New York City FC's search for a new coach did not last very long.
A week after parting ways with Jason Kreis, NYCFC announced on Monday the appointment of Patrick Vieira as their new head coach. Vieira has signed a three-year deal with the club, and will begin his role on Jan. 1 in advance of pre-season for its second MLS campaign.
Vieira, 39, joins New York City FC from his role as head coach of the Elite Development Squad at Manchester City. He took that position following his retirement from a distinguished playing career that saw him win the 1998 World Cup with France, as well as capture three English Premier League titles and three Serie A crowns.
“The open position of head coach at New York City FC has prompted significant interest and I have no doubt that in Patrick, we have one of the most impressive young coaches I have encountered," said NYCFC president Tom Glick in a statement. "Patrick’s ability, vision and the respect in which he is held by everyone who works with him, speaks volumes for his character and capacity to succeed. I am excited to work with him and I know the energy he will bring to the role will have a hugely positive impact across the Club.”
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Vieira is expected to travel to New York on Tuesday to meet the NYCFC players and spend time with sporting director Claudio Reyna and goalkeeper coach Rob Vartughian.
“Patrick was a legendary player and has all the characteristics required to make a fantastic Head Coach," said Reyna in the same statement. "His exemplary drive, passion and dedication have always marked him out as a rare talent and all of those qualities, alongside his understanding of the game, make him a natural choice.
"Patrick is a natural born leader. He has played under some of the best managers in the world and experienced different leagues and playing styles, enjoying success everywhere he has been. We believe he can bring that knowledge and experience to take New York City FC forward in MLS. We are looking forward to him joining us in the coming weeks.”
NYCFC missed out on the Audi 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs in their inaugural season in the league. The club finished with a 10-17-7 record and in eighth place in the Eastern Conference, but still boasts talented players on its roster like David Villa, Frank Lampard, and Andrea Pirlo.
“I am delighted to take up the role of Head Coach of New York City FC," said Vieira in the club's statement. "To work with this squad, with Claudio Reyna and Rob Vartughian and the fantastic support team that is in place, is an exciting prospect for any coach.
"This established football set up, together with a passionate and loyal fan base, located in a special city which I know well, makes for an unparalleled opportunity that I am delighted to seize with both hands. I cannot wait to get started.”