Nick Cushing is set to return as head coach of New York City FC for the 2024 season, the club all but explicitly confirmed in a statement to fans signed by CEO Brad Sims and City Football Group chairman Marty Edelman.
The club’s leaders write in the statement that “Our end of season review processes will therefore be completely focused on ensuring that in 2024 our Sporting Director David Lee, Head Coach Nick Cushing and the entire Sporting department have the necessary support and resources to significantly improve upon this year’s results.”
That’s a longwinded way of saying: No changes are coming to the NYCFC head coaching role or to the top sporting department position.
This news comes despite Cushing’s NYCFC side failing to qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2015, struggling through a season that saw the team finish 11th in the Eastern Conference while registering only nine wins, the lowest number in club history.
2023 was Cushing’s first full season as a head coach in the men’s professional game, and he has a 21 W-19 D-24 L record in 64 games in charge of NYCFC across all competitions since taking over as interim following Ronny Deila’s unexpected midseason departure in 2022.
Cushing had the interim tag removed and was named full-on head coach back in November 2022, and now he, unlike 2015 manager Jason Kreis, retains his position at the end of a year NYCFC fails to reach the playoffs.
During Cushing’s tenure, the New York City has undergone seismic changes, with foundational long-serving players like Taty Castellanos, Sean Johnson, Anton Tinnerholm, Alexander Callens, and Maxi Moralez all leaving the team before the 2023 season began. 2023 was a year of big changes to the makeup of the squad, as key players kept leaving—like Thiago Andrade, Gabriel Pereira, and somewhat controversially, Maxime Chanot—while the team also brought in lots of new talent during a very busy summer transfer window.
The team endured one of its longest winless streaks in its history during the early summer months, an unfortunately common occurrence during Cushing’s coaching tenure, as the 2022 squad also went through a brutal swoon in form right after Taty Castellanos was loaned to Girona FC.
Fan sentiment seemed to widely sour on Cushing as the season progressed and a spot in the MLS Cup Playoffs became less and less likely, yet the manager will get more time from the NYCFC front office.
So, too, will sporting director David Lee, who is also mentioned as receiving support and resources to improve on the team’s rough 2023. The NYCFC offseason officially begins with no major changes at the top, though that offseason is still only just getting started.