Queensboro FC (QBFC) announced today the hiring of Josep Gombau as its Head Coach and Sporting Director, while the club prepares to make its debut in the United Soccer League (USL) Championship Division. Originally slated for 2021, it was also announced today that the club will instead kickoff its inaugural season in 2022. Ownership has deemed the additional year essential – to work alongside the Queens community to rebuild after becoming the epicenter of the COVID-19 crisis, to fully establish its youth academy as a local talent pipeline to the senior team, and to finalize its stadium plans including the site where the QBFC Academy will play starting March 2021. All are important factors to consider when constructing from the ground up New York City’s newest professional soccer team in Queens – in order to give fans the right product, at the right time, in the right venue, and done the right way.
Gombau’s coaching pedigree covers four continents over the past 24 years. After starting his coaching career in 1996 at CF Amposta, located in the same city where he was born, Gombau went on to spend time as a scout for RCD Espanyol. In 2003, he joined FC Barcelona as Head Coach of FCB Academy and helped to develop the FCB Escola system worldwide, becoming the Technical Director for its program in Dubai. In 2009, he became Head Coach for Kitchee SC in Hong Kong, where he won two national league titles. From 2013 to 2018, he was a Head Coach in Australia’s A-League – winning the Australian Cup with domestic side Adelaide United, and also spent a season with Western Sydney Wanderers. In addition, he served as Head Coach of Australia’s U-23 National Team and Assistant Coach of the Senior National team, playing an integral part in the Socceroos qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Prior to accepting this position at Queensboro FC, Gombau was Head Coach of Odisha FC (formerly Delhi Dynamos) in the Indian Super League.
Additionally, Gombau is no stranger to New York City. He previously lived in Queens from 2015-2016, working as Technical Director for Spanish soccer legend and World Cup Champion David Villa and his DV7 Soccer Academy, which continues to operate to this day with eight locations worldwide. Villa is also Co-Founder of Queensboro FC along with Jonathan Krane, founding partner of Queensboro FC and CEO of KraneShares.
“Josep’s world-class vision, leadership and reputation is exactly what our organization, and professional soccer in America, needs,” says Krane. “He has been widely credited with successfully attracting and developing young talent, which is very much a part of the Queensboro FC mission. In addition, his winning mindset perfectly complements the competitive mindset of New Yorkers, and we can’t wait for him to start building our very first team.”
“I have followed Josep’s career for a very long time, and had the opportunity to work with him to create the methodology of my DV7 Soccer Academies globally, as well as launch my very first academy in New York,” says Villa. “He is the perfect choice for Queensboro FC and I am happy to welcome him back to New York. Together, we will oversee all sporting aspects of the club, laying the groundwork for us to succeed at the highest level and be recognized all over the world. For certain, a coach of this caliber will help take soccer in this country to a new level.”
“New York is a very special place for me and my family,” says Gombau. “The city is in a unique moment right now, and I am looking forward to contributing to its renewal and revitalization through the lens of sport, community and grassroots efforts. I am committed to bringing together a diverse mix of homegrown and international players, to form the first ever professional soccer team that the borough of Queens can call its own. Our attacking style of play will undoubtedly bring global recognition and fan excitement – while helping continue to grow the game in America.”
Gombau and his family plan to relocate to New York in Fall 2020.