Ronny Deila Monday was named the fourth head coach of New York City FC.
He succeeds Dome Torrent, who had a mutual parting of the ways with the Major League Soccer club in November.
Deila, a three-time title winning manager at multiple European clubs including Celtic FC in Scotland, joins NYCFC from Norwegian club Vålerenga where he served as manager beginning in 2017. He has signed a three-year contract with the club and will join NYCFC pending the approval of a U.S. work permit.
“When the opportunity came up to join New York City FC as their new head coach, it was a dream come true for me to manage an amazing Club in a great city,” Deila said in a statement.
NYCFC captured the Eastern Conference regular-season title, but was eliminated in the conference semifinals by eventual MLS Cup finalist Toronto FC.
“When I come in, it’s important to continue to build on what’s already proven to be a strong foundation and to get some of my ideas across,” Deila said. “The way I want to play and the way NYCFC has played is very similar. I’m a very attacking coach. We want to have the ball as much as possible, but also try to be direct when you have those opportunities.
“I’m really looking forward to getting going and getting to know the players in preseason and begin my time at NYCFC. I’m ready to see our supporters and hopefully we’ll have a wonderful relationship. I’m going to do everything I can to play good football the City way and I’ll give everything from myself to the club and I’m sure we’re going to achieve fantastic things in the future.”
Deila will hit the ground running. The MLS SuperDraft is Thursday and training camp is set to begin shortly thereafter. NYCFC will begin competitive soccer in the Concacaf Champions League at AD San Carlos in Costa Rica on Feb. 20.
“We’re extremely excited to have Ronny join us, and after a thorough coaching search, we’re confident we’ve found the perfect fit for New York City FC,” NYCFC CEO Brad Sims said in a statement. “City Football Group has had a relationship with Ronny for a long time, and we’ve been very impressed with his coaching acumen and his belief in playing a style that fits our attacking ethos.
“He’s an experienced manager that has succeeded in winning trophies at clubs with high expectations like we have here at NYCFC. Importantly, not only are we getting a wonderful coach, but also an exceptional person. I can’t wait for our fans to meet Ronny and get to know him. We’re looking forward to Ronny joining us for preseason as we prepare for an incredibly exciting 2020 campaign.”
Welcome to the new Head Coach of New York City's Football Club!
Posted by New York City FC on Monday, January 6, 2020
Video courtesy of NYCFC’s Facebook page
City is expected to return nearly 95 percent of last season’s goal scorers as well as four defenders who started more than 24 games from the league’s fourth-ranked defense. Captain Alex Ring and U.S. international goalkeeper Sean Johnson also will return, as will team MVP and MLS Best XI midfielder Maxi Moralez.
Deila indicated that he won’t change much, although when new coaches usually take the reins, they have been known to make massive upheavals. With the season so close, he might not have the luxury if he wanted to this time.
“I think consistency is an important thing,” he said. “Consistency in the way we play and to keep on improving in the City style. The group of players have been here for a while and they’re ready to take the next step together. Winning a title will be a big goal for myself and for the club.
“The expectations from the fans are high and I’m going to show them that my expectation is the same. We are here to win and that’s why I’m coming because it’s another opportunity to win a title, but I know how much hard work it takes to get there. If we push ourselves together and build on what the team accomplished last season, I think we have a very good opportunity to achieve something big in the next few years.”
After his playing career, most notably at Odds BK in his native Norway, Deila took charge of Strømsgodset in 2008. Deila won his first trophy in 2010 capturing the Norwegian Football Cup and then led the club to its first league title in 43 years in 2013.
In his past coaching posts, Deila established a reputation for recognizing and developing young talent. Throughout the past decade, Deila took numerous Manchester City players on-loan at his clubs including Jason Denayer, who is vice captain of Olympique Lyon, Patrick Roberts and Dedryck Boyata.
Deila left Strømsgodset for Celtic FC in 2014 and won back-to-back Scottish Premiership titles during his time in Glasgow. Additionally, Deila has managed in both the UEFA Champions League qualifying rounds and UEFA Europa League, and won the Scottish League Cup in 2015.