Nick Cushing: “The dream is to host an MLS Cup in New York, it would be amazing.” (Photo courtesy of NYCFC)

Nick Cushing has been awarded for directing New York City FC to the MLS Eastern Conference final as he was named head coach.

Cushing had taken over the team as interim head coach in mid-season after Ronny Deila left the Major League Soccer club to guide Standard Liege in Belgium.

Under Cushing’s guidance, City finished third in the conference. The Cityzens became the third team since 2010 to reach the conference Finals the season after winning MLS Cup.

“From the moment I arrived in New York in 2020, I have been really inspired by this City and by the energy in our club,” Cushing said in a statement. “To have the responsibility of taking this incredible football club forward and lead the team and to continue to be successful is what I am really excited about.

“I want to thank everyone at City Football Group for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to continue to grow and develop as a coach. New York City is such a special place, there are some real special people here at the club, we feed off our city, we feed off of our fans. We feel like our fans deserve a team that plays good football but also delivers trophies and I have the desire to continue that.”

Cushing also directed his team to a Campeones Cup victory in September against Liga MX champions Atlas F.C. in a 2-0 win at Yankee Stadium. the regular season matchup against the Red Bulls for the first time in Club history.

“I want to thank our players, coaches, support staff and everyone in the front office for the energy and support they have given me since June,” Cushing said. “I thank the fans that stayed behind us and supported us. Stay with us, with your unwavering support, as we move onto 2023. I can guarantee that everyone will work incredibly hard to deliver what you deserve, a football team that entertains but also a football team that has a huge desire, a huge hunger, that wants to win. The dream is to host an MLS Cup in New York, it would be amazing.”

Cushing was assistant coach as NYCFC won its first MLS Cup in 2021 and later helped guide the team to a Concacaf Champions League semifinal appearance this past season.

“We have been incredibly impressed at how Nick has been able to take over the club and lead the team despite some of the obstacles we faced as a team last season, and this is an opportunity he thoroughly deserves,” sporting director David Lee said in a statement.

“The period from Campeones Cup and throughout the playoffs, you saw a team forming into Nick’s image and it was clear the team had bought into some of the changes that had been implemented.”

Cushing has been part of the City Football Group family for 16 years, joining Manchester City in 2006. He progressed through the ranks as a coach in the academy, before being handed the reins to Man City Women’s team in 2013. Cushing quickly became one of the most decorated coaches in the women’s game, leading City to six trophies, including the 2016 Super League title en route to being named FA WSL Manager of the Year.

“Nick’s appointment further shows the opportunities that exist whilst working at City Football Group,” Lee said. “Providing opportunities and pathways for people to grow their career and develop within our group is something that we take great pride in. Nick’s story is an inspiration to so many people, to start working with academy players in Manchester and grow all the way to being a head coach at one of our biggest teams in our group is something we are really proud of. I look forward to working with Nick and continuing to build a competitive team here in New York alongside him for years to come.”