New York City FC ready to take on challenges of MLS



It may have taken 18 years to become a reality, but Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber finally accomplished one of the league’s original goals.

MLS announced on Tuesday that the newest franchise in the league will be New York City Football Club, putting a second team in the New York metro area. The team will be run by Manchester City FC, with the New York Yankees taking an active minority role in the club as well.

Before the team even gets on the field in 2015, there are plenty of obstacles to overcome including building a stadium, working within the MLS salary constraints when fielding a team, and creating a fan base from which to build upon.

On the stadium front, MLS has been in negotiations with the city of New York for over a year in acquiring parkland in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park to build a soccer-specific stadium, but have yet to finalize the transfer of land.

“The ownership group will look at what we’ve been able to present to them, and try to see if that site is one that makes sense, “Garber said during a media teleconference on Tuesday featuring Yankees President Randy Levine and Manchester City CEO Ferran Soriano. “But (MLS will present to them) only after they’ve gone out into the community, to get the community to understand their goals and objectives, and to get their support.”

Levine added that Yankee Stadium is a possibility to play games during the summer of 2015 even with a full Major League Baseball schedule, though Garber wouldn’t commit to naming a place.

Relatively new on the international scene, Manchester City have done well recently to grow their American base, but it will take more than just fielding a team in New York to be able to rally a fan base to support the club.

“We know well the rules of MLS, and we think we are able to build a winning team within these rules,” Soriano said. “We’re going to make extensive use of our expertise, our knowledge, our people. We have very high caliber people at Manchester City that have been very successful at building winning teams.

“We will use resources like our extensive scouting network, not just in Europe or England, but in Latin America.

Added Soriano: “I have the self-confidence of doing this before, being able to build at Barcelona a winning team that is also sustainable, and follows the rules. We are fully confident.

Soriano also said that he believed that at some point there will be Manchester City players who may come to MLS to play in New York on-loan, but it would only happen “naturally” and “organically.”

Now that Garber has achieved his goal to get a second MLS club in New York, the league will take a step back and wait a little while before expanding beyond 20 teams. Orlando had been thought of as a possibility and there is a chance that Miami and Atlanta can get into the mix too.

“Right now we’re just going to take a deep breath,” Garber said. “Right now we’re very focused with getting NYCFC up and launched, and in the time to come we’ll figure out what comes next for us.”

Soriano and his staff at Manchester City will now have to spend the next 18 months building a fan base, whether it’s taking fans from the New York Red Bulls or converting others that either don’t support a club or only support a club abroad.

“There are passionate fans in the U.S. looking for high quality football,” Soriano said. “We believe there is an opportunity to build a team here (in New York), and to deliver high quality football to the fans here.

“We will be engaging with the soccer community here to understand how we can represent the them.”

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85 Responses to New York City FC ready to take on challenges of MLS

  1. john.q says:

    i wonder what effect the Yankee’s involvement will have on the stadium. The stadium deal depends on the Mets allowing NYCFC to use their parking space. They may try to block it unless NYCFC manages some kind of pretty deal.

    • ed - houston says:

      There’s money to be made. Similar issue here in Houston as the Astros had to also sign off on the deal since we were in need of their parking. Since BBVA opened there has only been one time where there was an Astros and Dynamo at the same time. The Flushing site is really the best place for this team’s stadium, hope it works out for them.

      • SilkCityFC says:

        Yeah, but it’s not like the Dynamo had the Texas Rangers backing the team or something. The Yankees and Mets aren’t exactly the best of friends…

    • FulhamDC says:

      There’s growing local opposition to the stadium and it’s an election year in the City. Bloomberg supports it, but he’s done, if the opposition gets organized enough to make votes in Queens sway with the decision, it could be a while before it’s all ok said and done with.

      • drew11 says:

        Yep. Flushing will collapse now that there is a viable stadium alternative. They will be stuck playing at Yankee Stadium a long time. Welcome to MLS Bronx FC.

  2. Ceez says:

    It took him 18 years? He wasn’t even commissioner when the league started…I was though. Basics 101.

    • Ceez says:

      Uhhh, that was meant to read differently. Nevermind the “I was though”. Proofreading 101.

    • CJ says:

      In the same vein, NYCFC “ready to take on challenges of MLS” indicates they’re ready to take the field. But I pick nits.

      • Ceez says:

        Lmao. That’s a bit of a stretch. Mine nit is more factual. Haha. Carry on, people..

  3. Felix says:

    I’m not a fan of this.
    The track record of success of clubs with parent clubs overseas is spotty at best. From MLS all the way down to the lower leagues.
    Will the parent take the “junior” seriously, or is it just an excuse to market their parent brand? Will it have its own identity, will the money follow, will there be any true creditability?
    Look at the last four clubs to enter into MLS, successful lower league clubs or vibrant potential fanbases (TFC and Philly) who were ready to hit the track running upon entry. NYC FC will swirl with questions in my mind.

    • RK says:

      C.P. Baltimore!

    • PanchoMiguelMoralesdeConejo says:

      I agree with you on the ‘parent club’, but perhaps you aren’t taking the Yankee interest in this into account? If this was Man City “Junior” ala Chivas USA then for sure it would be problematic. But, this seems to be an investment by an ownership group who is not trying to sell their brand (Chivas or Red Bulls), but rather trying to leverage their know-how.
      Now, if the name of the club was Man City New York branch…OK…but this looks like a NY City brand that will be a stand alone name…despite who owns the majority of it.

  4. anikan says:

    Are there rules in place to stop Man City from buying a bunch of high cost players and loaning them to NY for next to nothing?

    • George Baldwin says:

      That’s what I was wondering. Like Samir Nasri is loaned out to the club, but Man City picks up most of the salary, thus his loan only costs say 60,000 to the cap. That would be crazy.

      • Noah says:

        If there isn’t a rule against it, the first time it happened would result in a rule being adopted.

    • Iggy says:

      Red bulls skated a few players thru like this. Can’t recall who now, but no one even remotely big, so no on cared. Mls would create rules against a nasri type deal for sure.

  5. slowleftarm says:

    Poor decision. Should’ve been Orlando City – an actual club with actual supporters instead of this nonsense. I will never set foot in the place except to watch RBNY beat this sorry team.

    • jim in Atlanta says:

      Jesus jealous much.

      • Felix says:

        There is a decent amount of Haterade in his comment – but he does have a solid point. O-city is an actual club with actual supporters – NYCFC is just a concept exes assume will work because the potential stadium location.

        • Edwin in LA says:

          Orlando doesn’t have the money nor the Stadium…the proposal to help them pay for the building of a SSS was shot down in the Florida congress….

          • Adam says:

            That is not entirely true. The bill that was dropped before it could be voted on in the state senate was not a funding bill. The funding is through private (I.e. the team) and the city. The city council supports it as does the mayor. The bill would have given tax incentives for the stadium. The tax breaks, from what the word is here in Orlando, amounts to about $5 million a year. Obviously, that is a chunk but it doesn’t seem to be a deal killer. If you listen to the Orlando MLS group, they were disappointed but it is not a deal killer

            • Felix says:

              I still wouldn’t be shocked if within the year we see Chivas USA being moved to Orlando.

    • Hogatroge says:

      Pretty silly.

      Better hope that Orlando wins the bid for Chivas’ remains later this year.

    • Riggity says:

      So what you are saying is even though you “will never set foot in there”… YOU WILL SET FOOT IN THERE

      • slowleftarm says:

        Yeah to watch my team beat this team owned by known human rights abusers.

        • slowleftarm says:

          Actually – to clarify. I’m a huge Yankees fan and since NYFC will likely be playing at Yankees Satdium for years I will be setting foot in there all the damn time – but to watch the Yankees.

  6. slowleftarm says:

    As far as Garber saying this is going to be transformative for MLS, well right now this story has a tiny link on ESPN – barely noticed.

    • Hopper says:

      You’re wrong. The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and tons of other major news outlets have picked it up. It’s been noticed.

    • 2tone says:

      You do realize their are other huge news outlets versus ESPN. NBC sports, Fox sports, New York Times, LA Times among many more news outlets have picked up this story.

  7. jrxl says:

    So, do loaned players have to go through the discovery process? If not, what is stopping Man City from loaning a bunch of their minor league talent to NYC FC at below market value terms to get around the MLS salary cap?

  8. mike says:

    Great for NYC.
    But the first thing that came to my mind was, why does the MLS hate the Cosmos? A Brand that clearly has an established fan base and PELE not to mention Beckenbauer. If youve seen the documentary on the Cosmos and know their history of selling out Giant stadium regularly, it boggles my mind why they wouldn’t cash in on them immediately.

    • J says:

      The Cosmos were resurrected by Umbro, which is owned by Nike, as a way to combat Adidas’ soccer street cred… MLS is all Adidas so that is not going to happen unless something changes.

      • anikan says:

        Nike sold Umbro back in October. I think part of it also has to do with Cosmos not wanting to play in a league with a salary cap.

  9. hartley says:

    So, what about the Cosmos?

  10. QuakesUK says:

    As a British San Jose Earthquakes fan of 25 years standing, I never in my life thought I would have a positive word to say about the New York Energy Drinks FC, but you know what, New York already HAS an MLS team and has had for 18 years.

    New York MetroStars may have sold their soul to Red Bull eight years ago but at least they had a soul to sell in the first place. This plastic, corportate entity that is New York City FC (and please don’t tell me someone got paid to come up with that insipid, bland, arrogant and alien name) is an affront to every MLS and US soccer supporter who has fought for 18 long years in the face of scorn, abuse and derision, to defend their game and their league from the same kind of wannabe Eurosnob scum that this so called “club” panders to. Those who have have hated and mocked us as fans and sneered at MLS for as long as we have dared to defend our rights to enjoy our American game in our American way.

    Here’s some news for you, Mr. Commissioner: They’ll still sneer at us. Those you desperately wish to impress will still see MLS as a ‘Mickey Mouse League’ and dismiss every American inovation out of hand. They hate us, Mr. Garber, please stop selling out our league to appease them.

    Today is a great betrayal of the efforts of thousands to expand and solidify our league and our game.

    I hope Scrooge Mc-Garber enjoys diving into his pile of money. Even as this ludicrously overblown vanity project is doomed from birth, he will think he’s succeeded, rather than damned his legacy.

    No more appeasement.
    No more apologies.
    No more interlopers.
    No more Chivas USAs.
    No more New York City FC’s.

    There’s only one team in New York.

    MLS for Life.


    • FulhamDC says:


    • USsoccer100 says:

      I like how the fan of a team named after a deadly disaster takes offence at a team name, especially a commonly used formatworldwide.

      • QuakesUK says:

        Earthquakes is an American name for an American game.

        Save your City’s and Sporting’s and Atletico’s for other leagues.

        Apart from the fact that ‘New York City FC’ is a dull, uninspiring name it’s also Un-American and will do absolutely nothing to interest floating fans in New York or America as a whole.

        It’s also unheard of – ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD – for a new team to take the city name as their own in a market that already has a team of long standing in situ, unless that resident team had already chosen not to utilise it.

        Whenever new franchises have popped up worldwide to challenge existing teams – all of whom have been doomed to fail as surely as “Abu Dabhi NYC Holdings PLC” will – they have never attempted to encroach on the existing territorial integrity of the long-standing club.

        • cremmo says:

          I can think of two baseball teams from New York City.

          So, it’s heard of.

        • Sean says:

          I disagree that NYC FC is uninspiring. It’s a football. It’s about the market and the sport.

          I don’t care for the Fusions and Clashes and Galaxy and Earthquakes, etc. There’s a reason why dumb American names makes MLS look second rate.

          It should be about the locale. San Jose FC or Athletic etc. Harrison FC or NJ FC etc. Those names represent the fans, not a gimmick. The other nicknames should arise (if they do at all) organically, not as part of some marketing ploy.

          • Michael says:

            Moreover, Galaxy and the other teams should go back in time and found themselves in the late 19th or early 20th century. Otherwise they’re just not legit.

        • g-dub says:

          I’m with Quakes. NYC – our country’s most loved, authentic, and American city deserves better than imitating a second rate club in a mediocre English city.

          So depressing to have this announcement with zero supporters rejoicing. No soul.

    • Brain Guy says:

      QuakesUK for President of the World!

    • jlm says:

      New York’s other/original team that you want to solely represent the city was bought/restructured in almost the exact same way that NYCFC is coming about.

      How original is the name Red Bull for crying out loud? Using a product name (that is already used as a name for a team in Austria) is much less authentic than using the city’s name + FC.

      The difference is that you think it is “plastic” because it is associated with Manchester City and lots of money instead of being associated with Salzburg and not much money. Hypocritical, but I like your enthusiasm and pride.

  11. J says:

    The Cosmos were resurrected by Umbro, which is owned by Nike, as a way to combat Adidas’ soccer street cred… MLS is all Adidas so that is not going to happen unless something changes.

  12. Todd Diskin says:

    Mr QuakesUK wins all the internets today. Well said. I do find some irony in the statement given this is the second iteration of SJ in MLS, but that doesn’t mean I don’t disagree with it.

  13. Brian says:

    This has been nothing more than a blatant grab at some cash. I wonder big Garber’s retirement package will be thanks to this deal. I think they are looking to much at the dollars and not the viability of the franchise.

    • RK says:

      It can’t be overlooked, either, that he’s from Queens.

      • Sean says:

        If this is true, soccer truly won Garber’s heart. If you recall he came in not a soccer guy. He loved other sports like baseball and NFL if I recall. If he’s doing this because he wants soccer in Queens where he’s from, he’s truly one of us now.

  14. RK says:

    Will NYCFC play in Alphabet City?

  15. Michael says:

    “Right now we’re just going to take a deep breath”

    What does that mean? Does that mean MLS will step back and focus on it’s current teams, maybe ones that aren’t doing so well in their respective markets? I’m all for a new team that brings money and prestige into the league but if MLS wants to be successful in the long run, they really have to focus on getting all of their teams in a good place. I think it’s fair to say there are teams which have been stuck in a feedback loop of lack of money -> lack of good players -> lack of good results -> lack of brand interest -> lack of money.

    It’d be nice to see Garber fight on behalf of MLS for some of these teams, either through vetting new investors, forging relations with European teams, or in DCU’s case, really putting up a fight for a new stadium. So I just hope that “deep breath” can still be constructive.

    • Brian says:

      Teams not doing so well in their respective markets? You mean Boston, New Jersey, and DC? The NE Metro area has been terrible for MLS in terms of fan support yet we go back to that well.

  16. Scott A says:

    In the same week of reports that MLS is weeding out Chivas, we get Chivas Part II. Unbelievable. Garber’s learned nothing from Chivas and Red Bull.

  17. Socom 2 says:

    Gotham City NY

  18. Creige says:

    Wonder how quickly MLS will bend the rules for New York FC to get around salary cap rules and never field any American players?

    • Noah says:

      I’m sure NYCFC will invest heavily in its youth academy. Even if the first team plays lots of foreigners, it’ll be a good thing for U.S. soccer.

      Also, having a high profile team with DPs will be good for MLS TV ratings.

  19. baldomero123 says:

    I have a feeling that this announcement by itself will create an influx of fans to Red Bulls because of some unpleasant details surrounding the birth of the second team – Yankees Stadium as their playing field instead of SSS in Flushing, Manchester City as their owner, etc. Or people will root for Cosmos as the more organic NY team than both Red Bulls and New York FC.

    • Noah says:

      Please explain how the Cosmos are more organic.

      • baldomero123 says:

        Well, maybe because of the history and tradition behind Cosmos it does not look like an implant that NYC FC looks now. I actually see this attitude towards Manchester City FC as the new owner in MLS even in the current discussion at SBI. You don’t?

  20. LIUnited says:

    Glad to see everyone so excited over a second team in New York. I was looking forward to the Cosmos return but as an arrogant New Yorker I must say that the second team in the New York market is the best choice and only for MLS. Is it not a good sign that the fee was $100 million for the club? Is that not good for all of the MLS clubs? Do you think anyone would shell out $100 Mil for the Atlanta Silverbacks or some new Atlanta team, Orlando, or to resurrect the Miami Fusion? Or St Louis? Money and potential always win. The big question is how is the team going to be managed? The MetroStars and Redbull have not been the best managed club. That directly affects their support. Some mistakes of their own (Lothar Mattius) and some good ideas with injury problems (Tab Ramos and Claudio Reyna). Plus the expansion of TV coverage of English and European soccer. The quality of play in MLS has greatly improved and this second club in New York ups the ante. For MLS to truly be successful the second NY team is the only option. Think of this as another milestone just like the milestone of bringing David Beckham to LA. Now we must hope the team is well managed and puts a good product on the field. If they build it, they will come…..

    • g-dub says:

      I actually think $100M for the second and final MLS team in America’s biggest and most loved city is a steal and MLS is getting ripped off. Manchester City pays this kind of money on transfer fees for a couple of euro players.

      In the NBA Chris Hansen just offered over $400M to buy the Sacramento Kings and move them to Seattle. I believe the long term growth potential of soccer in this country is astronomical and this accordingly could have been a much higher valuation

      • Kevin says:

        What does the value of an NBA team have to do with MLS? You do realize that MLS is still a minnow in the American TV sports world, right?

  21. vince says:

    Reeks of the Chivas USA blueprint

  22. FSegaud says:

    Another 3 points for the Galaxy :-)
    Another 3 points for everyone in the Western Conference :-(

  23. dilaffer says:

    Man City and the Yankees have a connection through Legends Hospitality. What role will Dave Checketts (formerly of RSL, now CEO of Legends) have in the deal?

  24. Kojo says:

    Not happy about the selection of a 2nd NYC area team however I understand it from a business perspective to grow the league. This team is the NY team that the MetroStars were supposed to be. A high profile glamorous team that will be marketed well. This team will capture a lot of big name players who have made their money, want to see another part of the world, and live in an energetic vibrant city such as NYC. NYC is the media capital of the world. I will not be surprised if Wayne Rooney plays for this team in 3 years time given the attraction and the amount of money that can be given to him to play here.

    • g-dub says:

      If Wayne Rooney in 3 years plays for this team I feel sorry for this team. But I won’t mind when my team takes 3 points from them.

  25. Stephen Healy says:

    The only way this works is if mls lifts the cap a bit as the cosmos were supported because they had superstars. Red bull will sign stars as will other teams if its not going to lift the cap to allow better salaries this team will go nowhere in New York and I just can’t believe the Yankees and man city’s ownership weren’t given some assurances.

    • Kevin says:

      “…as the cosmos were supported because they had superstars.”

      What are you talking about?

  26. Kevin says:

    “…as the cosmos were supported because they had superstars.”

    What are you talking about?