For the first time since the 1970s, soccer takes up residence in the House that Ruth Built.
The tenants then were the New York Cosmos. They weren't The CosmosTM yet, at that stage; they had accumulated some of the pieces — like Pelé and Giorgio Chinaglia, the only foreign NASL player to arrive in his prime — but not others. They had outgrown their ramshackle digs, but their roster was still peppered with journeymen.
New York City FC aim to replicate what the Cosmos did four decades ago. Time will tell if they're successful. The building blocks are already, if not in place, then at the least, selected.
Stars? Check. David Villa and an incoming Frank Lampard certainly fit that bill.
Local heroes? From Chris Wingert and Jason Hernandez to Thomas McNamara and Ryan Meara, the team has them.
Budding legends? Khiry Shelton certainly fits that bill.
Today, the Gotham Blues take the next step in their history. Facing the New England Revolution, last season's Eastern Conference champions, will prove a stern test; a team that reloaded an already potent attack with the addition of Juan Agudelo. But if they are to fulfill their potential, beating teams like New England at home is a necessity.
Last week, against Orlando, the Sky Blues got off to a sluggish start. It was only by dint of stout defending and even more resolute goal-keeping that the score remained level at the half. Shelton's introduction early in the second half jolted the team into life, leading to Mix scoring New York City's first-ever MLS goal. That New York City came away with a draw rather than a win was the result of a moment of magic from Kaká.
Still, from head coach Jason Kreis to the players on down to the fans who will pack Yankees Stadium to the rafters today, everyone wants to inaugurate New York City's uptown rental with a righteous victory. It is within their grasp to seize; we will know presently if it has.
HOW TO WATCH
New York City FC vs New England Revolution
Yankees Stadium, Bronx, NY
March 15, 2015
5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT (ESPN2/ESPN Deportes/WatchESPN)
For the second straight game, New York City will be on the Worldwide Leader. This kind of national exposure is what the league was banking on when they unveiled the team as their 20th club two years ago.
For New England, this is the second straight year they've started a season with a sound defeat. Last week, they lost to the Seattle Sounders, 3-0; last year, it was a 4-0 rout at the hands of the Houston Dynamo. Last year, they followed that defeat with another at the hands of the Philadelphia Union. Will past be prologue?
For New York City, Mix Diskerud entered the club's history book when he scored deep in the game to give the team a 1-0 lead against Orlando. They'll be looking to get off to a fast start, and add more players to the scoring ledger, hopefully.
New England is missing Jermaine Jones and Teal Bunbury; midfield maestro Lee Nguyen is questionable today, having missed the first game. New York City is missing defender George John, still recovering from season-ending knee surgery last year, and keeper Ryan Meara, who is probable.
MATCH THREAD RULES
This is our first-ever regular season match thread, so: Welcome! We're glad you're here! Wipe your feet, mind the gap, and be sure to check out the other pages at this outstanding site. While you're here, though, we have a few rules and regulations.
- Absolutely no links to illegal streams. They're bad and they get us in trouble.
- We have rules against "relentless negativity." Nobody likes a Negative Nancy, even if the team gets off to an awful start. Don't knee-jerk and post outlandish or hurtful things just because you're frustrated.
- Along those lines, outright abuse of players or match officials is verboten. It's fine to say "wow, that's a bad call, match official," but it's NOT okay to direct copious amounts of abuse in the direction of said official over a call you did not like.
- Treat other people in the match thread the way you would want someone else to treat your grandmother. Be nice. Observe Wheaton's Law. This is a community of fans, not an un-moderated message board.
Finally, while we don't have a rule against profanity, any language that is sexist, racist, or homophobic in nature will be swiftly deleteThe Gotham Blues inaugurate their stay in Yankee Stadium against the defending Eastern Conference champs. Here's what you need to know about today's game. d and you may lose posting privileges. This is an open, supportive community.
Have fun. I believe that we can win. Let's make Yankee Stadium a fortress.