NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Former French star Patrick Vieira was hired Monday to coach New York City FC, one week after the Major League Soccer club fired Jason Kreis.

He takes over a club that went 10-17-7 for 37 points in its debut season. NYCFC finished eighth in the Eastern Conference. It was in a three-way tie for the second-fewest points, above only Chicago.

Vieira signed a three-year contract and will begin work New Year’s Day.

He was drawn to NYCFC because of its “established” organization and “passionate” fan base. He added that he knows the New York area well, making the job an “unparalleled opportunity that I am delighted to seize with both hands.”

“I cannot wait to get started,” he said.

NYCFC is partly owned by Manchester City of the English Premier League and the New York Yankees. It plays its home games at Yankee Stadium.

The 39-year-old Vieira became a development executive with Manchester City in 2011 following his retirement as a player. In 2013 he took over as coach of the reserve team. He spent part of 2014 tutoring Kreis, who left Real Salt Lake in December 2013 to coach NYCFC.

Vieira played for Cannes, AC Milan, Arsenal, Juventus, Inter Milan and Manchester City. He was a member of France’s title-winning teams at the 1998 World Cup and 2000 European Championship.

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