For the second day in a row, the soccer news puts the focus on NYCFC. It took less than a day from announcing the exit of coach Patrick Vieira for OGC Nice for New York City to name a new coach. The timing might have been surprising, but the connection wasn't. NYCFC once again took advantage of their investor/operator, with City Football Group moving Manchester City assistant Domenec Torrent to NYCFC.
That's quite the advantage for an MLS club, getting the assistant from the Premier League champions. Torrent was head coach at Spanish club Girona before spending 11 years working with Guardiola at Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and Manchester City. That resume puts him firmly in the upper echelon of MLS coaches.
"Though I have enjoyed a wonderful 11 years working alongside my colleague and close friend Pep Guardiola, it has always been my ambition to manage a team again and I really couldn’t have hoped for a better opportunity than at this football club," Torrent said. "I know we have a very talented team, I have watched many of the matches and I enjoy the way the team plays and I now can’t wait to begin working with the players on the training pitch."
It's easy to question the super coaches that find success with super clubs. What would they do in charge of a normal club with hard spending limits? This isn't the scenario for Torrent. He's taking over one of the strongest teams in the Eastern Conference. Relative to scale, he's moving from a Premier League champion to an MLS contender in the biggest market in his new league. That's the City Football Group scenario, one that worked for his predecessor Vieira.
Vieira is taking the bigger risk, moving to a Nice club that maybe suffering from unrealistic expectations. They jumped from 11th-place in 2014-15 to 4th in 2015-16 and 3rd in 2016-17. They finished 8th this season and lost coach Lucien Favre to Borussia Dortmund. Favre came in midway through Nice's run, suggesting this is a fine jumping off point for an ambitious coach. It's not a like-for-like situation. Favre was already an established Bundesliga coach and was weighing a potential offer from Everton. He's back in the Bundesliga with a Champions League team. Nice won't be playing in Europe this season, and it's a short list of Ligue 1 clubs that have a reputation outside of their league.
Torrent staying in the City Football Group is the plan for coaching development. Should he succeed as Vieira did at NYCFC, it's a statement that he can take a bigger role if it presents itself at their biggest club. That's obvious to anybody paying attention, including other major European clubs considering a coaching change. That's also unique to City Football Group and by extension NYCFC in MLS.
The San Diego Union-Tribune's Mark Zeigler asks a big picture question about the USMNT. SI.com's Brian Straus explains the link between the German National Team and the San Jose Earthquakes. The Guardian's Jonathan Wilson profiles Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio. Keir Radnedge has an explanation of the World Cup Benefits Program that pays clubs for use of players.
The NY Times' Andrew Das on the US government's involvement in the North American World Cup bid. The Washington Post's Steven Goff has the North American bid leaders confident ahead of Wednesday's vote.
ESPN's Matt Scott looks at the potential impact of Amazon buying part of the domestic Premier League broadcast rights.
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