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Domènec Torrent plans to leave NYCFC, report says

New York City FC head coach Domenec Torrent

New York City FC head coach Domenec Torrent walks over to reporters after practice in Orangeburg, N.Y., Monday, July 23, 2018. Credit: AP/Seth Wenig

New York City FC reportedly will be in search of the fourth head coach since the club was formed in 2013.

Head coach Domènec Torrent is leaving NYCFC after 1 ½ seasons at the helm, according to a report by ESPN.

The report said Torrent has decided to end his time with the club with a year left on his contract and will inform the club’s owners in the coming days. The report also said Torrent has drawn interest from other MLS clubs and may remain in North America.

An NYCFC representative did not respond to a request for comment.

After the club’s season-ending playoff loss to Toronto FC last month, Torrent intimated it may be the end of his run with the team when asked if he’d be back in 2020.

“Believe me, it’s not important. They are ready for another coach, because they are a group, a big group. They are ready,” said Torrent in his postgame news conference. “Don’t worry, Patrick is not here, it’s Domè. If Domè is not here, another coach.”

Torrent, who was an assistant to Pep Guardiola for over a decade in Europe, wasn’t shy about sharing his gripes with MLS during his time in charge, often bringing up the travel and scheduling issues that have troubled the league for years.

“Sometimes, I read in newspaper or on Twitter, [Zlatan Ibrahimovich] or [Wayne] Rooney for example, the long trips, the schedule is not easy to play, this and that. Especially in summertime when you have to play four games in 15 days, it’s not easy,” Torrent said in August. “But for every single team it’s the same. It’s not easy to accept that but you have to accept, because if you want to work here you have to accept, if not you have to go back home in Barcelona, you know?”

Torrent would leave City with a 26-13-14 record in 53 league matches, amassing 92 points in his time with the club. He arrived at Yankee Stadium from City Football Group sister club Manchester City in June 2018, replacing Patrick Vieira, who left to coach OGC Nice in France’s top division. The team struggled in the closing stretch of 2018 under Torrent, losing to eventual MLS Cup champion Atlanta United FC in the conference semifinal.

In 2019, his first full season at the wheel, the Spaniard turned everything around, getting the best out of a mix of attackers in the absence of departed star David Villa to lead the club to its best season yet with 64 points in the regular season. The club finished at the top of the Eastern Conference, earning home field through the conference playoffs but fell in its playoff opener to eventual conference champions Toronto FC in a game played at Citi Field. Torrent also led NYCFC to its first berth in the 2020 CONCACAF Champions League, which begins in February.

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