Manchester City Women boss Nick Cushing will end his six-year reign next month to become assistant manager of New York City FC.

Cushing said it was "incredibly difficult" to reach the decision to leave, as he prepares to join the City Football Group's Major League Soccer outfit.

Appointed at the end of 2013, Cushing led City as they joined the Women's Super League, bolstered by new signings Steph Houghton, Karen Bardsley, Jill Scott and Toni Duggan.

Those England stars helped Cushing establish City as a major force when they were handed a place in a new-look WSL for the 2014 season, prominent among clubs spearheading the move to full-time professionalism.

City won the WSL title in 2016 and added FA Cup victories at Wembley in 2017 and 2019, also reaching the Champions League semi-finals in 2017 and 2018, losing to Lyon both times.

Now 35, Cushing will become assistant to former Celtic manager Ronny Deila at MLS side New York City.

His last match with Manchester City Women will be the WSL home match against Arsenal on February 2.

Cushing said: "Making the decision to leave MCWFC has been incredibly difficult given the fantastic players and staff that we have here and the incredible success that we have achieved together - it isn't one that I have taken lightly.

"We've had an amazing six-and-a-half seasons and I have thoroughly enjoyed working with everybody – I will be extremely emotional to leave, but I'm very excited for my next role within the City Football Group.

"Linking up with New York City and Ronny (Deila) is a brilliant opportunity and I'm really looking forward to working in the MLS."

City said Cushing's assistant, Alan Mahon, would take charge of the women's team on an interim basis.

The evolving world of sport means a new decade is likely to see widespread change.

With superstars like Lionel Messi, LeBron James, Roger Federer and Lewis Hamilton unlikely to be plying their trades in 2030, the stage is set for new names to come to the fore.

Omnisport's team of writers have tipped 20 20-year-olds to do just that over the next 10 years.

 

Men's football: Joao Felix

A €126m move from Benfica to Atletico Madrid made Joao Felix the second most expensive teenager in football history. His career in LaLiga is yet to truly ignite but the forward's lavish gifts are beyond doubt as he faces up to the decade when Cristiano Ronaldo will leave the stage for their native Portugal. Joao Felix is the anointed heir.

Basketball: Luka Doncic

The 2018 EuroLeague MVP and 2019 NBA Rookie of the Year, Doncic's incredible rise has continued unchecked this season – he is averaging 28.8 points, 9.5 rebounds and 9.0 assists for the Dallas Mavericks. He should earn a first All-Star appearance this season and make his bow in the playoffs, where you would expect to see him featuring regularly in the coming years.

Cricket: Prithvi Shaw

Opening batsman Shaw became the youngest Indian to score a Test hundred on debut in 2018 and followed that up with a half-century in his second appearance. However, last year was one to forget for Shaw, who had injury problems before serving a six-month doping ban having taken a substance typically found in cough syrups. A first-class double hundred last month suggests he is ready to make up for lost time.

Tennis: Marketa Vondrousova

Although she was unable to win a title on the WTA Tour in 2019, Vondrousova was the runner-up at the French Open – one of three final appearances last year – and having risen to 16th in the world rankings she looks set to break the top 10 soon. The Czech's unorthodox playing style and penchant for drop shots makes her a particularly entertaining watch.

Formula One: Lando Norris

Norris enjoyed an excellent debut season in Formula One, helping McLaren to an impressive fourth place in the constructors' championship. After landing three straight points finishes to end the year, he carries momentum into 2020 and looks capable of challenging Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen over the next 10 years.

UFC: Chase Hooper

Featherweight Hooper was awarded a development deal after winning the second season of Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series in 2018 and is the youngest fighter on the UFC roster. He improved his unbeaten mixed martial arts record to 8-0-1 by stopping David Teymur in the first round of a thoroughly impressive UFC debut in December.

American football: Trevor Lawrence

The NFL is blessed with talented young quarterbacks like Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson and Deshaun Watson, but the potential star of the 2020s will not enter the league until 2021 at the earliest. Clemson's Lawrence possess the size, skill and nerve to succeed at the next level. He is still yet to lose a game in college and is one win away from back-to-back National Championships.

Sport climbing: Janja Garnbret

Sport climbing will make its Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020 and Garnbret is a favourite for success. She successfully defended her bouldering and combined titles at last year's world championships and added gold in the lead discipline. The Slovenian's tally of 14 International Federation of Sport Climbing titles is unprecedented.

Rugby league: Tom Flegler

Front-rower Flegler enjoyed a hugely promising breakthrough year with Brisbane Broncos in 2019, featuring 23 times in his maiden campaign. He has reportedly knocked back a host of lucrative offers to remain with Brisbane in 2020 and will now aim to make an even bigger impact.

Women's football: Georgia Stanway

Vastly experienced for her age, Stanway joined Manchester City from Blackburn Rovers and made her Women's Super League debut at 16 in 2015. She won her second FA Cup with a goalscoring player-of-the-match display as City beat West Ham 3-0 in 2019's Wembley final and was the youngest member of an England squad Phil Neville led to the World Cup semi-finals. If the Lionesses are to take the next step over the coming decade, expect Stanway to play a vital role.

Rugby union: Marcus Smith

Harlequins fly-half Smith is knocking on the door for full England selection after an impressive first two years of his club career. He was man of the match in last July's win over Barbarians, which fans of Eddie Jones' side will hope is a sign of things to come over the next decade.

Golf: Matthew Wolff

The PGA Tour welcomed a host of talented rookies in 2019, but Wolff may just be the best of the bunch. A standout college player with an unorthodox swing that generates enormous power, he won last July's 3M Open in only his third professional start.

MotoGP: Fabio Quartararo

After Jorge Lorenzo, the only man to defeat Marc Marquez in a MotoGP world championship, retired, and with Valentino Rossi nearing the end of his career, fans are looking to the next generation. That group looks set to be led by Quartararo, who will ride a factory-spec Yamaha for 2020 after claiming six pole positions and seven podiums in a magnificent rookie season.

Golf: Nasa Hataoka

Already fifth in the women's world rankings, Hataoka has claimed three LPGA Tour titles in the past 18 months, after becoming the first amateur to win a major on the Japan LPGA Tour back in 2016.

Baseball: Vladimir Guerrero Jnr

Guerrero has a lot to live up to but has already shown enough to suggest he may follow his father into baseball's Hall of Fame. Having signed for the Toronto Blue Jays as a free agent in 2015, Guerrero served his time in the minors before making his debut in the Major Leagues last April. He spent the rest of his maiden season displaying the kind of power that has marked him out as a star of the future, hitting .272, mashing 15 home runs and knocking in 69 RBI. By the end of the next decade, his may well be the face of baseball.

Ice Hockey: Quinn Hughes

Hughes, who could not even debut for the Vancouver Canucks until he recovered from an ankle injury in March, is an elite defenseman who also sat top of the rookie assist chart in late December.

Swimming: Michael Andrew

This year is an Olympic one and for the first time since the 1996 Games, Michael Phelps will not be in the pool. The United States needs a new swimming hero, and the hope is that Phelps' namesake can be the next star. Andrew was the youngest US swimmer to ever turn professional when he did so at 14 and, having finished fourth in the 50 metres butterfly at the 2019 World Aquatics Championships, he appears primed to be a breakout star in Tokyo.

Tennis: Denis Shapovalov

Shapovalov finished 2019 at a career-high ATP ranking of 15th, having won his first title in Stockholm. Expect his threat at the 2020 majors to be very real.

Athletics: Sydney McLaughlin

At the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha, gold in the 4x400 metres relay followed silver in the 400m hurdles for McLaughlin. Only a Dalilah Muhammad world record was enough to deny her the victory.

Boxing: Joseph Adorno

Currently plying his trade in the lightweight division, Adorno was brought up in Puerto Rico and his thunderous left hook has drawn comparisons to Miguel Cotto – the great four-weight world champion hailing from that boxing-mad island. Promoters Top Rank will look to step up Adorno's level of opposition in 2020, although anyone climbing into the corner opposite a young man boasting a 14-0 record with 12 knockouts should make sure they get well paid.

Manchester City posted record revenues of £535.2million in 2018-19, according the Premier League champions' latest annual report.

Pep Guardiola's side won an unprecedented domestic treble in English football last season, alongside the Community Shield, while City's women's team collected the League Cup and FA Cup.

Revenue scaling £500m for a second consecutive year helped City to return a profit of £10.1m – a fifth consecutive year in the black for the club.

"This level of sustained success is possible for many reasons, but in particular because of our people and, critically, because of our ability to plan," said City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak.

"As intended by His Highness Sheikh Mansour, our organisation is now at a level of maturity that enables us to plan on multi-year cycles both in terms of our management of squads and more widely across the business.

"This strategic planning has allowed us to create an environment in which continued on-pitch success is both possible and likely, and financial sustainability is a reality.

"2018-19 saw an 11th consecutive year of revenue growth, and that is in part a product of our ongoing investment in football expertise, not just in Manchester but around the world. That investment will remain fundamental to our approach."

The spike in revenue was almost entirely accounted for by broadcast revenue paid out under the first season of UEFA's latest three-year rights agreement for the Champions League – with an incoming sum of £85.7m compared to £54.6m for the previous 12 months.

This season, City began a lucrative 10-year kit manufacturing deal with Puma, which is reported to be worth in the region of £65m per season. The financial impact of this agreement will be shown from next year's results.

City's wages were up £55.6m to £315.3m, with their wage/revenue ratio rising to "a healthy" 59 per cent from 52 per cent.

A close-season transfer window that saw the arrival of club-record signing Rodri, Joao Cancelo and Angelino, while the likes of Fabian Delph, Danilo and Douglas Luiz moved on, amounted to a net spend of approximately £109m.

City have been the subject of a number of investigations since revelations alleging financial impropriety were published by Der Spiegel last year, drawing upon documents purportedly obtained by the whistleblower Football Leaks.

FIFA issued a fine for breaches of rules related to the recruitment of youth players, although City avoided a transfer ban, and the Football Association also found no evidence of an illegal payment to the agent of their former winger Jadon Sancho.

Investigations from the Premier League and UEFA remain ongoing, although The Athletic reported last week that City will not be hit with a Champions League ban by European football's governing body following claims they failed to comply with Financial Fair Play regulations.

In addressing the UEFA investigation in the annual report, City said: "The directors welcomed the opening of a formal UEFA investigation as an opportunity to bring to an end the speculation resulting from the illegal hacking and out of context publication of club emails.

"The directors are entirely confident of a positive outcome when the matter is considered by an independent judicial body."

Megan Rapinoe, Lucy Bronze and Alex Morgan lead the nominees for the 2019 Ballon d'Or Femenin in the award's second year.

Publication France Football revealed their 20-woman shortlist on Monday, acknowledging the successes of Lyon and United States in particular.

Women's Champions League winners Lyon have six players in the running, including Bronze and 2018 winner Ada Hegerberg, though the latter is not thought to be among the favourites given her World Cup absence.

United States lifted the trophy in France and four of their squad have been nominated, with Tobin Heath, Rose Lavelle, Morgan and Rapinoe flying the USA flag.

Rapinoe is regarded by many as the favourite, however, with the Reign FC star inspirational in the World Cup campaign, finishing joint top-scorer on six with Ellen White and Morgan, while she also added three assists.

She won the Golden Boot and Golden Ball in France, before also taking home The Best FIFA Women's Player award, edging out Morgan. Bronze came third.

Full list of nominees:

Lucy Bronze (Lyon), Ellen White (Manchester City), Sam Kerr (Chicago Red Stars), Nilla Fischer (Wolfsburg), Amandine Henry (Lyon), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), Vivianne Miedema (Arsenal), Dzenifer Marozsan (Lyon), Pernille Harder (Wolfsburg), Sarah Bouhaddi (Lyon), Megan Rapinoe (Reign FC), Lieke Martens (Barcelona), Sari van Veenendal (Atletico Madrid), Wendie Renard (Lyon), Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit), Marta (Orlando Pride), Ada Hegerberg (Lyon), Kosovare Asllani, Sofia Jakobsson (both CD Tacon/Real Madrid), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns).

The worst part for Abbie McManus was she knew what was coming.

England defender McManus, formerly of Manchester City, made her debut for United in Saturday's Manchester derby before a record Women's Super League crowd at the Etihad Stadium.

Casey Stoney's top-flight newcomers had the better of the first half, with Ellie Roebuck forced into a remarkable point-blank save to deny Jane Ross – another of United's ex-City contingent.

Then, in the 48th minute, Caroline Weir collected a loose clearance 25 yards from goal, sized things up and let fly left-footed.

"The shots from distance from Georgia Stanway and Caroline Weir we knew about but, unfortunately, on that one goal, we didn't get tight enough to her," McManus said, thoughts of training sessions past undoubtedly having flashed through her mind.

"It was an unbelievable strike by Caroline Weir."

The vast majority of the 31,213 in attendance rose to their feet as Weir tore away in celebration, soon subsumed by her team-mates. Ideally, all big sporting events need their moment, and City's matchwinner provided it when securing a 1-0 victory.

These are buoyant times for women's football in the UK, following a World Cup where England captured the imagination of millions on their way to the semi-finals.

"It's a great moment for women's football coming back off the successful World Cup. It's a turning point for women's football," Weir said, in acknowledgement of the bigger picture despite her VAR-laced heartache during the group stages with Scotland.

"Support is coming from all places. It's about pushing on and improving at all levels."

The Football Association has shrewdly looked to grasp the sense of positivity by staging showpiece fixtures at some of England's premier venues on this opening weekend of the WSL season.

The Manchester derby crowd was a six-fold improvement on the league's previous best attendance, although the record will not have a chance to dry in the books before a near-capacity crowd watch Chelsea entertain Tottenham on Sunday.

Steph Houghton, City and England captain and the lynchpin of a defence placed under greater scrutiny than they might have imagined at the Etihad, knows these are changing times to be seized.

"We played here a few years ago and there were only 2,000 people," Houghton said, recalling the 2014 Continental Cup clash with Everton, where the attendance actually failed to breach 1,500.

"To get a record-breaking crowd and attendance, and for us to make sure that Manchester stays blue, it was unbelievable.

"There are a lot of big games going on this weekend. I think it's important that we get bums on seats as much as we can."

Houghton is hopeful plenty of those who revelled in derby delight will follow the team back across Alan Turing Way to their usual home at the City Football Academy.

At that stage, when sunlit September afternoons become an inevitably bleak English winter, the domestic football season reverts to a slog that feelgood factors and a sense of novelty alone cannot sustain.

The good news is the evidence in Manchester and beyond is of sport repeatedly capable of capturing the imagination on its own terms.

Before the derby, lifelong City fan Keira Walsh said with relish that she wanted to "absolutely smash" United and her calm, crisp passing granted early control to Nick Cushing's side.

However, the brilliant Netherlands midfielder Jackie Groenen turned the contest in United's favour and, when the visitors seemed to have faded as an attacking force inside the final 10 minutes, she bundled against the base of the post.

In between heroics from Roebuck and Weir, Groenen found herself briefly squared up to the City goalscorer – a late tackle having touched a calf and a nerve. Every one moment stitching new storylines on to the tapestry of a grand old rivalry, with threads everyone involved will be itching to pick up next time.

"The style of football we've just played and both teams have put on, it's a good show," McManus added.

"I hope it's not classed as women's football anymore and I hope that we get the men's fans in now.

"It's getting bigger and better and the crowd make it a little bit more exciting for us. We hope to see those fans back."

Caroline Weir was the derby hero for Manchester City as her spectacular strike sealed a 1-0 win over Manchester United on a record-breaking day for the Women's Super League.

A crowd of 31,213 at the Etihad Stadium smashed the division's previous best crowd of 5,265, for Arsenal's title-sealing win over Brighton and Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium in April.

It is likely to be a short-lived best mark, though, with a crowd close to Stamford Bridge's 41,000 capacity expected for Sunday's London derby between Chelsea and Tottenham.

Staging showpiece games at some of England's biggest grounds is part of the WSL's drive to capitalise upon the national team's run to the semi-finals of this year's World Cup, which culminated in an estimated audience of 11.7million tuning in to watch Phil Neville's side lose to eventual winners the United States.

Five of England's World Cup stars featured for City on Saturday, but it was United – only re-established last season and newly promoted from the Championship after their women's team were wound down in 2005 – who looked the most threatening before half-time, as Ellie Roebuck made a stunning close-range save to deny Jane Ross.

The hosts resumed on the front foot, however, and Weir sent most of the history-making attendees into raptures by arrowing a stunning 25-yarder into the top corner after 48 minutes.

United almost levelled seven minutes from time when Netherlands star Jackie Groenen – one of six debutants in Casey Stoney's starting XI - scrambled against the base of the post, only for a rattled City to hang on.

Manchester City will meet Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium and Chelsea will face Tottenham at Stamford Bridge in the opening weekend of the Women's Super League season.

The first top-flight Manchester derby between the women's teams will take place on September 7 and allow under-16s to attend for free with a paying adult.

Chelsea's match with Tottenham, meanwhile, will offer free tickets to fans of all ages.

City captain Steph Houghton said in a statement: "We are all very excited to play our first home game of the season at the Etihad Stadium and, better yet, in a Manchester derby.

"Big games like this are the ones you want to be in as a player and every one of us Manchester City players is looking forward to getting on that pitch and giving you all a performance to be proud of."

United won the Championship last season, their first since the team was launched.

City, who usually play their home matches at the Academy Stadium of the Etihad Campus, won the Women's FA Cup and League Cup and finished second in the top flight to Arsenal.

The decision to relocate the games to the men's stadiums is part of a wider initiative by the Football Association to capitalise on the interest in women's football generated by the World Cup.

England finished fourth at the finals in France, where the United States defended their title of four years ago by beating Netherlands 2-0 in Sunday's final in Lyon.

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