The former Australian national team assistant coach shares a strong relationship with former Spain international.

Josep Gombau, who parted ways with Odisha FC earlier on Wednesday, is in talks with USL club Queensboro FC. The New York City-based franchise is owned by a consortium of investors that consists of former World Cup-winner, David Villa.

Apparently, David Villa and Josep Gombau have shared a close relationship for a long period of time. The 43-year-old coach talked comprehensively about it here. He talked about Villa’s plans to set up a football program in New York and had stated, “When he went to New York, he was thinking to create a program to help the kids to learn football. We discussed a lot and we created a philosophy to apply to these academies. He has now set these up in the US.”

According to a source close to the developments, Gombau is impressed by the idea of the project and is keen to be a part of David Villa’s vision. It is also understood the former FC Barcelona youth team coach was offered an extension to stay in the ISL. However, the club announced that Gombau had parted ways with them due to some ‘familial reasons.’

Now, the duo is set to reunite with Gombau looking to take up the coaching role at Queensboro. The USL is the second division of professional football in the USA. It is placed below Major League Soccer in hierarchy and the competition comprises of 35 teams. Currently, though the USL Championship is suspended for nearly a month due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Gombau was at the helm of Odisha FC since he joined erstwhile Delhi Dynamos in 2018. He managed the club for two seasons and even brought the rebranded Odisha to the brink of qualification to the playoffs in the 2019-20 ISL season.

Odisha FC’s President Rohan Sharma had remarked, “Some things in life are more important than football. I’d like to thank coach Gombau and his coaching staff from the bottom of my heart for all that they have done for the club.”

Gombau had a rather fruitful campaign with Odisha this time around. Though his team struggled for consistency at times, the playing style that he implemented suggested that the side were set to attain greener pastures under his tutelage.

This is also not the first time that a coach has acquired a lucrative offer from the MLS/USL immediately after a stint in Indian football. Jordi Villa, who was the assistant coach of I-League club Chennai City FC, had joined the support staff of New York City FC in 2018.

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