2019 Major League Soccer season

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Torrent out as NYCFC head coach

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Despite a banner year for New York City FC, the club will be looking for a new coach this offseason.

NYCFC made it official on Friday, announcing that it had mutually agreed to part ways with head coach Dome Torrent after one and a half seasons in charge. The Spaniard took over for Patrick Vieira in June 2018 and led NYCFC to a third-place finish in the eastern conference in his first year.

In 2019, Torrent guided NYCFC, without David Villa, to first place in the Eastern Conference and second in all of MLS in the regular season. However, the team was bounced by Toronto FC in the MLS Cup playoffs for the third straight year in the conference semifinals page.

Its a big blow for NYCFC to have to find another coach and to lose a talented tactician in Torrent. The 57-year-old built a successful team, even with the limitations of MLS roster regulations and the Yankee Stadium field conditions. But he openly complained about not being able to spend more and sign better players after the playoff defeat at home against Toronto FC, and it may have just been time for him to move back to Europe.

For NYCFC, with Atlanta United, the Philadelphia Union and evening possibly the New England Revolution on its heels, the club will have to nail this coaching hire.

Oscar Pareja might be available, depending on how Xolos de Tijuana finish the Apertura season in Liga MX, or perhaps NYCFC could tempt Giovanni Savarese back to New York from Portland.

Jose Mourinho seems about as unlikely as anything, but he is available, after all. One thing is for sure. Like the hire of Torrent, who had been an assistant for Pep Guardiola at Manchester City beforehand and Vieira before Torrent, we can expect the City Football Group to dig into its scouting and coaching network to unearth the next coach.

Whether that means Mikel Arteta or Paul Harsley (Current Man City reserves coach) will be the next NYCFC coach remains to be seen.

MLS preview: Minnesota United opens brand-new Allianz Field

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Here’s everything you need to know ahead of a busy and exciting week seven of MLS action, starting on Friday night.

[ MORE: All of PST’s MLS coverage ]

Minnesota United v. New York City FC β€” Saturday, 5 p.m. ET

Minnesota United finally has a sparkling soccer-specific stadium to call home. The Loons will take the pitch at Allianz Field for the first time this season, opening the stadium with a favorable matchup. This time last season, we wouldn’t have said that about New York City FC, but the club continues to struggle under manager Dome Torrent, leading to fan apathy and disappointment.

Minnesota, which picked up a huge road win at the New York Red Bulls last week, is itching to start their life at Allianz Field with a victory, while NYCFC has yet to record a win this season. NYCFC will need to find an answer for Abu Danladi, the speedy forward who torched the Red Bulls a week ago.

Seattle Sounders v. Toronto FC β€” Saturday, 4 p.m. ET

Although the two clubs are in different conferences, there’s plenty of bitter history between the Seattle Sounders and Toronto FC, dating back to their MLS Cup final meetings in 2016 and 2017. Both teams have started the season hot, a rarity for the Sounders while a return to success for TFC after a dreadful 2018.

Jordan Morris leads the Sounders with three goals in his return from a torn ACL, partnering well early on with Raul Ruidiaz. Meanwhile Alejandro Pozuelo has been a sensation since his arrival in MLS, having scored two goals already. He also set up Jozy Altidore last week in Toronto’s 2-2 draw with the Chicago Fire with a dime to the back post.

Ultimately, it will be up to the likes of Christian Roldan and Seattle’s central midfield to keep Pozuelo under wraps.

Los Angeles FC v. FC Cincinnati β€” Saturday, 10:30 p.m. ET

Coming off a 4-0 thrashing at D.C. United, Los Angeles FC is the hottest team in MLS right now. LAFC is still unbeaten, with five wins and a draw, and Carlos Vela is playing some of the best soccer in his career, showing he’s still good enough to be playing in Europe’s top leagues. Vela is the early contender for the Landon Donovan MVP trophy, with seven goals and four assists through his team’s first six games.

Like LAFC a year ago, FC Cincinnati is off to a strong start as well, with a couple of wins and a pair of draws in the early part of the season. It will be a tough test for FC Cincy at an in-form LAFC side but FC Cincy has pulled off impressive draws with both Atlanta United and Sporting KC.

Full MLS schedule

Friday

Chicago Fire v. Vancouver Whitecaps β€” 8:30 p.m. ET

Saturday

Montreal Impact v. Columbus Crew β€” 1 p.m. ET
Houston Dynamo v. San Jose Earthquakes β€” 3 p.m. ET
Seattle Sounders v. Toronto FC β€” 4 p.m. ET
Minnesota United v. New York City FC β€” 5 p.m. ET
New England Revolution v. Atlanta United β€” 7:30 p.m. ET
FC Dallas v. Portland Timbers β€” 8 p.m. ET
Colorado Rapids v. D.C. United β€” 9 p.m. ET
Real Salt Lake v. Orlando City β€” 9 p.m. ET
LA Galaxy v. Philadelphia Union β€” 10:30 p.m. ET
Los Angeles FC v. FC CincinnatiΒ β€” 10:30 p.m. ET

Sunday

Sporting Kansas City v. New York Red Bulls β€” 7 p.m. ET