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Advice from a Foe: What It's Like Being an Expansion Team

As we continue Philly Week, we asked our friends at The Brotherly Game to bestow some advice on what NYCFC fans should know about rooting for an expansion club.

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

By Eugene Rupinski

Hi New York City FC fans!

Welcome to the MLS family. Whether you realized it or not, this is indeed a family you have joined. It's a huge family, with brothers and sisters across the globe. Sure more often than not we spend our time rooting for our brothers and sisters to be disappointed on 34 different occasions a year (and more if you're lucky), but when things go down we've got one another's back. A few years ago when the New England Revolution cracked down on free speech on their supporters, every other supporter's group rallied to their defense. Here in Philly, we went silent for a minute during play. It was eerie and powerful, and more importantly our collective voice was heard. This family is weird and wonderful, and you'll enjoy being a part of it.

Your club's fans are also your family.I have to be honest - I don't know the first thing about your club's culture. That's ok. Develop your own culture there. I can tell you that our culture here in Philadelphia is pretty amazing. We are all mostly friends. Of the friends I've met through the Union, I've been to a ton of weddings. I've welcomed children into our family. I met my fiancee through this family. And yes, our family has buried one of our own. I hope your family never experiences that, but if it does, know that the MLS family has your back - yes even your rivals. Several Red Bull fans donated toward the funeral, and in a show of solidarity D.C. United and the Union fans now tailgate together.

There's also the actual soccer games. Now you all were riding pretty high a couple of weeks ago. It's easy to get caught up in that euphoria. But don't. You're an expansion club. There's bound to be growing pains. The first year you're stuck with whatever players you could get. Sure, you were able to bring in some quality in guys like David Villa, Mix Diskerud and perhaps even Frank Lampard one day, but let's be honest when your opening day roster starts Mehdi Ballouchy, chances are very good you'll be mediocre at best this season. It's ok. For the first couple of seasons, be thankful you have a team. Be thankful you're not taking PATH to New Jersey or stuck watching the Cosmos retread. It's your club. That's pretty damn awesome. Enjoy that.

Understand things won't always be easy. Your favorite player will get traded/sold/left unprotected in some sort of draft - it sucks but it's gonna happen. There will be a day when every player that's on your roster now will not be there. Lifers are rare in MLS. Enjoy the moments you have with the players you have now. Cheer for them as though they were your own flesh and blood, and when they return in a different jersey give them the same abuse you'd give any other player on the opposition.

Watch out for those who claim to have the organization's best interests at heart but are only looking out for themselves. Charlatans and hucksters abound. Just beware.

Anyway, you all are in for one hell of a ride. I hope you get to enjoy it for all it's worth - except for Thursday. I hope your Thursday is miserable.