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Report: NYC staff wanted younger DP. Man City overruled them.

The Daily News' Stefan Bondy has the nugget, which only serves to confirm the obvious.

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Figures that would be the case. All along, I've been banging the drum on this. Does City Football Group really want to build a world-class team here in New York City? That's to say, do they want to build a team that will eventually compete toe-to-toe with Manchester City for the hearts and minds of soccer fans around the world?

Or is New York City FC simply a branding exercise for Manchester City, a perennial Triple AAA team where Man City can stash young prospects to get them playing time, and veteran players for Champions' League stretch runs?

We saw what happened when Frank Lampard was supposed to be the cornerstone for New York City. Can we seriously rule out a similar situation with Andrea Pirlo?

Think about it. It makes perfect sense. As reported elsewhere, Pirlo's decision to come to MLS is based on part on wanting to play in the 2016 European Championships. Picture this scenario: Pirlo gets a chance to strut his stuff against MLS lifers in the fall. If playing in MLS turns out to be an issue, he can move to Manchester City in the winter, and finish out the season there. Man City wins, because they get a veteran piece. Pirlo wins, because he's playing against elite competition. New York City wins because they get to sell shirts with Pirlo's name on them.

Oh, and if you think this is a January-only transfer, I hear there's some valuable cross-borough property for sale.

About the only thing that doesn't win is New York City's ability to create a stable championship contender. Not to say that New York City won't win any titles -- Triple AAA teams do all the time -- but if you thought that New York City were going to be MLS' equivalent of the New York Yankees, this is further proof that New York City's fortunes and desires will always lose out to Manchester City's.