Report: Giovanni van Bronckhorst in line to become next New York City FC manager

Giovanni Van Bronckhorst - Feyenoord - press conference

The path to New York City FC’s next head coach could run through England, according to a report from The Mirror.

The British outlet outlines that City Football Group are set to give Giovanni van Bronckhorst a chance to prove he’s a worthy successor for Pep Guardiola as manager of Manchester City, all by taking charge of NYCFC for the 2020 MLS season. The Mirror reports that Van Bronckhorst has spent time in New York City and Melbourne, home of sister club Melbourne City FC, in recent months and received insight to the organization’s global reach.

The opening arises after Domenec Torrent and the Cityzens mutually agreed to part ways last week, after the Spaniard brought NYCFC to a first-place finish in the Eastern Conference and spot in the 2020 Concacaf Champions League.

Van Bronckhorst, whose playing career ended in 2010, was the manager at Dutch club Feyenoord from 2015 through 2019. According to various reports in England, the 44-year-old has joined Man City in a wide-ranging role as Guardiola’s time at the club possibly nears its end.

During his time at Feyenoord, Van Bronckhorst brought the club an Eredivisie title in 2017, their first in nearly two decades. He also won two KNVB Cups (2016, ‘18) and a pair of Johan Cruyff Shields (2017, ‘18). During his playing days, Van Bronckhorst played for the Netherlands at three FIFA World Cups (1998, 2006, ‘10) and, beyond Feyenoord, featured for Arsenal, Rangers and Barcelona. He primarily featured as a left back.

Should the move come about, it’d mark the NYCFC’s third hire from the broader City Football Group network. Patrick Vieira, who coached NYCFC from 2016 through the summer of 2018, spent the last two years of his playing career with Manchester City and worked extensively with their Elite Development Squad. Meanwhile, Torrent was Guardiola’s right-hand man at Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Manchester City.

As for Guardiola’s future at Manchester City, rumors have swirled as Liverpool pulls away atop the Premier League standings. He’s won back-to-back league titles, including a 2018-19 season that also produced an FA Cup, EFL Cup and FA Community Shield. But through 12 matches of the 2019-20 campaign, they’re nine points adrift of the Liverpool, last year’s Champions League winners. It’s currently Guardiola’s fourth year as Manchester City manager, and he’s never remained in charge of a club for more than five seasons.

However the Van Bronckhorst news develops, NYCFC will look to build off their highest point total (64) since entering MLS as an expansion club in 2015. They've made the Conference Semifinals of the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs four years running, but never advanced past that stage of the postseason.