F.C. New York to join USL-1 in 2010


                             Photo by Damion Reid/FiveBoroSports.com


With the theme "bringing the greatest sport in the world to the greatest city in the world," F.C. New York was officially introduced as New York City's lone professional soccer team at a press conference at the Yale Club in Manhattan on Wednesday morning.

The club will be the 13th United Soccer Leagues First Division team and will play its first game in the 2010 season.

"This is a long time coming," said Doug Petersen, who along with Jo-Ellen Treiber, heads the club's ownership group. "This has been about two years in the planning and the next thing is grinding it out with the city of New York, it's formalizing what I'll call our foundational partner. From there, our plan is to establish more than casual relationships with a number of clubs around the world that meet the commercial operations of the team."

The team, for at least one season, will play at Shuart Stadium, Hofstra's 13,000-seat football stadium, and hopes to open its own soccer specific stadium in Queens, where Petersen was born. One possible area is near John F. Kennedy Airport and Aqueduct Racetrack, according to sources. The team is likely to use other venues inside the five boroughs, including Icahn Stadium on Randall's Island and Columbia University's renovated Baker Field for a handful of games next season.

"We need to be in our facility in order to be profitable," Petersen said. "We're not putting all this money in and in two years say it isn't working. We need to get our own place."

The next step for F.C. New York will be forming a partnership with a European-based club, an ongoing trend in the USL. Sources indicate the club is likely in England and could have at least part of its name as part of the team's official name, e.g. F.C. New York Wanderers. According to Petersen, the USL has a rule that says each team must have a nickname, using F.C. Miami Blues as an example.

"I shouldn't say the name is not for sale because everything has a price, but a partnership is just that," Petersen said. "There's certain things they'll learn from us and we'll learn from them."

United Soccer Leagues president Francisco Marcos and executive vice president and chief operating officer Tim Holt were also on hand for the press conference. F.C. New  York will be the first team to play in the USL's highest level since the Long Island Rough Riders and Staten Island Vipers in the late 90s.

"We are thrilled to welcome F.C. New York as the newest addition to the USL First Division," Holt said. "Their ownership group's impressive and ambitious plans to develop a complete soccer club with a strong international partner and privately-financed future stadium will boost the profile of our league in one of the world's largest and most diverse markets."

Petersen also poked fun at the New York Red Bulls, the other professional team to call New York home. Although he has yet to name a coach or a single player, Petersen already issued a challenge to the Major League Soccer side, showcasing a trophy for what he hopes is an annual "Grapple for the Apple" exhibition game.

"We're throwing down the gauntlet to our brothers from the other side of the river and over there in that other state," Petersen said.

And Petersen said he's got the perfect location for such a game.

"Let's have it on the Great Lawn in Central Park," he said.

While the organization is still very much in the planning stages, Petersen has a vision for where he'd like to see F.C. New York in five years.

"In five years, our plan is to be in our own place, have a productive team that's competing in CONCACAF (Champions League) and winning championships," Petersen said.

Season ticket deposits of $50 are now being accepted. For more information, e-mail yourteam@fcnyemail.com or call 866-827-0154.

What do you think of F.C. New York? Are you excited about supporting a team that calls New York City home? Is there room for two professional teams in New York? Looking foward to a derby match in Central Park? Let us know.

  • long island fan

    good luck to F.C. New York. we’ll look forward to your games soon. i like the uniform, the name, symbol and everything. i think i’m going to be a big fan of F.C. New York.


  • Cosmos Forever

    I’ll go to the games at Baker. I was once a season-ticket holder of the Metros, but battling GWB and NJT traffic for crappy games year after year didn’t cut it for me. Now I can travel less to see crappy games. I agree with the folks that said that this expansion team should have been called FC Queens.

    And by the way, stop pretending that the Red Bulls represent NY. Unlike the Jets/Giants, Metros/RB have never been affiliated with the city, not even for one day. They’ve been NJ since Day 1. So RB should just own up to it. What’s wrong with being from NJ?


  • Goose

    There’s comedy, and then there’s Red Bulls fans sneering at the prospect of a team’s name being for sale.


  • john.q

    don’t get me wrong. I am a Red Bull Fan and life long new yorker. I would LOVE to have a team within the city limits.

    the day that team arrives i will throw out my Red Bull scarf. however this effort feels more like a joke than a serious option for us new yorkers.

    i want something to be PROUD of, not embarrassed of.


  • seth|NYC

    I think they’re looking at a team like the Brooklyn Cyclones for inspiration, and they’ve been a massive success. I would certainly go to a at least a few games a year if they had a stadium in New York CIty.

    But I fear that in their formative years, they’ll be playing in Long Island, which is simply impossible for many of us without cars. That’ll kill this team before they ever get a chance to succeed, proving, wrongly, yet again that NYC isn’t ready for pro soccer.

    I know Icahn Stadium has a plethora of cons against it, but is it really no better than Hofstra? One would think it would be cheaper to rehab Icahn than build from scratch. And Aqueduct is far less than ideal anyway.

    If they really are gonna build a privately financed stadium anyway, why not spend the extra money and build it to MLS standards? Perhaps the $40 million membership fee is too scary?

    I wouldn’t worry about the crest and colors if they’re gonna change a la Crystal Palace Baltimore anyway.


  • rednow.red4ever

    Ok, so they’re both in NYC area, but one is in NY and the other is in NJ. I’m not from NYC, but first at least sounds the better. Plus, I’ve been to both and I’d rather be on Long Island than a suburb of Newark (for RBA).


  • jensph

    MikeK teams are generally not associated with states, they are associated with cities. RB is a NYC team. They are not a Rutherford, NJ team or a Harrison, NJ team. Conversely, the NY Giants are not a Rochester team or a Buffalo team. In case it wasn’t clear, NY is short for NYC.

    A team playing in Long Island is no more associated with NYC than one in Harrison. And, rednow.red4ever, the fact that Harrison is a subway ride away means it should be much more preferable to any New Yorker (i.e., someone from NYC).

    I’d welcome two or more serious NYC teams, but this claim of one being more NY than another its tiresome. It’s a simple artifact of the city and state having the same name.

    Consider how many other teams don’t have their stadiums within city limits. If DC United build their stadium in Maryland will they no longer have the right to be called a DC team?


  • jolly ol' fatman

    “Alright, I’ll be that guy. Fair warning.


    People in the 70’s had no problem traveling to the Meadowlands so New York soccer fans should have no issues traveling there and the new Red Bull Arena.”

    Alright, I’ll respond to that guy. Fair warning.

    YOUR BEING A HYPOCRITE!!!!! 1st it was always “support the team that’s HERE”. Now it’s “Support MLS only!” Pardon my french, but WTF MAN?! usl-1 is a good, competitive league. If you’re a TRUE FAN OF THE SPORT, then you’d know grassroots support outside of top flight play is ESSENTIAL to it’s growth.


  • inkedAG

    If anyone has illusions of grandeur about a NYC team, it can only be in one place…Flushing.

    While the 7 train is an awful line, it cuts a swath through Queens’ diverse population. Playing on Long Island is a joke, it’s like going to New Jersey. Having the team play by JFK Airport, Aqueduct or Randall’s Island is also a terrible idea as those places are hard as hell to get to via mass transit. Who wants to take the A train through Manhattan and Brooklyn and then back into Queens to go to a match near JFK?

    It would be cool if there was a good location in Manhattan or Brooklyn, but as a lifer NY’er, none springs to mind. Flushing has that “central” location to the other boroughs in which fans can get to the stadium and still be part of a city.


  • Grant

    This is stupid,why don’t the fans of New York just go to a Red Bulls game. New Yorkers think they are so great and so awesome that they can’t support a team that plays in New Jersey. New Yorkers are so full of themselves.


  • Kiko

    I find it a bit amusing that the official full name is F.C. New York. It’s not Football Club New York, it’s F.C. New York. I’m sure exceptions can be found, but I think pretty much all English FC’s are officially Football Clubs. I guess these folks don’t want to confuse the masses and make them think it’s that one sport where they play 7 seconds between 4 minute commercial breaks. But at the same time they do want to please existing fans and not name it Soccer Club.

    But anyway, even lamer thing is the idea of taking a name from some English team. F.C New York Manchester United Football Club. Or more commonly FCNYMUFC.

    The only way I can see them pull of the branding with any style is by forming a partnership with Man City. Then they have the same light blue color and can call themselves F.C. New York City! Am I a genius or am I a genius?


  • pele

    YOU have got to be kidding!? Sounds like you better watch your wallets as HE comes looking for your money! Or wait is he an April fool joke??!!


  • Teddie Boy Eddie


    This isn’t about people thinking they are great or awesome. It is about the peculiar situation that exists in NYC where almost everyone is completely reliant upon public transport. There is no easy or direct way out to the NJ Meadowlands (this will be fixed next year when Red Bull Arena opens).

    For the record, I’m a season ticket holder for Red Bull because I want the league to succeed. But I make it to only half the games because of the absurd maze one must go through to get to a match. I literally spend more time in transit than at the match, and the cost of transportation makes the cost of the ticket nearly twice what I pay for the game alone. For a league trying to bring in new fans, it is not a good situation. If there was an MLS team in NYC it would draw as many fans as you saw in Seattle on a regular basis.

    The bottom line is it is stupid that there is not a team existing in the biggest city in the country with the biggest immigrant population.

    And I’m not going to lie, if a team does finally set up shop in the city, I will no longer be a Red Bull ticket holder. I certainly won’t be a hater of the club, but as a Brooklyn resident they’ve never felt like my team.

    People forget that the Cosmos played in several places in the city before calling the swamp in Jersey their home. Red Bull/Metro has never been NYC’s team.


  • jolly ol' fatman

    shouldn’t you redbulls fans be more concerned with this season? i agree that sometimes, some in the BB had come across as elitist. but you redbulls fans make them seem humble.


  • R-Dawg

    The Red Bulls are Shite! I am pretty pumped a new team in the USL is coming in and hopefully crush them even further than they have felt, especially this season. Maybe they will bring in some talent (eg. Henry) and build up the USL. No salary cap = potential to run club like the rest of the world does. This thinking could give the MLS a run for its money and what little prestige it has over the USL.


  • poppo

    I just looked up Petersen in the dictionary, and here’s what I found:

    deceitful, backstabbing, beguiling, crafty, cunning, deceiving, deceptive, dishonest, double-dealing, fraudulent, guileful, hypocritical, insincere, knavish, lying, misleading, shifty, sly, sneaky, tricky, underhanded, untruthful

    I wouldn’t buy a used CAR from this guy…Careful Soccer fans! Protect your sport from the like of these two!



  • Kartik

    Did anyone see Paul Gardner’s article at Soccer America? He’s happy about USL coming to New York even if its Long Island but feels the team should be called SC New York or SFC New York, because it’s called soccer here and not football. I’m so tired of this debate. I love Gardner’s work but I disagree with him. for those of us that are well traveled if you call the sport soccer in Europe or Latin America they automatically assume your a Yank whose knowledge of the game is the local U-8 girls team.

    I understand the need to use soccer to distinguish from American “football.” but to force the term soccer on footy fans is just plain wrong.


  • OB

    I believe that F.C. New York will be a great success. And the “Grapple for the Apple” is a brilliant idea. There is room for two soccer teams in New York, and anyway Red Bulls are in New Jersy using the name New York to look big. F.C. New York, future champinship winning team!


  • speed4lf

    well, this new incarnation of a New York team at least plays in the state, but, the logo absolutely sucks, the management seems to me like they think they could pull off what the sounders and that they can build a sss in queens.

    but the way i see, at least they aren’t named after a energy drink, the red bulls name makes mls look like the minor leagues, plus no one in ny id going to support the redbulls,


  • speed4lf

    i live in ny, and i don’t support them, but i will check out red bull arena, so i can see what a soccer stadium looks like.

    Cosmos 2012


  • Coachie Ballgames

    I’m all for a team within the actual borders of the 5 boroughs. Whoever thinks that Jersey is NY probably lives in Jersey.

    What I don’t understand is why they don’t play at Columbia right off the bat? It is absolutely beautiful up there. It has subway access, and is relatively easy to drive to from The Bronx, upstate, CT, and Queens.

    The suburban model has been tried time and time again and has failed time and time again. Going to Hofstra sends the wrong message.


  • Don

    Name the team FCNY Empire to punctuate to the cross-state rivals that this is an Empire State team. Wanderers is lame.


  • S.

    “According to Petersen, the USL has a rule that says each team must have a nickname, using F.C. Miami Blues as an example.”

    What kind of crock is this? Get with the program USL, don’t force your NA-centric mascot naming conventions down people’s throats. Maybe some of us don’t like men dressed as furry animals at the games.


  • RLW2020

    don’t bother building a stadium in NYC, posibly the most expensive idea out there. rather play at Butler or Icahn! they are good stadiums in the city where the supporters are.

    i hope the USL can bring soccer to north boston sometime soon, especially if the Revs stay in foxboro. build a ny-bos rivalry in the usl.


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