Patrick Vieira directed NYCFC from 2016-18. (FrontRowSoccer.com Photo)
By Michael Lewis
Former New York City FC head coach Patrick Vieira wants to coach the U.S. men’s national team.
Vieira, a former French international, is interested in the position, sources told ESPN’s Julien Laurens.
According to the website, the 46-year-old Vieira already has been in touch with the U.S. Soccer Federation, although talks haven’t gone past the first stage, according to sources.
U.S. Soccer is looking to fill the job last held by Gregg Berhalter. Since then, Anthony Hudson and more recently, B.J. Callaghan have directed the squad as interim head coaches.
Vieira, a member of the 1998 French World Cup championship side, guided NYCFC from 2016-18 before he left the MLS club in the middle of the season five years ago to become manager of Nice in French Ligue 1. His MLS coaching record was 48-22-28 during his 2 1/2 seasons with City.
During his tenure with NYCFC, Vieira was popular with the players and media, taking time to talk to members of the press informally.
Vieira, who turns 47 on June 23, coached Crystal Palace in the English Premier League from 2021 through this year before he was fired after the team went through a 12-game winless skid.
As a player, Vieira forged his reputation as an elite midfielder for such high-profile clubs Arsenal, Juventus, A.C. Milan, Inter Milan and Manchester City.
He made 106 international appearances for France.
U.S. Soccer has stated that it wants to name a coach by August to prepare the USMNT for the 2026 World Cup, of which it is a tri-host along with Mexico and Canada.
For the time being, Callaghan will guide the squad through the Concacaf Nations League Final Four and Gold Cup. Theh USA meet Mexico in a CNL semifinal in Las Vegas on Thursday night.
As it turns out, another coach from the Hudson River Derby has been mentioned as a possibility – former Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch, who most recently was sacked by newly demoted Leeds United. Vieira and Marsch coached their respective local teams at the same time and had a controversial relationship when the teams met.