JANUARY 10: NYCFC and Ronny Deila continued building the coaching staff on Friday with the addition of former MLS player Mehdi Ballouchy. The former NYCFC midfielder joined the Academy staff in 2017 and was most recently the Head Coach of the U-15s. During his time at NYCFC, he’s also coached the U-14s and his teams have competed against top teams both domestically and abroad.
“I’m very excited and grateful for the opportunity to join Ronny’s staff and take on a bigger role with New York City FC. It’s been an honor to coach our boys - we’ve accomplished so many good things on the pitch, and I will miss working with them on a daily basis," said Ballouchy in statement.
Born in Casablanca, Morocco, Ballouchy played in college for Creighton University and Santa Clara University before being drafted second overall by Real Salt Lake in the 2006 MLS SuperDraft.
A 10-year veteran of MLS, Ballouchy made 217 career MLS appearances, including 23 in New York City. Three of his 16 career goals came at the club.
JANUARY 9: The staff under recently-named New York City FC head coach Ronny Deila is starting to assemble for the 2020 MLS season, as Nick Cushing has joined as an assistant coach from Manchester City Women’s FC.
While with MCWFC, Cushing has been one of the top managers in women’s soccer, bringing home the 2016 Women’s Super League title and being named the FA WSL Manager of the Year in the same year. Cushing, 35, is set to join NYCFC’s preseason after his final match in charge of MCWFC against Arsenal on Feb. 2.
“It is an incredible opportunity for me to join a fantastic club in a league that is growing more and more with each passing year,” Cushing said in a statement. “I’ve followed the team extremely closely over the years and I’m excited to begin a new challenge in New York and look forward to working with the talented team we have returning."
Cushing’s move keeps him within City Football Group, an organization he’s spent the last nine years with. He began as a City Schools coach before becoming part of the Manchester City Academy coaching staff.
“I’m very excited that Nick will be joining our staff at New York City FC,” Deila said. “He has an incredible reputation within footballing circles and what he’s achieved in Manchester has been nothing short of incredible.”
NYCFC currently have Javier Perez and Rob Vartughian on staff as longtime assistants. They both have backgrounds in the men’s game, while Cushing’s hire represents a foray into the women’s one as new sporting director David Lee further shapes the club.
"He has been very successful in terms of results during his time in Manchester and has put title winning teams on the pitch,” Lee said. “Additionally, he’s a brilliant talent developer and has a proven track record of getting the most out of his players.”
NYCFC are set to begin their preseason this weekend in preparation for their Concacaf Champions League debut Feb. 20 at Costa Rican club AD San Carlos.