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Ronny Deila Joins Standard Liège, Leaving NYCFC

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New York City FC, the MLS Cup winners, have revealed the resignation of their very successful head coach Ronny Deila. Deila will depart the club immediately to join Standard Liège in Belgium. While the team searches for a more permanent successor, interim head coach Nick Cushing will take over. Cushing and assistant coaches Rob Vartughian and Mehdi Ballouchy, according to NYC, have signed long-term contracts. This season, NYCFC is the fourth of the league’s 28 clubs to change coaches. Matas Almeyda of San Jose was dismissed on April 18, Hernán Losada of D.C. on April 20, and Miguel Angel Ramrez of Charlotte on May 31.

Deila before the New York City Football Club

Ronny Deila, 46, has been with the squad since 2020 and helped them win the MLS Cup in 2021. Deila concluded his time with the New York City FC with a 46-29-15 record. Deila led Scottish football team Celtic from 2014 to 2016 and Norwegian club Vlerenga from 2017 to 2020 before moving to New York. Celtic won the Scottish Premiership twice and the Scottish League Cup once during his two seasons at the club (2014-15).

Cushing and the New York City Football Club

Alan Walter for The FA
Image Credits: Shekicks.net

Cushing was in his third season as an assistant coach with the New York City Football Club. He previously led Manchester City Women for seven seasons, winning six titles, and was crowned FA WSL Manager of the Year in 2016. The 37-year-old former Man City women’s coach should have an opportunity to make an impression, but NYCFC has an extensive list of contacts.

Why Did Standard Liege Need a New Coach?

Standard has spent much of the preceding decade in the Champions League or Europa League, most recently reaching the UEL group stage in 2020-21. Standard Liege ended 14th in the 18-team Belgian first league with 36 points, eight above the relegation zone, after nine victories, 16 defeats, and nine draws. Luka Elsner was hired as a replacement for Mbaye Leye, who was sacked at the conclusion of the season.
Fergal Harkin, Manchester City’s route and partnership manager, moved to become the sports director of Liege last month.