After a long hiatus, Part 3 of the previewing possible locations for NYCFC’s second team series is here. (Part 1. Part 2) Upstate NY is a big area, and any part of it could be a great location for the second team, but I am going to focus on the Hudson Valley due to its proximity to NYC and its growing soccer market. Kingston Stockade, a club founded by tech entrepreneur Dennis Crowley, has burst onto the scene in the Hudson Valley. Because of his success, it is an interesting possibility to examine and see if NYCFC could replicate that success in another part of the valley.
Population: 8,422,266 (Upstate NY), 853,500 (Hudson Valley)
Other Sports Teams: Bufallo Bills, Buffalo Sabres, Rochester Rhinos, Western New York Flash, Kingston Stockade
Stadiums: UB Stadium, Capelli Sport Stadium, Dietz Stadium
How Would Upstate NY Fit?
While purchasing Kingston Stockade and transitioning it to USL might be the easiest way to form a second team in Upstate NY, it is very unlikely Crowley would sell the club. So, they would have to find another town to create a team in, which shouldn’t be too difficult because many people who work in NYC also live in that area. This would allow them to quickly gain a following. The location also wouldn’t be too far from NYCFC’s new training center, so players could easily move between the teams, or even both teams could train there.
As for a stadium, they could find a college or high school stadium to use temporarily while they built a stadium. Or, they could just use the college or high school stadium permanently. Constructing a stadium would be expensive, especially with the first team’s stadium being a priority. Another option could be waiting for a while to build a stadium. Regardless of making a new stadium, they need a second team as soon as possible, so they will have to make do with what they can find.
Clearly, Upstate NY is not the best option for the NYCFC second team. But, they just need a second team that they can actually use. Having it in Texas is just a way to play by the MLS rules. They haven’t even sent anyone on loan there, opting to use other USL teams instead. Many players in the NYCFC squad could benefit from the extra playing time offered by a second team. Plus, it could be a path to the first team for the academy kids that are above the academy level but not ready for MLS or old enough for college games yet. Finally, in order to improve depth, the second team should be a huge priority this offseason.