Ronny Deila leaves New York City FC for Standard Liege

New York City FC have announced that head coach Ronny Deila has left after three seasons in charge to manage Belgian side Standard Liege.

NYCFC assistant coach Nick Cushing will take over as interim manager, with an opportunity to be considered for the permanent job depending on results, while coaches Mehdi Ballouchy and Rob Vartughian are remaining on staff, with all three having signed new long-term contracts.

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A source told ESPN that Standard Liege will pay New York a fee in the "low seven-figures" to acquire both Deila and NYCFC assistant coach Efrain Juarez.

"Everyone at the club would like to thank Ronny for the fantastic job he has done here," NYCFC sporting director David Lee said. "With Ronny at the helm, we have developed an even stronger culture of winning and togetherness and have accomplished our number-one goal of bringing silverware to this club, to this city, and to our fans.

"We know this was not a decision Ronny took lightly, but we understand his desire to return to Europe and be closer to home. He has been a true leader since joining the club and we wish him well for the next challenge in his career."

Deila joined NYCFC prior to the 2020 Major League Soccer campaign, and led the club to their first MLS Cup title a year later, defeating the Portland Timbers on penalties.

The 46-year-old leaves New York with a 46-29-15 record across all competitions

"This was certainly not an easy decision for me and my family. However, I feel this is the right time to take on this new challenge and return to Europe," Deila said.

"I would like to thank New York City Football Club and City Football Group. This is an incredible organization with extremely talented players, an amazing sporting department and fantastic leadership across the club including Ferran Soriano, Marty Edelman, David Lee and Brad Sims. Thank you to the fans, the passion you have for the club has fueled us on the field, and we couldn't have accomplished what we did last season without you."

Cushing was in his third season as an assistant with NYCFC. He previously managed Manchester City women for seven seasons, where he won six trophies, including the 2016 Super League title and was named the FA WSL Manager of the Year in 2016.

''We have an incredible team here at NYCFC and it's a great group of players to work with," Cushing said.

"We remain as focused as ever as we prepare for a busy period of games beginning this weekend at home against Colorado. This is an exciting opportunity for me and I'm ready to continue the great work we have been undertaking as a coaching group over these past few years together."

Lee added: "While it is never ideal to have a change of head coach midseason, we are excited for Nick Cushing to have this opportunity and have the utmost confidence in him given his previous experience as one of the most decorated coaches in the women's game."