How Patrick Vieira Has Left The MLS A Better Place
It’s safe to say New York City are looking pretty good right now. They’re sat third in the Eastern Conference with two games in hand and, despite losing against Chicago Fire just a few days ago, are well placed to top the table come the end of the season.
That’s in no small part down to the impact Patrick Vieira has had on the club. Despite the franchise being just five years old, the Frenchman has created an identity and culture around the club during his reign, and one that has not only impacted NYC but the entire MLS.
Naturally, you can’t blame the former Arsenal player for taking the move to Nice, but the fact that so many Blues fans weren’t happy with the loss of him, highlights just how important he has become to the team. That’s because he truly excelled here in a league where the majority of European coaches don’t.
With Claudio Reyna he has started a dynasty, with the ultimate goal of winning the MLS Cup and putting the league on the map further. Where that’s this season or not is another story. Most bookmakers are favouring Atlanta but you can back NYC at 6/1 with some outlets. You can click here to visit Bet and Skill for all the latest odds. But one thing is for sure, the odds between the Bronx team and their cross city neighbours are turning drastically in their favour.
That partnership with Reyna helped NYC FC finish second in the Eastern Conference in Vieira’s first two seasons, putting a stamp on his style, and beginning a process that will benefit both the franchise, the league and even the US national team.
Understanding that being comfortable will only get you so far, he ditched Andrea Pirlo, instead bringing in younger, more dynamic players who were hungry to succeed. Today, they press high and have that ability to be a little more direct when necessary.
Other franchises will be taking note. The project is far from over and Domenec Torrent will be looking to continue his good work. By keeping the same ethos though, this will bring more US talent through the ranks and ultimately improve the national side.
For coaches in the MLS, Vieira has also opened the door. The World Cup winner is the first of a new breed of coaches who’ve made their name in the US and then moved on to bigger things in Europe’s top leagues. Former rival Jesse Marsch is another name being touted with a move to Europe, with RB Leipzig eyeing up the Red Bulls boss, while a number more will now be considered capable candidates when not long ago that was far from the case.
It’ll be interesting to see how NYC cope with the loss of their manager. They suffered defeat to the Fire, but Torrent will be tasked with continuing to push the club in the right direction. That will only improve the league and begin to enhance the MLS’s reputation further across the world.
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