BY DYLAN BUTLER
New York City will be getting a professional soccer team to call its own and it has nothing to do with Major League Soccer's possible expansion to the five boroughs or the New York Mets.
FC New York LLC, a New York City-based ownership group, has purchased a United Soccer Leagues First Division franchise and the club will make its debut for the 2010 season, according to numerous sources.
An official announcement to bring "the world's greatest sport to the world's greatest city" is expected in early April.
For the 2010 season, the club will call Hofstra University home, as was the case for the Long Island Rough Riders during its heyday in the 1990s. There are also plans to play games at Icahn Stadium on Randall's Island and Baker Field at Columbia University, according to sources.
After that, sources say, the organization is looking to build a soccer-specific stadium in Queens, the most ethnically diverse county in the country. The stadium would seat 9,000, but could be expanded to house another 9,000 if the situation dictated. A possible site would be the area by John F. Kennedy International Airport.
With future MLS stars like Tony Meola and Giovanni Savarese, the Long Island Rough Riders were the last professional team in New York. The Staten Island Vipers were the last club in the five boroughs, playing in the A-League in the late 90s.
As has been the case throughout the USL, there is talk of a partnership with an international club. The Austin Aztex, an expansion team that will play in the USL-1 this season, has a partnership with Mexican club Monterrey and its owner has a share of Stoke City, sources say Pachuca is on the verge of purchasing a club that will likely play in Orlando, Fla., and English side Crystal Palace owns Crystal Palace Baltimore, a USL-2 side that is looking to move up to USL-1 as early as next season.
An agreement with an English-based professional team could be announced as early as April 1.
What do you think of these developments? Are you excited to see a USL-1 team play in a soccer-specific stadium in Queens? Share your thoughts below.
If a team is in New York it should be called New York Cosmos, this “FC” sh** as to go from American soccer.
Hofstra is an excellent Soccer facility and is easily reached by the Long Island Railroad from Jamaica, Queens and Manhattan(45 minutes)and its only 15 minutes from Jamaica people. And there is a bus that runs right to the stadium. All major highways converge on what we call the Hub of Long Island. Long island, especially Hempstead and Uniondale where the Islanders and The Former NY Power of the WUSA played, has a hugely diversified population and we have more kids playing soccer on LI than anywhere else in the United States except for California. Its simple. We support the LI Rough Riders(PDL)and Women’s Rough Riders(USL)teams now. If anyone should be moving up to USL Div 1 it should be the the former National Champion Rough Riders Men’s Team.
Excellent, and it should be called New York City AFC! Then put another one in and call it New York United! and you would have a hellofagame!
It would be a good reason to make the trip to NYC every year to see them face my Impact.
Location is going to be key in this. Neighborhoods that can support a team are Astoria/LIC, Sunnyside, Greenpoint and Williamsburg. They’re centrally located to pretty much the entire city and they have various mass transit and highways passing through there.
Cheeeah! Great to see soccer finally coming to NYC! Red Bulls beware, when you face New York CITY FC in the US Open Cup one day!!! 😀
i hope that i’m wrong, but sadly i think this has fail written all over it. NY does not have a good track record of supporting teams that are perceived by the media as being “minor league.” Soccer fans know that the USL isn’t garbage but the average joe on the street hardly cares about the Bulls today–to say he will care about a team that’s in the next ring down may be a bit of a stretch. Like I said, i hope i’m proven wrong.
If it’s not a blatant corporate shill I will support something again.