New York City Football Club, the new Major League Soccer team owned by global sports powers Manchester City Football Club and the New York Yankees, joined Mayor Michael Bloomberg and MLS Commissioner Don Garber Wednesday to discuss plans for the new club and announce the first member of NYCFC's front office. NY1's Jon Weinstein filed the following report.
It's been a long time in the making, and now, it's official: the five boroughs are getting a professional soccer team.
"Major League Soccer's 20th team, NYCFC, has been awarded to the city of New York," said Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber.
The team is owned by Manchester City, an English powerhouse, and the New York Yankees.
The announcement was made at P.S. 72, where Manchester City already sponsors a rooftop soccer field.
"We are enthusiastic believers of the development of soccer in the U.S.," said Ferran Soriano, chief executive officer of Manchester City Football Club. "We are thrilled to be in New York, the capital of the world, and we found in the MLS one of the best-managed leagues in the world."
The team has hired former U.S. National Team Captain Claudio Reyna as Director of Football Operations.
"It's all about bringing champions here to New York, because this city doesn't expect anything less," Reyna said.
Where the team will play remains an open question. The league has been pursuing a stadium in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, but that's faced some opposition.
"The park should be a respite for families and the community, not for these commercial projects," said Geoffrey Croft of New York City Park Advocates.
The new owners are evaluating sites around the city, including the park. They said they plan to work with the community.
"All of us know that the usual suspects will be out there again," said Yankees President Randy Levine. "But the Yankees, Manchester City, MLS are committed and have past record and history of working with communities."
"The best place for it, for everybody, is in the eastern end of Flushing Meadow Park," said Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
The team will begin play in 2015 at a temporary home. Where exactly that will be is unclear at this point, though Yankee Stadium is one possibility.