NEW YORK – New York City FC announced Tuesday that Morten Grahn has been named Academy director, pending receipt of his work visa.
Grahn joins NYCFC from FC Copenhagen, where he had been in the club’s academy setup since 2011, most recently serving as it’s head of player development.
“It is very exciting for me to be appointed as the new Academy director of New York City FC,” he said in a statement. “The club is part of the most interesting and innovative football brand in the world whose vision and ambition is unmatched. To be a part of City Football Group makes me feel humbled and extremely motivated to continue the good work that has been done here before. I am leaving a club that has been part of my DNA for a decade so it was important to me that my next move would be the right one.
“NYCFC has the ambition to be among the best academies in the world and I’m very aware of the success that NYCFC’s academy has had in a short period of time. Building a strong youth academy takes time, but I’m convinced we will continue to produce players capable of playing at the highest levels of world football, both in Major League Soccer and abroad.
“I can’t wait to be a part of that journey and together with all the amazing people at NYCFC.”
In 2014, the Denmark native guided Copenhagen’s Under-19 team into the knockout round of the UEFA Youth League. Grahn’s side advanced out of a group featuring European giants Real Madrid and Juventus before falling to eventual champion FC Barcelona in the Round of 16.
Prior to his stint in Copenhagen, Grahn worked for Lyngby BK, Red Bull Ghana and Boldklubben af 1893. Throughout his career, he’s played a part in developing 12 players who represented Denmark during this summer’s Euro’s and the U-21 European Championship.
These include senior players Andreas Cornelius (Parma), Mathias Jørgensen (Fenerbahçe), Christian Nørgaard (Brentford), Yusseuf Poulsen (RB Leipzig), and Jonas Wind (FC Copenhagen) who helped Denmark to the semifinals of the Euros.
Grahn also has guided over 30 Copenhagen academy graduates to the First Team including 19-year-old Mohammed Daramy who has already played more than 70 times at the senior level.
“We’re delighted to welcome Morten to NYCFC as our Academy director,” NYCFC sporting director David Lee said in a statement ” “Development is at the core of our club’s philosophy and Morten has been responsible for developing young players at a major academy in Europe for the last decade.
“Not only has he guided a good generation of Danish players into the professional ranks, but his experience coaching at one of the highest levels of youth football in the world will benefit our entire Academy staff here in New York from day one.”