Patrick Vieira: “Of course I will stay here. I set out on a long-term project with New York City.” (Michael Lewis/FrontRowSoccer Photo)
By Michael Lewis
Given his track record as a player and as a head coach, it should not be surprising that Patrick Vieira has spurred interest from overseas.
The New York City FC head coach, however, said he is staying put with the Major League Soccer club.
“Of course I will stay here,” Vieira told a postgame press conference after City defeated the Philadelphia Union at Yankee Stadium Saturday, 2-1. “I set out on a long-term project with New York City. The only thing is you can’t control reports from journalists. The thing is that it is a really interesting project and I am into it. I love every single day of it. Speculation is part of our world, and I get used to it.”
Vieira, a former French national team standout who forged a long career domestically and internationally, has spurred interest from St. Etienne in France. Club co-president Bernard Caiazzo told French sports daily L’Equipe that he had hoped to meet with Vieira in Paris this week.
NYCFC is off until June 14 due to the World Cup break.
St. Etienne reportedly has a June 15 deadline in naming a replacement for Christophe Galtier, who resigned after seven years with the team.
In his first year as City head coach, the 40-year-old Vieira directed the second-year club to a second-place finish with a 15-10-9 mark after he replaced the sacked Jason Kreis.
NYCFC is tied for third place with Orlando City SC in the Eastern Conference. Each team has a 7-5-3 mark and 24 points.
The team won’t play again until June 14, when it visits Red Bull Arena to meet Hudson River Derby rival Red Bulls in ths Lamar Hunt/U.S. Open Cup. NYCFC hosts the defending MLS champion Seattle Sounders June 18.
Vieira played on France’s 1998 World Cup championship and 2000 UEFA Champions League winners while earning 107 caps and scoring six goals as one of the top defensive midfielders in the world. He also performed for Arsenal and Manchester City (England), Cannes (France) and A.C. Milan, Juventus, Inter (Italy).