Host 1: In just over a week, the New York City Football Club will take to the field for their first competitive match in Major League Soccer.
Host 2: Manchester City Football Club and the New York Yankees, two of the most valuable athletic franchises, acquired the new team in May 2013 for 100 million dollars. Charlotte Gibson reports.
Two years ago, two of the biggest names in sports came together to form an American soccer team: the New York City Football Club.
Manchester City is the majority owner of the Major League Soccer’s 20th franchise team and the current reigning champion of the English Premiere League. The team got interested in American soccer after overspending and attracting top players in the 2011-2012 financial year, losing over 137 million dollars. The team owners violated the European’s soccer’s governing body’s Financial Fair Play rules designed to keep soccer teams from spending more than they earn in pursuit of winning.
Sean Maslin, Editor of MLS Multiplex, the Major League Soccer news and opinion site, says that due to Manchester City’s history, their money and ownership won’t be enough to prove their interest in the American soccer league.
Maslin: When Manchester City ends up coming in, they have to be able to prove themselves that they are interested in the American soccer products. That they are interested in developing this league and that this isn’t just another team for them to store players and hide salaries. (00:15:24)
NYCFC must compete for the loyalty and attention of sports fan in the New York area. There are 10 other professional major sports teams in the New York market, including MLS veteran the New York Red Bulls.
But, the team will have some help with the backing of the New York Yankees, the most valuable professional baseball team with a net worth of $2.5 billion dollars.
Maslin: Specifically with the Yankee background and the way the Yankee ownership understand the city, I think we should give them a little bit of credit and let’s see what they can do. (00:10:00)
The soccer team will also have to compete for the attention of soccer fans who follow other leagues around the world, like Manchester City who is apart of the English Premiere League.
However, many U.S. Manchester City fans remain unsure about NYCFC’s ability to be a standout soccer team. Loyal Manchester City fan and Alabama native, Christopher Aiden, feels that NYCFC will not have the depth on the field to go far in MLS season. Aiden has been following the English Premiere team now for almost 10 years.
Aiden: I know some people out there will say that they are backed by Yankees money and Manchester city money so they should be able to win the cup their first year, but I don’t think that’s the case, I think it will just be a generic expansion team season where they will make a push for the playoffs and if they go deep, they go deep. (00:19:00)
NYCFC players have been practicing for the last two years in anticipation for their first MLS season. The team is expected to play its first game against Orlando City Soccer Club on March 8,that is if the MLS players do not carry out their threat to strike in an effort to increase their salaries and become free agents.
Charlotte Gibson, Columbia Radio News.