New York, New York F.C.

New York City may be about to get its own MLS team, courtesy of Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour. But it won't quite be a New York team.
Share |

This is the dead period in the English Premier League. The title race ended weeks ago, with Manchester United claiming their eleventy-millionth championship in honor of retiring rage-legend Sir Alex Ferguson. At the end, there was nothing left to wonder about but whether or not Wigan Athletic will escape relegation. Coming as it does with the start of spring, this annual tepid period carries a pleasant taste of the English countryside—village greens and quiet pubs and all the other stuff Ray Davies just couldn't get out of his system. But for Manchester City, who will finish second this year, it is a time of seething discontent.

Last May, the blue half of Manchester won its first title since 1966, in five minutes of madness that made the madcap end to the 2011 baseball season look contrived. (Relive it here, accompanied for good or ill by the musical stylings of The Verve.) Manchester City won the FA Cup the year before, and will try for it again this weekend, taking on hard-luck Wigan in a match as well balanced as Goliath vs. David’s asthmatic younger brother. With all their recent success, the placid American fan would expect them to be happy. “You can’t win them all,” we tell them, naively. But if City loses on Saturday, a dapper gent named Roberto Mancini will probably be out of a job. The Premier League is no place for sentiment.

And in a league where a bad season is rewarded with relegation, there is no such thing as rebuilding. (Jeff Fisher, for instance, would not have lasted in England.) Sheikh Mansour, City’s doe-eyed billionaire owner, has dumped nearly half-a-billion pounds into the club, and has no interest in passing a springtime afternoon over a pint of bitter, wistfully crooning, “Wait ‘till next year.” The Premier League system is a mad one, driven by greed unheard of in American sports. So it is maybe or maybe not a good thing that it appears to be on its way to Flushing.


Somewhere around the 2006 World Cup, Americans stopped making fun of soccer. Perhaps it was the Americo-Italian brawl that left Brian McBride’s face a red-white-and-blue smear that convinced us. Or maybe it was the fact that, like air travel and family brunch and too few other things, soccer is an excuse to get drunk at 10am. But Major League Soccer, for whatever reason, remains happily provincial—as puritanically sober as its predecessor, the free-spending, self-immolating North American Soccer League, was hedonistic.

Since the ill-conceived Tampa Bay Mutiny and Miami Fusion folded in 2001—ah, the insecure cheesiness of the early MLS!—the league has expanded conservatively, building cozy little stadiums for its cozy little teams, and never daring to step too boldly beyond its comfortable niche. For those outside the inexplicably soccer-mad Pacific Northwest, the MLS remains a curiosity. It’s no longer embarrassing, which is good. Instead, it’s just there.

Of the league’s 19 clubs, none is more there than the New York Red Bulls, who have been decidedly uncool every since they were christened the New York/New Jersey MetroStars. Their sale to Red Bull and move to the marshmallow-shaped bespoke arena sprouting from the moonscape of Harrison, New Jersey felt like a new beginning, a chance to find the playoff success that had always eluded them. But the team still has yet to win a title, Thierry Henry and sheer inertia bedamned. If they ever do, New York City may not even notice.

As a New York-based MLS convert, I’ve always been fond of the Red Bulls, if never quite enchanted. I don’t mind a 70-minute subway ride to Citi Field, but a half hour PATH trip through the Jersey swamps makes me feel like I’ve gotten lost in a Cormac McCarthy novel. The Red Bulls are a good team, but they’re Jersey’s team, and I am not a Jersey person. Like an overindulged younger brother, New York City wants its own toy. Reasonable enough, in its way. But what happens if New York actually gets that team? This is now something we have to worry about.


This is a golden age for major league sports within the five boroughs. When the Islanders skate into Barclays Center in 2015, there will be as many top-tier sports teams in the city as there were in 1957, when the Dodgers and Giants fled west. Add in the Brooklyn Cyclones and Staten Island Yankees, and the city has an overwhelming number of places where kids and grown folks alike can watch grown men play various sports for money, and maybe get concussions. This has maybe spoiled an already spoiled fan-base, or not. But it doesn’t seem too much to ask for more from New York’s new MLS team than what we seem likely to get. Is it really too much to ask for the New York Cosmos?

For the past year or so, Major League Soccer has been conspiring with the Bloomberg administration to shove another stadium down New York’s throat. The proposed location is Flushing Meadows, the strange and sprawling park adjacent to the Mets stadium, the National Tennis Center, and something like nine different highways. Capital New York’s Dana Rubenstein has done an excellent job covering that controversy, and she’s the person to read if you want to know more about it. It is, unsurprisingly, complicated. But maybe not so complicated in a soccer sense. If the administration can hustle this new stadium through, and in an election year that is no sure thing, the team that inhabits it should be one capable of capturing the city’s imagination. And in the history of North American soccer, only one club has ever come close to that.

The New York Cosmos were everything that was wrong with the old NASL. Their free-spending swagger brought Pelé to New York and helped lead the league to its doom. The team was bigger than the league—for example: can you name a single other NASL club?—and the MLS was designed to ensure that could never happen again. But now the Cosmos have been revived as a minor-league team, and will begin playing at Hofstra University in August, taking on such teams as Minnesota United and the San Antonio Scorpions. The crowds will be smaller than the ones they once drew to Yankee and Giants Stadiums, but the uniforms remain the same stylish white and green. (They also have one that commemorates the 1977 New York blackout, for some reason.)

When the generally low-volume MLS rumor mill began whispering about the Flushing Meadows stadium, it was assumed that the revived Cosmos would step up from the minor leagues to occupy it. They would have stood out immediately in the homogenous MLS, for obvious reasons. Here was a once-great franchise, proud of its history but humbled by two decades in the void. No matter how badly they played—and really, the worse they played, the better it would have been—they would have served as a thoroughly sexy alternative to the Energy Drink Team across the Hudson. The Cosmos are a brand without a team, but a year ago, so were the Nets, and people still bought “Where Brooklyn At?” t-shirts by the metric ton, despite an objectively depressing product. It’s no great stretch to guess that New York might have fallen in love with the Cosmos all over again.

But the MLS resisted the overtures of the boys from Hofstra. The Cosmos fired back with an insane, half-baked plan to build their own stadium—a $400 million complex that looks oddly like a pistol pointed at Manhattan. The MLS ignored the threat. This would have been the end of it except that, as Sports Illustrated reports, New Yorkers, MLS and folly connoisseurs everywhere are getting themselves a billionaire.

Manchester City’s Sheikh Mansour is the odds-on favorite to occupy the proposed stadium, and appears willing to pay $100 million or so for the right to invent something called New York F.C. as the team to play in that stadium. Mansour is hardly the flashiest billionaire in the English Premier League. This is not at all an insult; it just means that he doesn’t own the biggest yacht in the world. Still, the team that crash lands into Flushing Meadows Park, like Vincent D’Onofrio hurtling through the Unisphere, will be a wealthy one, and as easy to dislike as a strutting rich kid on the first day of school.

It is one thing to rationalize the handing-over of a big patch of city parkland to a team with its own Technicolor history and mad, scrappy charm. But New York F.C. is not that team. They are, if anything, the MLS version of the Nets: a reflection of a vanilla plutocratic will, and so nothing much worth cheering for.

Which is true of a lot of teams, honestly, in and out of MLS. But the pity of it is that New York F.C. will be just as uncool as the Red Bulls, if admittedly much, much wealthier. This, too, will cut against them, and will somehow make the team owned by an international energy drink company, improbably, the underdog. The uncoolness, it piles up.

MLS commissioner Don Garber resisted the Cosmos because its ownership group is untested, and because the revived team would have been sexier than the forever dowdy MLS. But a team owned by Sheikh Mansour will be bigger than the league, and that’s apparently just what Garber and company has spent a decade trying to avoid. This is a disciplined call, at least by the MLS’ chosen standards, but that doesn’t make it an appealing one.

The stadium in Flushing, if indeed it ever gets built, will be a billionaire’s playground, making it a fitting legacy of Michael Bloomberg’s tenure as the peevish and perversely un-fireable CEO of New York. Pelé will never stop by, most likely. His descendants will play at Hofstra, and the most compelling major league team will remain a PATH ride away. Queens may end up with something called New York F.C., but to the city as a whole, it will be nothing but a foreign curiosity. More of the same, then, in the saddest and most familiar possible way.

Share |


Greenbay Northern landscaping is located in Richmond Hill we provide service anywhere from Newmarket to North York including ;Markham, Maple and Vaughn.
aurora landscapingn

stream movies via Newest movies HD App
Your blogs further more each else volume is so entertaining further serviceable It appoints me befall retreat encore. I will instantly grab your rss feed to stay informed of any updates.

Roller blinds

I check your blog everyday and try to learn something from your blog.

To observe this perspective and sepa="hide">first="tipsBox"> eager message excursion our internet site on lineonline right here High quality Domains | Niche relevant links

The people not reading your blogs are missing out a lot of quality contents. pain below breast

New site is solid. A debt of gratitude is in order for the considerable exertion. house cleaning services

Wow! This could be one of the most useful blogs we have ever come across on thesubject. Actually excellent info! I’m also an expert in this topic so I can understand your effort. assisted living placement in west monroe

I might want to say this online journal truly persuaded me to do it! Much appreciated, great post. Judi Poker Online

Your work article, blogs I mean over all contents is must read stuff. domino q

Postcards allow businesses to advertise their goods and services as Hot Printsll as reach out to their clientele and appreciate them. cheap flyer printing philippines

Incredible substance material and extraordinary design. Your site merits the majority of the positive criticism it's been gett Zum Testsieger

Goodness, this is truly fascinating perusing. I am happy I discovered this and got the chance to peruse it. Awesome occupation on this substance. I like it. emergency plumber

This is an awesome article a debt of gratitude is in order for sharing this instructive data. I will visit your website routinely for some most recent post. I will visit your website frequently for Some most recent post. drink sati health

Wasp dudes! Awesome stuff keep it up. porn cccam server

A debt of gratitude is in order for sharing the information, keep doing awesome... I truly delighted in investigating your site. great asset... air conditioning repair

Thanks for this great post, I found it very interesting and very well thought out and put together. I look forward to reading your work in the future. credit score gov

Awesome substance material and extraordinary format. Your site merits the majority of the positive input it's been getting. her latest blog

movie critics working for newspapers, magazines, and broadcast media mainly review new releases. Normally they only see any given movie once and have only a day or two to formulate their opinions movies

I thought I would leave my first remark. I don't realize what to say aside from that I have delighted in perusing.2011 chevrolet camaro car covers

Still you pauperism to abstain effort just any identify of backlink. seo pricing and plans

I absolutely feel ecstatic when I find articles relevant to my work and my subject. club player casino no deposit bonus codes

I've proper selected to build a blog, which I hold been deficient to do for a during. Acknowledges for this inform, it's really serviceable! Link

Quality stuff may be the key to invite the users to visit begin to see the blog site, that’s what this site provides. Real Estate Shortland

Excellent Blog! I have been impressed by your thoughts and the way you

more info here

greetings was simply checking whether you minded a remark. i like your site and the thme you picked is super. I will be back. club player casino no deposit bonus codes

It is simpler and less expensive - Earning adherents on Twitter is very troublesome, particularly on the off chance that you are not that famous. twitter followers | clash of clans cheats

Fat diminisher by Wesley virgin is a weight loss program. The program is simple to follow and offers multitude ways to lose weight.
Fat diminisher system reviews

pleasant post, stay aware of this intriguing work. It truly regards realize that this point is being secured additionally on this site so cheers for setting aside time to talk about this! fahrrad navi

It's not my very first time to visit this blog; I’m visiting this daily and acquire superb info from here day by day.

You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be really something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and very broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post. top pr firms in nyc

If you compliments to change the program of your postcards, here are a few things to conceive: Printing VIP

A debt of gratitude is in order for setting aside an ideal opportunity to talk about this, I feel emphatically that affection and read more on this subject. On the off chance that conceivable, for example, pick up learning, would you psyche overhauling your web journal with extra data? It is extremely helpful for me. click here

Great webpage brother I am gona inform this to all my friends and car covers

The written piece is truly fruitful for me personally; continue posting these types of articles.
Chris Walker - SEO expert Denver

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog, I will keep visiting this blog very often Hip Dysplasia

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog, I will keep visiting this blog very often Hip Dysplasia

I will again come to visit your website that’s so awesome and precious that I couldn’t stop myself commenting on this.

Great post guys, you have done the nice job, and solved my problem I was in trouble. Thanks a lot.
do my essay

I conclude I have selected the smart and inconceivable website along with interesting stuff.
Chris Walker - SEO Denver

Incredible data! I as of late went over your online journal and have been perusing along. I thought I would leave my first remark. I don't realize what to say with the exception of that I have. holdem poker

I am grateful for this valid information. You have represented your points in an insightful and interesting way. Feldco

Your articles don’t beat about the bushes these are actually exact t to the purpose. Feldco windows , siding and doors

I just like the valuable info you provide for your articles.I’ll bookmark your weblog and take a look at once more right here regularly. I am reasonably certain I’ll learn a lot of new stuff proper here Feldco windows siding and doors

This is very useful, although it will be important to help simply click that web page link: feldco reviews

I hope you will share such type of impressive contents again with us so that we can utilize it and get more advantage. feldco's linkedin page

A debt of gratitude is in order for sharing the information, keep doing awesome... I truly delighted in investigating your site. great asset... gamer tastatur

Superb and extremely energizing site. Adoration to watch. Continue Rocking. Ladenbau Düsseldorf

Hey buddy! I am really in favor of your post; you have given an awesome idea in your post that can anybody follows easily.
Chris Walker - top SEO consultant Denver

Yes, you do not need to follow someone else just to have followers on your can look here

A debt of gratitude is in order for sharing the post.. folks are universes best individual in every existences of individual..they need or must succeed to maintain needs of the gang. mikrowelle tests