Like it or not, New York City FC has set a Major League Soccer standard that could be difficult to break.
For the second season in a row, a coach left the team despite directing it to a winning record.
Dome Torrent, who guided NYCFC to the Eastern Conference crown this past Major League Soccer season, parted ways with the team on Nov. 8.
Patrick Vieira left City to guide Nice in French Ligue 1 in June 8. The team was in second place with an 8-3-4 mark and 28 points.
“I’d like to sincerely thank Dome and the coaches for their hard work since joining NYCFC,” NYCFC vice chairman Marty Edelman said in a statement. “With Dome leading the team, we had an excellent regular season and we were extremely proud to finish top of the Eastern Conference.
“In discussions with Dome since our season finished, we’ve decided that this is the right moment for both parties to focus on new opportunities.
“On behalf of everyone at NYCFC, I’d like to wish Dome all the best for the future. I have no doubt he’ll continue to have a considerable impact on the sport as he has done for many years.”
There have been rumors that Torrent would be replaced by former Dutch international Giovanni van Bronckhorst, but they have not come to fruition, at least not yet.
After NYCFC was eliminated by Toronto FC in the MLS Eastern Conference semifinal by a 2-1 result on Oct. 23, the question was asked on whether he would return to the club for 2020.
“I don’t know,” Torrent said during the post-game press conference at Citi Field. “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 club.
“There are many, many things,” Torrent said. “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.”
City captured its first conference crown this season with a sterling 18-6-10 mark, but for the fourth consecutive year, could not win a playoff series. The team has a 1-6 record while being outscored 17-5 in seven post-season matches.
When asked whether he wanted to return as coach, Torrent sounded very non-committal.
“I need to talk about with Manchester because this season was a tough, tough season for us,” he said. “Many things happened. The people don’t know that. We were able to win the Eastern Conference. We have in the middle in the budget. people don’t know that.”
In fact, 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.”
As of Dec. 30, no head coach had been named, at least not publicly. City is expected to start preseason training Jan. 11.