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David Villa gives strong endorsement of new NYCFC coach Domènec Torrent

NYCFC star David Villa says hiring Domenec Torrent to replace Patrick Vieira as head coach is a great thing for the club (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

A strong endorsement from David Villa is positive news for the New York City Football Club.

“Great news after the bad news,” Villa said after Domènec Torrent was named to replace Patrick Vieira as head coach of NYCFC.

Villa is reuniting with Torrent after two years together at FC Barcelona under Pep Guardiola.

Villa told NYCFC.com: “It was a difficult day, because in the morning we found out that Patrick is leaving. Patrick was so important for the club and for us, so it was a difficult day of news. But after that, when we found out that Dom and his staff were coming to replace Patrick, it was great news after the bad news.”

Regarding the bad news of Vieira’s exodus, Villa said his departure will not have ill effects on the club since a solid structure is in place.

“It doesn’t matter the president, the players, the coaches,” Villa said after the 1-1 draw with Atlanta United on Saturday.  “The most important is the identity of the club growing. One day, I am leaving. The people say, ‘Oh sorry, David Villa is leaving.’ Come in another striker that scores a lot of goals, and then say, ‘Thank you for Villa leaving.’ This is soccer, it’s normal. We need to fight when we are inside of the club and know that we are privileged to be here.”

Torrent has spent 11 years beside Guardiola who has called him “the other half of me.” Together, they created three paramount sides at Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Manchester City.

“He’s a man of soccer, he knows everything, he has a great style that he’s been working on for the last 15 years,” Villa said. “It’s great for us to have here. I know his personality too because I worked with him for years at Barcelona, which was a great experience for me because we captured so many trophies.”

Together, Torrent and Villa won nine trophies between 2010 and 2012, including La Liga and the UEFA Champions League.

“They were great years for me in my career – I am so happy,” Villa said “It’s great news for NYCFC because we can continue growing the team and growing the club.”

In addition to assisting Guardiola at Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Manchester City, Torrent has first team managerial experience at both Palamos and Girona in Spain. He recently rejected an offer to rejoin Girona before accepting the NYCFC assignment.

The chairman of the Girona Football Group is Pep’s brother and agent, Pere Guardiola, while the City Football Group maintains a controlling interest in both Girona and NYCFC.  Another Pep assistant, Mikel Arteta, is considered a leading candidate at Girona.

Torrent will be held in the United Kingdom until his United States work visa is secured. In the meantime, assistant coaches Javier Perez and Rob Vartughian will guide NYCFC. 

New York City next play host to Toronto FC June 24 at Yankee Stadium.

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