Though it hurts to accept the fact, Marty McFly and Doc Brown couldn't have been more wrong about the year two thousand and fifteen.
(For starters, 1.21 jigowatts wouldn't be enough juice to go back and prevent the Frank Lampard contractual soap opera-- that's a McConaughey-level spacetime quandary.)
Back to the Future Part II dropped in 1989. It stacked a $331 million gross and made headlines on the shoulders of its retro-techno rendering of far-far-away 2015. You know their steez: They had wicked-sweet hoverboards. There were squawking garbage cans that may have descended from Daleks. Bar-code license plates (why?). A female U.S. president. Instant everything. Indeed, this is not where we find ourselves today. Hell, The Simpsons is still on the air just like it was in '89, and it may still take until 2115 for many inaugural NYCFC Supporters' Club members to receive their scarves and membership cards in the mail.
This is not to say, however, that our actual 2015 has to be a relative disappointment. Even the Lampard false-start can't stop Major League Soccer from touching off in the Five Boroughs. It may have been a long time coming, but it it feels like New York has finally made it back to the future.
The team will have something resembling a workable senior roster by the end of the week. The signing of U.S. National Team midfielder Mix Diskerud rightfully made headlines on Tuesday, and the 2015 MLS SuperDraft kicks off its first two rounds on Thursday in Philadelphia (Hudson River Blue has you covered on all the tastiest SuperDraft morsels).
Once the signings are in place -- with perhaps another Designated Player announcement in the works during this January transfer window -- the Bronx Blues will begin training on January 24th in the town that spawned Limp Bizkit, Jacksonville, Florida. Across the Atlantic, the City Football Academy in Manchester will host NYCFC for two exhibition matches: the first comes on February 10th against St. Mirren of the Scottish Premier League, followed by a February 15th meeting with Brøndby of the Danish Superliga. A final preseason tuneup comes at the end of February in the round-robin Carolina Challenge Cup in Charleston, which will include fellow upstart Orlando City, Owen Coyle's new-look Houston Dynamo, and the gracious hosts, the third-tier Charleston Battery.
As soon as those matches are etched into the books and the trophy is hoisted (they do award an actual cup at the Challenge Cup, I promise), New York City will head down to the Florida Citrus Bowl for their long-awaited regular season opener, a March 8th tilt between Major League Soccer's two expansion clubs.
After a good few years of anxious anticipation, what once was a vague promise -- a dream mired in eminently frustrating abstraction -- has tumbled into focus. This is a fantasy no longer. It's happening. Here.
If you listen closely, you can practically hear the sound of collective titillation.
[Grace Jones's 1981 single "Pull Up to the Bumper" is heard]
Go on, ye sky blues, titillate!
Stay tuned to Hudson River Blue for the very best of reporting, commentary, and general mischief around NYCFC in this inaugural year and beyond. In the meantime, let's go all Carnac the Magnificent and jump into...
FIFTEEN SHAME-FREE, ALSO GLUTEN-FREE PREDICTIONS for 2015
(1) The club will sign another Designated Player this month.
(2) New York City FC's first league goal will be scored by a central midfielder.
(3) More than once, numerous mainstream New York media outlets will expose themselves as soccer-ignorant or soccer-belittling.
(4) A controversy will arise over Yankee Stadium's infield dirt as to whether it can be regularly altered for soccer purposes in a timely manner.
(5) New York City will go on at least one streak of four or more games without a win. Losses will equal or outnumber draws over that span.
(6) George John will reveal that his middle name is yet another first name.
(7) Jeb Brovsky's mustache wax will go missing, instigating a cross-country rampage of justice. The defender will earn multiple yellow cards and tens of thousands of Twitter followers during that period.
(8) A post-rampage Brovsky will convince at least one teammate to go vegetarian.
(9) Three Manchester City players will go on loan in New York. Two will be essentially youth players, and the third will be Scott Sinclair.
(10) A high-ranking member of the New York Yankees organization will say something marginalizing or disparaging -- not necessarily intentionally -- about NYCFC in reference to its tenancy in the Bronx.
(11) A soccer-specific stadium site will be rumored as confirmed during the first half of this year, only to be later disproved.
(12) A couple of team nicknames will begin to gain traction. We're going with the Towers or the Empire.
(13) NYCFC season ticket-holder, TV producer, and Men in Blazers co-host Michael Davies will become an early and visible mega-proponent of the team. Club brass will take notice and parade him around in public.
(14) One New York City player will receive major roster consideration for the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup, but not for the United States. Mix Diskerud will play in the tournament for the USA.
(15) Following public statements from Manuel Pellegrini, a trans-Atlantic tug-of-war will arise over yet another New York City player.
To be clear: every single one of these events is definitely going to occur. So, as we pull up to the bumper of Year One, all we ask is that you enjoy the show. It's nearly time to start kicking balls in New York! Marty and Doc were never as lucky as this.
Final image credit to Amblin Entertainment / Universal Pictures.