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MLS announces launch of NYCFC

MLS made it official: The next expansion team will be in America’s biggest city. Welcome, NYCFC.
Manchester City Football Club are proud to announce, in partnership with the New York Yankees, the acquisition of the Major League Soccer’s 20th expansion club.

This is it. With that announcement, MLS made it official — the next expansion team would be in America’s biggest city. Nothing against the New York Red Bulls, but for all that they are one of the charter teams of MLS, they have yet to build a deep and abiding connection to New York City. In fact, the original name of the Red Bulls was the New York/New Jersey MetroStars, before shedding the geographic location and simply going by MetroStars. 

With the establishment of NYCFC, the expectation is that this team will be New York City’s team. Given the size of NYC, and the sheer popularity of soccer in the city, that can only be a good thing. That’s emphasized by the inclusion of the New York Yankees, which is the sports team that is most emblematic of New York City. 

What’s next for NYCFC? Finalizing a stadium location, for one. Despite the efforts of the league, the “MLS to Queens” initiative is faltering, so bringing the Yankees on board might be a sign that MLS is looking elsewhere for a stadium location — the Bronx, maybe? 

The other thing to look for is who comes on board to run the team. When word began circulating that Manchester City was in talks with MLS over ownership of the team, the assumption was that the owners would be the Abu Dhabi United Group, which owns Manchester City. Obviously, that’s not the case; so the question now is whether NYCFC will merely be a smaller, carbon copy of City. Given the struggles of Chivas USA to create an identity separate from Chivas de Guadalajara, City would do well to avoid that. 

Only time will tell, though. 

City and Yankees launch NYCFC