New York City FC‘s MLS Cup-winning head coach Ronny Deila has departed the club to take over as manager of Belgian side Standard Liege, the clubs announced Monday.

Former Manchester City Women boss Nick Cushing will replace Ronny Deila as interim manager at Major League Soccer side New York City. Cushing and fellow assistants Rob Vartughian and Mehdi Ballouchy have signed new contract extensions. The previous assistant Efrain Juarez will follow Deila to Standard Liege.

Cushing left City in 2020 to become Deila’s assistant coach in New York after winning six major trophies with the Women’s Super League club.

Cushing, a 37-year-old from England, becomes the team’s fifth coach in eight seasons. Previous coaches were Jason Kreis (2015), Patrick Vieira (2016-18), Dominic Torrent (2018-19) and Deila (2020-22).

Cushing spent 2013-20 as coach of the women’s team at Manchester City, which, like NYCFC, is owned by City Football Group. He takes over NYCFC with the team in first place in the Eastern Conference with 26 points after 13 games, one point ahead of Philadelphia.
Deila led NYCFC to its first MLS title last season, beating Portland on penalty kicks in the final. He managed Norway’s Stromsgodset from 2008-14, Scotland’s Glasgow Celtic from 2014-16 and Norway’s Valerenga from 2017-20.

Standard Liege finished 14th in the 18-team Belgium first division with nine wins, 16 losses and nine draws for 36 points, eight above the relegation zone. Mbaye Leye was fired as coach in October and replaced by Luka Elsner, who was fired at the end of the season.

“Everyone at the Club would like to thank Ronny for the fantastic job he has done here,” NYCFC sporting director David Lee said in a news release. “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.”

“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.

“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.”