BRONX, N.Y. — New NYCFC coach Domènec Torrent arrived in the United States two days before his team’s Sunday evening match against Toronto FC. He sat down with Pro Soccer USA contributor Glenn Crooks before the game.
Welcome. You come right in to a tough task taking on the reigning MLS champion in Toronto.
Torrent: “Thank you so much. I am happy to be here. I think we are ready to play against a good team against Toronto. For us, it’s not easy to play in this stadium after this week. I just here arrived. Yesterday was my first training session.”
Was it frustrating having to wait so long after being hired to meet your new team?
Torrent: “Yea, but I cannot change anything. The problem was a Visa; it is not easy to go to USA right now, because it’s very complicated with all the bureaucratic papers. But I am happy, because in the end I’m here. And I arrived before the game, that’s the most important for me for the club. It’s not easy when Patrick is gone and they are one week or two weeks without a head coach. But we have an amazing staff. I watched the whole training session. It’s good.”
Have you been speaking with assistant coaches Javier Perez and Rob Vartughian?
Torrent: “Yea. Javier and Rob are amazing, amazing staff for me. And every day, especially Javier, called me and explained to me what happened in the field, in the training session. But I say to Javier, ‘Don’t worry, I watched the training sessions.’ They work hard, they work very well. I’m very happy to have this staff.”
Did Pep Guardiola help you make the decision to come here?
Torrent: “Ah, of course. Was amazing experience with Pep, 11 years. I learned a lot with Pep. We’re good together. He’s amazing not just like a coach, and amazing person. In fact, two hours before he called and and he asked me are you all ready Domenec? I said, “I am ready Pep.” Pep is like a close friend for me. He is like family. He’s like a brother.”
What did you learn from him that you will bring to NYCFC?
Torrent: “Pep and me think about football the same. We like to make high pressing if it’s possible, to recover the ball quickly. Many people think about Pep, pep like to keep the ball all the time. It’s not. That’s a problem, because Pep likes to attack as soon as possible when recovering the ball. Attack quickly, and after that if it’ not possible, of course keep the ball.
“We like to play all the time with intensity. It’s better for us to play one touch, not two touches or three touches, if possible. But, always it matters the quality of the players. We have a talented team, and I need maybe two weeks more to introduce a little bit of a difference between Patrick and me, but we’re very, very similar. Patrick was in fact a good coach. He has done an amazing, amazing job here, and I respect a lot like a player and like a manager.”
Have you been watching NYCFC’s games?
Torrent: “I’ve seen the last nine games. I think right now, I know absolutely our players, the quality and this is one of the reasons why I’m here because I like this team. When I watch the games, I think this team is a talented team. When I watch the games, I think, ‘Ah, maybe this team is for you.’”
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