Former Arsenal Midfielder Now MLS Head Coach
Patrick Vieira, the former professional soccer midfielder who became a household name during his successful spell at Arsenal FC from 1996 to 2005, leaves his job as head coach of Manchester City’s Under-21s for the MLS Head Coach role in New York. Can the Frenchmen make it in the city that never sleeps and rally the more than 8 million people to become fans?
Soccer News: New York City Football Club announced the appointment of Patrick Vieira as new head coach. Vieira has signed a three-year contract with the NYCFC and will begin on 1 January 2016 in advance of pre-season for its second MLS campaign.
Patrick joins New York City FC from his role as head coach of the Elite Development Squad at Manchester City Football Club, a position he took up following retirement from an unrivalled playing career that saw him compete at the highest level in Italy, the UK and his native France. He captained the French National team and was part of their World Cup winning side in 1998. Alongside a World Cup winners’ medal, his playing honors include a UEFA European Championship with France and at Club level, three English Premier League titles, five FA Cup titles and three Serie A titles.
Vieira, who is known for his leadership and motivational skills at the highest senior level, also has extensive experience developing youth talent. His Elite Development Squad has secured a Premier League International Cup under his leadership and is currently top of its group in the UEFA Youth League.
Patrick traveled to New York to meet his playing squad and to spend time with Sporting Director Claudio Reyna and Goalkeeping coach Rob Vartughian. Details of the wider coaching team will be announced in due course.
Speaking of the appointment, New York City FC President Tom Glick said, “The open position of head coach at New York City FC has prompted significant interest and I have no doubt that in Patrick, we have one of the most impressive young coaches I have encountered. Patrick’s ability, vision and the respect in which he is held by everyone who works with him, speaks volumes for his character and capacity to succeed. I am excited to work with him and I know the energy he will bring to the role will have a hugely positive impact across the Club.”
Echoing these thoughts, Sporting Director Reyna said, “Patrick was a legendary player and has all the characteristics required to make a fantastic Head Coach. His exemplary drive, passion and dedication have always marked him out as a rare talent and all of those qualities, alongside his understanding of the game, make him a natural choice.
Patrick is a natural born leader. He has played under some of the best managers in the world and experienced different leagues and playing styles, enjoying success everywhere he has been. We believe he can bring that knowledge and experience to take New York City FC forward in MLS. We are looking forward to him joining us in the coming weeks.”
Talking of his new role, Vieira said, “I am delighted to take up the role of Head Coach of New York City FC. To work with this squad, with Claudio Reyna and Rob Vartughian and the fantastic support team that is in place, is an exciting prospect for any coach.
This established football set up, together with a passionate and loyal fan base, located in a special city which I know well, makes for an unparalleled opportunity that I am delighted to seize with both hands. I cannot wait to get started.”