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Brooklyn FC Firsts: 7 Opening moves from the new club

Catch up on every "first" the new Brooklyn USL franchise has announced in recent weeks, from a first-ever player signing to the date of the first Brooklyn match held in Coney Island's Maimonides Park.

Juventus and USMNT forward Timothy Weah is a part-owner of Brooklyn FC | Courtesy Brooklyn FC

Many “firsts” for Brooklyn Football Club have started to be confirmed as the competitive debut of the USL expansion franchise draws nearer. 

Confirmed Brooklyn firsts now include, but are not limited to: The date for the franchise’s first-ever match at Maimonides Park; the Brooklyn women’s team’s first-ever player signing; and the reveal of the franchise’s first famous co-owner.

These are just a few examples of the steady flow of recent announcements related to Brooklyn FC, so let’s run through everything important that the new club and its partners at the USL have revealed in recent weeks.

Read on to be caught up on where things stand with New York City’s newest professional women’s and men’s soccer teams.

First-ever player signing: Sydney Martinez 

The Brooklyn FC Women’s team, debuting at Coney Island’s Maimonides Park on August 31 in their first-ever USL Super League match vs. Carolina Ascent FC, have signed goalkeeper Sydney Martinez. 

Martinez is 26 years old and most recently played professionally for IK Grand Bodø in Norway’s First Division, confusingly the second tier of the Norwegian women’s soccer pyramid.

The keeper also represents Puerto Rico internationally and started all three group-stage matches for them at the recent Concacaf W Gold Cup.

Domestically, in 2022 she helped South Georgia Tormenta FC win the USL W League, USL’s pre-professional developmental women’s league. Martinez earned W League Final MVP honors in Tormenta’s 2-1 extra-time win over Minnesota Aurora FC. 

Martinez’s unveiling as the first member of Brooklyn’s USL Super League squad precedes the announcement of a head coach for that Super League squad, as well as the announcement of a Brooklyn sporting director, meaning there’s still plenty more to come on the squad-building side for the BKFC women.

First-ever Brooklyn match at Maimonides Park: July 13

The Brooklyn men’s team won’t debut until it joins the USL Championship for the 2025 season (which we first, exclusively reported, by the way), but a Brooklyn U-20 men’s squad will be the first BKFC team to ever play on the Maimonides Park pitch. 

Brooklyn has announced a friendly against Ecuadorian side Club Deportivo Cuenca on July 13.

This looks and sounds like a test drive of the new stadium a little over a month before the Brooklyn women begin play in the USL Super League. 

Brooklyn’s principal owner Matt Rizzetta previously told HRB that the pitch at Maimonides would differ from how it looked when the New York Cosmos called it home, saying the pitching mound would remain in place for Brooklyn matches.

The friendly vs. Cuenca could provide a first glimpse at the new franchise’s planned changes to the playing surface and field layout. 

Seeing the Brooklyn men's U-20 team in action is also a glimpse into the academy infrastructure brought to the new club by its CEO Maximilian Mansfield, who spoke to HRB of plans to have Brooklyn academy players feed straight into the First Team, and quickly, when we interviewed him earlier this year.

Brooklyn FC CEO: “There’s an appetite for the alternative”
Mack Mansfield tells us how Brooklyn Football Club will stand out, why calling Coney Island’s baseball stadium home is a good idea, and what he learned at New Amsterdam FC.

First famous co-owner: Timothy Weah

Having a big-name athlete join an ownership group has turned into a tried-and-true move for professional sports franchises looking for a jolt of publicity, and Brooklyn FC is no exception. 

Timothy Weah, currently with Juventus FC in Italy's Serie A and a regular in the United States men’s national team, was recently confirmed to be part of Brooklyn FC ownership.

Weah was born in Brooklyn, though raised in Rosedale, Queens, and now brings his USMNT and Serie A fame to the table as Brooklyn FC looks to continue to raise its profile. 

Weah’s Brooklyn FC unveiling comes not long after WNBA star Angel Reese was announced as joining the ownership group of DC Power, the new Washington, DC women’s team in the USL Super League. Even more locally, New York Jets quarterback Tyrod Taylor just became part-owner of the new USL League One expansion team coming to Mount Vernon, Westchester SC

It's not usually a large percentage stake in a team purchased by professional athletes like Weah, Reese, or Taylor, but their presence might help bring in some unidentifiable number of casual fans or would-be fans.

First USL Super League streaming partner: Peacock 

In what is the latest in a string of significant new media deals struck by the USL, it was just announced that Peacock will be the exclusive streaming partner for the USL Super League. 

All matches of the inaugural season of the new Division One-sanctioned women’s league—regular-season plus three playoff matches to crown a champion—are set to stream exclusively on Peacock. 

It’s part of an expansive four-year agreement with NBCUniversal that will, according to the USL’s release, lead to NBC platforms streaming tons of matches per year across the USL Super League, USL League Two, and USL W League, while also having NBC provide tech and group-purchasing support for USL youth and academy teams. 

With Peacock on board for the Super League, it becomes an easy access point for prospective Brooklyn fans who might already be accustomed to using the NBC streamer for things like the English Premier League or the Women’s World Cup.

First (half) USL Super League schedule

USL Super League is following the European soccer calendar, kicking off in August 2024 and finishing in the late spring of 2025, with a winter break planned between Fall and Spring halves of the season.

The league recently unveiled its Fall slate of matches, so it’s now clear when and where the Brooklyn women will be playing through mid-December and the onset of the winter break.

The final home match in Coney Island is scheduled for November 23 against Tampa Bay Sun FC, so the dead of winter and the biting Southern Brooklyn beach wind chill will be avoided for now.

All eight USL Super League teams will play a balanced 14-match schedule in the Fall – seven at home and seven away – followed by a similarly balanced 14-match schedule in the Spring half of the season, which begins sometime in February.

First supporters group: The 77 

Fans planning to become regulars at Maimonides Park now have the first Brooklyn FC supporters's group to join, as the club recently unveiled The 77, named for the number of neighborhoods in the sizable borough. 

The 77 is created by the team itself and seems, first and foremost, aimed at season-ticket holders who want to sit in the designated supporters's section of Maimonides Park and partake in all that goes on there.

It's to be determined if other, not-club-affiliated supporters's groups will pop up as Brooklyn FC comes to life and begins play. Also to be determined exactly where supporters will be hosted in the Coney Island baseball stadium, though the seating chart released by the team might make the area between Sections 17 and 21 a good guess.

First merch partner: Kappa

Technically announced as the “technical sponsor” of the Brooklyn men’s, women’s, and academy programs, Kappa will be making the first-ever Brooklyn FC kits.

The Kappa brand's famous Omini logo will be appearing widely at Maimonides Park, with Brooklyn shouting the logo out specifically as "a symbol of equality that’s graced some of the greatest jerseys in the game’s history."

Kappa of late has gotten attention for its sharp jersey designs for a number of Italian clubs, like Venezia FC and AFC Fiorentina, to name a few. Expect Brooklyn FC to look good when they take the field later this summer.