Mehdi Ballouchy when he played with NYCFC.  (Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports)

NEW YORK – New York City FC Friday announced that Mehdi Ballouchy has been promoted from the Academy to an assistant coach on head coach Ronny Deila’s staff.

Ballouchy, a former NYCFC midfielder, joined the Academy staff in 2017 and was most recently the head coach of the Under-15 Academy squad. He also has coached the U-14s and his teams have competed against top teams domestically and internationally.

“I’m very excited and grateful for the opportunity to join Ronny’s staff and take on a bigger role with New York City FC,” Ballouchy said. It’s been an honor to coach our boys. We’ve accomplished so many good things on the pitch, and I will miss working with them on a daily basis.

“When I was a player, I was always very passionate about the other side of the game, so it was a natural transition for me to become a coach. The NYCFC Academy was the perfect place to begin so that I could evolve. You get to see what works and what doesn’t in a competitive environment, and I’ve developed so much from my time there.

Born in Casablanca, Morocco, Ballouchy played in college for Creighton University and Santa Clara University before being taken second overall by Real Salt Lake in the 2006 MLS SuperDraft.

A 10-year Major League Soccer veteran, Ballouchy made 217 career appearances, including 23 with NYCFC. Three of his 16 career goals came with City.

“I’m appreciative of the Academy staff who I’ve learned a lot from and working with them on a daily basis has definitely made me a more complete coach,” he said. “It was the perfect platform and I couldn’t have asked for a better group of players and staff to start my career with. I’m grateful for the belief the Club has in me and I can’t wait for preseason to begin so I can start working with our players.”

Ballouchy was also invited to coach within the U.S. youth national team setup. His experience at the national level included time at U-16 talent ID and national team camps, as well as a spell with the U-23 Olympic program.

“In Mehdi we’ve appointed a person who knows what New York City FC is all about,” Deila said. “His experience will be very beneficial to our squad as he’s played in our style and knows what that looks like from a player’s standpoint. He knows what it takes to succeed in this league, and I can’t wait to be in the same coaching room as him.”