Mancuso: Torrent Declares NYCFC Is His Team

Look at this 2-1 win as one more step for NYCFC in their goal to the MLS championship. At Yankee Stadium Sunday afternoon, a win over defending MLS Cup Champion Toronto FC was more significant with the transition to a new coach.  Domenec Torrent won his first game as a coach in the MLS with the NYCFC schedule resuming after a two week hiatus.

Other sports a coaching transition is rare at the midpoint of a season, but soccer is different. Patrick Vieira was on the sidelines two weeks ago at Yankee Stadium. He conducted his post game press conference and the next day took off for France to take on a lucrative coaching opportunity.

And with the exception of David Villa, who exited in the 28th minute with what is described as an undisclosed injury, the era for new coach Domenec Torrent was off and running with this successful win.

This coach needed some assistance in the translation at his postgame press conference. A publicity representative explained the postgame meeting with this coach would have a different format. And all of the players were out the door to offer their view of this win and transition, with the exception of defender Sebastien Ibeagha and one other.

“He came in, had a long meeting,” said Ibeagha. “He came in prepared. Great he was watching games in the transition.” Torrent, who comes to New York with that solid background, watched and reviewed about nine games on video.

New York City FC forward Jo Inge Berget (9) scores a goal past Toronto FC goalkeeper Alex Bono (25) during the second half at Yankee Stadium. Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Other than that, there was nothing different for NYCFC on the field as they remained undefeated at home in the Bronx after eight matches. Losing their captain to injury may be a concern, but they  adapted and quickly to their new head coach.

“NYCFC is my team now,” said Torrent. “Big challenge for me.” He said the challenge has been accepted. The transition was one meeting with his new team Saturday after getting visa clearance and a long travel from Spain after coaching stints with Girona FC and assistant coach at Barcelona FC

And the new coach, as was with his predecessor, has the talent to take over and guide this team a step closer to a MLS championship.

“I watched the whole training session and when I saw the intensity and the aptitude, I said, Ok. they are ready to try and win the game. But it’s not easy.”

 New York City midfielder Ismael Tajouri (29) shoots the ball as Toronto FC defender Gregory van der Wiel (9) defends during the first half at Yankee Stadium. Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn’t easy in the first half as Toronto scored first in the 37th minute. And, just like it was with Viera on the sidelines, NYCFC came from behind and clinched the win with their attack. Jo Inge Berget scored the tying and decisive goals.

Again a come from behind win for NYCFC and more than the point that goes with a tie.

As for Villa, Torrent said, “It’s bad news for us. Because he’s a key man for our team. He has a lot of experience especially in these kinds of games. It’s not good news but we have fantastic players. I think we have a challenge, and I think quickly what so the best way to win the game without David.”

Still to be determined when Villa will be available, and it appeared  he went down with an injury to a knee. Regardless, if this injury does become long term, then Torrent will have to make decisions and fill a void for Villa who has eight goals and four assists in 12 games.

“There were some specific details he wanted to change, but we’re probably going to talk about it this coming week,” said defender Anton Tinnerholm. “But he’s only been here one week”

Well, really one day and a game. And as Domenec Torrent said this is now his team.

Comment Rich Mancuso: [email protected]  Twitter@Ring786 Mancuso


About the Author

Rich Mancuso

Rich Mancuso is a regular contributor at NY Sports Day, covering countless New York Mets, Yankees, and MLB teams along with some of the greatest boxing matches over the years. He is an award winning sports journalist and previously worked for The Associated Press, New York Daily News, Gannett, and, in a career that spans almost 40 years.

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