NEW YORK — New York City FC's freshly appointed director of football is not wasting any time.
Even before his formal introduction as the 2015 expansion team's first employee at an East Harlem soccer clinic and field unveiling on Wednesday, Claudio Reyna has already begun the process of identifying NYCFC's first head coach.
"We've already started talking about what kind of profile we need to fit here," Reyna said. "I think we need someone whose patient and who understands what the league is about so they'll be educated very much about that when they come here and not taken by any surprises.
"And I feel we need a coach that is really patient enough to teach kids because we're going to have younger players, American players, coming through here that need to be taught as well," he added. "So it's important we find the right profile to fit this club."
Reyna says that NYCFC will not name a head coach in 2013. Instead he will be focused on the search in both the US and abroad to fill the position, working with his counterpart at Manchester City, ex-Barcelona great Txiki Beguiristain, as well as the English club's football administration officer, Brian Marwood, before settling on final candidates.
Reyna also revealed that his courtship with the club began at the end of 2012 and he admitted the project "was an easy sell for me." The New Jersey native not only played at Manchester City, but he also gets to stay close to home.
Adding spice to his hiring is that he's a former member of the New York Red Bulls. But the former US international wasn't exactly fueling the fire for what many believe will be one of the top rivalries in MLS.
"They're doing very well now. I'm actually very happy for them," Reyna said about the Red Bulls. "I've gotten to meet Andy Roxburgh [RBNY sporting director] recently. I know the players. [Head coach] Mike Petke is doing a really good job. I think it's going to be great for the league and this area.
"It'll be a great rivalry and hopefully a healthy one that the fans respect each other. That's what sports are about, and that rivalry will grow over the years."