Sources told ESPN FC that Dome Torrent won’t be back in 2020. (FrontRowSoccer.com Photo)
By Michael Lewis
Is New York City FC head coach Dome Torrent a goner?
According to ESPN FC, he is.
The website reported Tuesday that Torrent will leave as coach even though he has another year remaining on his contract, sources said.
Torrent is expected to tell his intentions to the club’s owners in the next few days, according to sources.
The 57-year-old Torrent guided City to its best season in its five-year history as it captured the Eastern Conference crown with the second-best record in Major League Soccer.
After a 17-day layoff after the end of the regular season, NYCFC (18-6-10 regular season) hosted and lost a conference semifinal playoff game to eventual MLS Cup finalist Toronto FC, 2-1, at Citi Field in Queens Oct. 23.
It was during the postgame press conference that Torrent hinted that he had doubts about his future.
“I don’t know,” Torrent said during the postgame press conference. “I have to go to Manchester to talk about … because for me it is normal after the season to talk about what happened.”
NYCFC is owned by City Football Group, which also owns Manchester City of the English Premier League. That organization makes decisions on who coaches the Major League Soccer club.
“There are many, many things,” Torrent said at the time. “You don’t know, but I know many, many things. I have to talk to the owners; the CO’s in the City Group and I don’t know what will happen. We have time. Right now, it’s October. We have time to talk about the next year.”
Torrent sounded he would be replaced as coach by CFG.
“They are ready for another coach because they are a big group,” he said. “They are ready. Don’t worry. Patrick [Vieira] is not here. Dome is not here. Another coach. The important [thing], believe me, are the players. They keep the important players right now in our club and they are the reason why New York City plays really well. Not Dome. Forget about it. … Every single coach needs the players. I am very proud of the players. I want to thank the players. Every single day in every single training session, they fight to the last moment. I love these players. I love these players.”
In an interview with journalist John Rojas several days prior to the playoff match, Torrent talked about some of the challenges he and the team faced this season (Editor’s note, the entire Torrent interview can be read at https://jugadorfranquicia.net/2019/11/05/gone-or-not-from-nycfc-dome-torrent-was-clear-and-direct).
“I’m trying to see how I can digest this because it is not easy,” he told Rojas. “To stop when the team is playing in great form and have to wait 18 days to start the competition again.
“You find here some things that are very different. The competition stops for 18 days, you can’t train with a full squad. I have seven players out because of the international break. But I’m trying to convince my players that there should be no excuses.
“The other element is that most likely we won’t play [at] our stadium. As you know, it’s a baseball stadium. We don’t have our own stadium; we share the baseball stadium with the Yankees and they are playing their playoffs. It’s always an issue after another. But it is what it is.
“This is the way that we should compete this playoffs and there should be no excuses. We are preparing to play out of our stadium, after 18 days of [a] break and preparing with seven absent players. But we will see and try to see if we are able to win the first game. Because being a one-off game it’s even more complicated. Because, if someone makes a mistake or the referee makes a mistake, you are out of the competition.”
There were rumors that Giovanni Van Bronckhorst would replace him. Van Bronckhorst, who has managed Feyenoord, Rangers, Arsenal and Barcelona was hired as a consultant by CFG earlier this year.
“I thought that he would come in April when things weren’t good here,” Torrent told Rojas about the team’s poor start. “It is a possibility; he is a coach with credentials. It is normal. I don’t know why that is coming up now when we are playing playoffs, but it’s normal. Even though the rumor came out of Manchester. He is and would be a good option for the club.”
Sources told ESPN that Torrent has drawn interest from several other MLS teams, giving him the option of remaining in the league. He also has some possibilities of continuing his coaching career in the Middle East, the website reported.
Torrent, the third coach in NYCFC’s five-year history, replaced Patrick Vieira in June 2018.