MLS: NYCFC coach Ronny Deila takes Standard Liege job

New York City FC head coach Ronny Deila departed Monday to lead the Belgian side Standard Liege.

The MLS club named assistant coach Nick Cushing as the interim head coach.

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Deila, 46, guided NYCFC to the franchise’s first MLS Cup championship last season.

“Everyone at the Club would like to thank Ronny for the fantastic job he has done here,” NYCFC sporting director David Lee said in a news release. “With Ronny at the helm, we have developed an even stronger culture of winning and togetherness and have accomplished our number-one goal of bringing silverware to this Club, to this City, and to our fans.

“We know this was not a decision Ronny took lightly, but we understand his desire to return to Europe and be closer to home. He has been a true leader since joining the Club and we wish him well for the next challenge in his career.”

Deila, a native of Norway, compiled a 46-29-15 record across all competitions in two-plus seasons with NYCFC.

“This was certainly not an easy decision for me and my family. However, I feel this is the right time to take on this new challenge and return to Europe,” Deila said.

“… Thank you to the fans, the passion you have for the Club has fueled us on the field, and we couldn’t have accomplished what we did last season without you.”

Assistant coach Efrain Juarez also left the club to join Deila at Standard Liege.

Cushing and assistants Rob Vartughian and Mehdi Ballouchy agreed to new long-term contracts.

Cushing, 37, joined NYCFC in January 2020 after coaching the Manchester City Women from 2013-20. He won six trophies during his tenure in England, including the 2016 Super League title.

Cushing takes over a team that currently sits atop the MLS Eastern Conference table with an 8-3-2 record.

“We have an incredible team here at NYCFC and it’s a great group of players to work with,” Cushing said. “We remain as focused as ever as we prepare for a busy period of games beginning this weekend at home against Colorado. This is an exciting opportunity for me and I’m ready to continue the great work we have been undertaking as a coaching group over these past few years together.”

Cushing’s first match as head coach will be this Sunday against the visiting Colorado Rapids at Yankee Stadium.

–Field Level Media

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