerably after finishing seventh and fifth, respectively, during Vieira’s first two seasons in charge. 

“Patrick Vieira put all his heart and professionalism into his service for OGC Nice over the last two and a half years of their collaboration,” a club statement read. “The Nice board sincerely thanks the former France international for his commitment and dedication to the development of the club and wishes him every future success in his coaching career.”

With Vieira now available as a manager, there are several MLS clubs that have openings. Atlanta United, D.C. United, LA Galaxy and Toronto FC all are searching for a new head coach for the 2021 season, with all but Toronto missing out on the Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs. 

Ahead of their inaugural season, Vieira was also linked to Inter Miami CF. The expansion club ended up landing Diego Alonso, with the 44-year-old dismissing the reports at the time and emphasizing his commitment to Nice.

A World Cup winner with France in 1998 alongside Montreal Impact head coach Thierry Henry, Vieira’s greatest club impact came with Arsenal, where he won three Premier League titles and was part of their “Invincibles” squad in 2003-04. He also played for Juventus, Inter Milan and Manchester City in the latter stages of his playing career.