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MLS Jul 10, 2020

NYCFC Academy Director Liam Manning accepts pro head coaching job in Belgium

NEW YORK, N.Y. – New York City FC today announced Academy Director Liam Manning will join Belgium’s Lommel SK as the club’s next head coach.

Manning joined NYCFC in April 2019 as Director of Coaching for the Academy and was promoted to Academy Director late last year.

In those roles, Manning oversaw a setup that produced a second consecutive U.S. Soccer Development Academy U-19 National Championship and numerous Academy staff being promoted to First Team roles.

Manning said: “I joined NYCFC because it was a Club dedicated to growing their Academy and one filled with ambitious goals for their youth setup. The past year has been everything I expected and collectively as an Academy staff, we have accomplished a tremendous amount of success.

“We’ve solidified a foundation at the youth levels that provides a proven pathway for players, coaches and backroom staff to progress to the First Team and this sets the Club up for success for many years to come.

“Certainly, I didn’t expect to be leaving NYCFC so quickly. The opportunity to grow to the next phase of my career at Lommel, which keeps me within the City Football Group family, was an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up.”

Sporting Director, David Lee, said: “Liam has been an instrumental part of our Academy’s story throughout his tenure at NYCFC. From the day he joined us, he helped push our Academy forward in every area of the operation. We’ve seen great growth and development from not only our players as they progress through the age groups, but by our coaching and support staff as well.

“We’re sad to see Liam depart the Club but this opportunity is recognition of his fantastic impact here and wish him all the best as he begins his First Team coaching career at Lommel.”

Former player and U-15 head coach Mehdi Ballouchy joined Ronny Deila’s staff as an assistant while Performance Coach Jake Roswell and Assistant Athletic Trainer Sebastian Siclari were also promoted to First Team roles.

During Manning’s tenure, NYCFC signed Homegrown defender Tayvon Gray who became the Club’s first ever signing from the Bronx. Gray was one of two NYCFC Academy players who featured for the United States during last fall’s FIFA U-17 World Cup along with Andres Jasson. Joe Scally, who had already signed for the First Team at the time, joined those two.

Recently acquired by City Football Group, Lommel is a Belgian club renown for a strong Academy and focus on youth development. They will play in the Belgian First Division B, the country’s second division, during the 2020-2021 season.

Prior to joining NYCFC, Manning was with English Premier League side West Ham United where he served as the club’s U-23 Head Coach. While at West Ham, he led the U-23s to the Premier League Cup title.