Queensboro FC announced Monday the hiring of Josep Gombau as its head coach and sporting director.

Gombau is no stranger to New York City. He lived in Queens from 2015-2016, working as technical director for Queensboro FC co-owner David Villa and his DV7 Soccer Academy. Villa played a vital role in Spain’s 2010 World Cup championship side and a former player with New York City FC.

“Josep’s world-class vision, leadership and reputation is exactly what our organization, and professional soccer in America, needs,” Queensboro co-owner Jonathan Krane said in a statement. “He has been widely credited with successfully attracting and developing young talent, which is very much a part of the Queensboro FC mission. In addition, his winning mindset perfectly complements the competitive mindset of New Yorkers, and we can’t wait for him to start building our very first team.”

Added Villa: “I have followed Josep’s career for a very long time, and had the opportunity to work with him to create the methodology of my DV7 Soccer Academies globally, as well as launch my very first academy in New York,” says David Villa. “He is the perfect choice for Queensboro FC and I am happy to welcome him back to New York. Together, we will oversee all sporting aspects of the club, laying the groundwork for us to succeed at the highest level and be recognized all over the world. For certain, a coach of this caliber will help take soccer in this country to a new level.”

Gombau and his family plan to relocate to New York this fall.

“New York is a very special place for me and my family,” he said. “The city is in a unique moment right now, and I am looking forward to contributing to its renewal and revitalization through the lens of sport, community and grassroots efforts. I am committed to bringing together a diverse mix of homegrown and international players, to form the first ever professional soccer team that the borough of Queens can call its own. Our attacking style of play will undoubtedly bring global recognition and fan excitement – while helping continue to grow the game in America.”

Gombau’s coaching pedigree covers four continents over the past 24 years. After starting his coaching career in 1996 at CF Amposta, located in the city where he was born, he went on to spend time as a scout for RCD Espanyol. In 2003, he joined FC Barcelona as head coach of FCB Academy and helped to develop the FCB Escola system worldwide, becoming the Technical Director for its program in Dubai. In 2009, he became Head Coach for Kitchee SC in Hong Kong, where he won two national league titles.

From 2013 to 2018, he was a head coach in Australia’s A-League – winning the Australian Cup with domestic side Adelaide United, and also spent a season with Western Sydney Wanderers. In addition, he served as Head Coach of Australia’s Under-23 national team and assistant coach of the senior national team, playing an integral part in the Socceroos qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Prior to Queensboro FC, Gombau was head coach of Odisha FC (formerly Delhi Dynamos) in the Indian Super League.