New York City FC announced that Sporting Director Claudio Reyna will be taking up a new challenge with MLS expansion club Austin FC. Technical Director David Lee has been promoted to become NYCFC’s new Sporting Director.
Claudio joined NYCFC in 2013 as the Club’s first employee and was instrumental in building it from the ground up. Under his leadership, NYCFC qualified for the playoffs in four consecutive seasons, tallied the most cumulative points in the regular season of all MLS teams since 2016 and recently qualified for the Concacaf Champions League for the first time in Club history.
In his time at the Club, NYCFC has taken home three major Academy trophies – the 2017 U-17 Generation adidas Cup and both the 2018 & 2019 U-19 U.S. Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) National Championships. NYCFC was the first Club to have its Academy’s U-19 team win back-to-back USSDA Championships.
Claudio Reyna said: “After five seasons as the Sporting Director for New York City FC, I’ve decided to accept the exciting opportunity to once again be part of an expansion club. This has been an extremely difficult decision for me and my family. NYCFC is such a special place and being Sporting Director of this great Club has been one of the most enjoyable and proud moments in my career.
“We’ve accomplished incredible things as a Club both on and off the field. Not only have we created an exceptionally talented First Team that has improved every season, we’ve developed our Academy into one of the most talented and competitive in the country.
“I’d like to thank everyone here at NYCFC; our players, Sporting Department, support staff and the front office. It’s been a tremendous honor and I cherish the memories and friends I’ve made over the last six years.
‘’I couldn’t be happier for David Lee to take over the position of Sporting Director. David and I have worked hand in hand over the last six years and he is without doubt one of the most talented and well-respected executives in the league. Under David’s leadership, and with this continuity, I know the Sporting Department and team will continue to go from strength to strength.
“Finally, thank you to the fans. I’ve enjoyed meeting so many of you and you always support the team with such passion. The future of New York City FC is extraordinarily bright. I’ll always be a fan and I know the Club will continue to grow and make a huge impact in NYC.”
NYCFC Vice Chairman Marty Edelman said: “On behalf of our ownership and everyone at NYCFC, I would like to sincerely thank Claudio for the incredible accomplishments and exceptional leadership over the past six years.
“I’ve worked closely with Claudio since the beginning and have seen first-hand the significant impact he’s had on the history of this Club. His contribution to American soccer cannot be overstated. As well as highly impressive results with our First Team, he’s built our successful NYCFC Academy, helped the Club create and open our First Team training facility and helped expand NYCFC’s community initiatives.
“He will certainly have a lasting impact on soccer in New York City. Everyone at NYCFC wishes him well and every success in his new challenge at Austin FC. He will always receive a warm welcome at NYCFC.”
NYCFC CEO Brad Sims said: “It has been a privilege to work with Claudio and I’d like to thank him for his amazing contribution to the Club. In David Lee, we have a natural and incredibly talented replacement to continue the fantastic work that he and Claudio have achieved together. He’s been pivotal in signing key NYCFC players and creating the long-term vision of the First Team roster. Winning trophies is something our Club and players want and David’s knowledge and expertise will lead us into the next phase of NYCFC’s evolution.”
David Lee has worked in partnership with Reyna and has been with the Club since 2014 where he began as Director of Player Recruitment. He was promoted to Technical Director in 2017 where he was instrumental in recruiting current key members of the roster.
NYCFC Sporting Director David Lee said: “I’m excited to take on the role of Sporting Director at New York City Football Club. I’ve worked alongside Claudio since the Club’s inception, and am proud of what we’ve built together. Having been in Major League Soccer since 2011, I am eager to continue leading this exceptional squad and Sporting Department. We have the strongest roster of players we’ve ever had and I am extremely confident about the short and long-term future of the first team and Academy.”
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