New York City FC has hired former Arsenal and France national team great Patrick Vieira as its new manager, the club announced on Monday morning.
The hiring, the possibility of which was first reported by SI's Grant Wahl, follows last week's firing of Jason Kreis after one season. It will be the 39-year-old Vieira's first managing job at the first-team club level and his first foray into MLS. He had been head coach of Manchester City's Elite Development Squad (U-21) and will join NYCFC on January 1 to start his three-year contract.
"Patrick was a legendary player and has all the characteristics required to make a fantastic head coach," NYCFC sporting director Claudio Reyna said in a club statement. "His exemplary drive, passion and dedication have always marked him out as a rare talent and all of those qualities, alongside his understanding of the game, make him a natural choice.
"Patrick is a natural born leader. He has played under some of the best managers in the world and experienced different leagues and playing styles, enjoying success everywhere he has been. We believe he can bring that knowledge and experience to take New York City FC forward in MLS. We are looking forward to him joining us in the coming weeks.”
Kreis was let go after coaching NYCFC to a 10-17-7 record in the club's inaugural season.