David Villa: “I know him and I know some of his staff. I think it’s the right and best person we could have to replace Patrick.” (FrontRowSoccer.com Photo)
Perhaps no one will welcome new head coach Domènec Torrent more to New York City FC than David Villa.
After all, the team captain played for Torrent when the latter was an assistant coach during a two-year span at FC Barcelona.
Torrent was named City boss, succeeding Patrick Vieira Monday. Vieira joined Nice in French Ligue 1. Torrent was an assistant coach to Pep Guardiola, at Barcelona and most recently at Manchester City.
“It was a difficult day because in the morning, we found out that Patrick is leaving,” Villa said. “Patrick was so important for the club and for us, so it was a difficult day of news. But after that, when we found out that Dome and his staff were coming to replace Patrick, it was great news after the bad news.
“I know him and I know some of his staff. I think it’s the right and best person we could have to replace Patrick.”
Barcelona earned nine trophies between 2010-2012 when both men were at the La Liga powerhouse. That include La Liga and UEFA Champions League titles.
“Knowing Patrick and knowing Dome and knowing how they work, I don’t believe the team will be affected a lot in the change,” Villa said. “Every coach has their own situations or decisions but Dome is a similar style of coach to Patrick.
“It’s always hard to change coach in the middle of the season. I’ve been through it before earlier in my career. It’s a difficult period but, in this case, thanks to the City Football Group and this commitment between the clubs, I think it’s not so hard to change the coach in the middle of the season in this situation.”
Villa lead NYCFC with eight goals over nine starts, 12 games and 882 minutes. He also has four assists.
Coming off Saturday’s 1-1 home draw with Atlanta United, NYCFC is on almost a two-week break from MLS competition. Its next game is set for Toronto FC at Yankee Stadium Sunday, June 24 at 5 p.m.