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SBI Reader Poll: Which New York MLS team is more of a mess?

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New York is supposed to be one of the MLS meccas, with a pair of powerhouse and wealthy clubs playing in close proximity of one another in 2015.

Well, the Big Apple is currently just a big, dramatic mess.

MLS fans in New York have seen what was supposed to a year filled with promised turned upside down in the blink of an eye. In recent days and weeks, both the New York Red Bulls and expansion New York City FC have been mired in controversy.

NYC FC have been involved in a scandalous situation involving English midfielder Frank Lampard, who has delayed his arrival at the club despite being introduced as its first player last year. Questions are persisting as to if Lampard will even suit up for NYC FC after the Premier League issued a statement Thursday saying that there is no deal in place for him to leave Manchester City for NYC FC at the end of the Premiership campaign. Some NYC FC fans feel betrayed and hurt, and they and national media have voiced serious concerns about how City Football Group, which owns the two clubs, views NYC FC in its corporate umbrella.

The Red Bulls joined in on the chaotic party this week, as new sporting director Ali Curtis abruptly and surprisingly fired head coach Mike Petke. A beloved figure to the club’s supporters, Petke had led New York to a historic Supporters’ Shield win in his first year as manager in 2013 and came within a goal of reaching the MLS Cup last season. It seemed his job was safe, but Curtis relieved Petke of his duties on Tuesday and replaced him with a man in Jesse Marsch who is more in line with Curtis’ vision. Now, Red Bulls fans are in an uproar over what is perceived to be yet another egregious error under a flawed ownership group that has been continuously rumored to want to sell.

All this has made us at SBI pose the question: Which MLS New York club is more of a mess right now?

Vote in the poll after the jump:

  • New York Red Bulls
  • New York City FC
  • Both are equally messy
  • Neither is a mess. They are both doing fine


Which team did you vote for? Think talk of the disarray these teams are in is being overblown? Wishing MLS would let the New York Cosmos into MLS?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. from ESPN FC:

    “the Red Bulls missed the chance to capitalize on NYC FC’s howler. More aptly, they chose to miss the chance. Curtis’ decision to dismiss Petke and hire Marsch is almost turning around, dribbling the length of the field, and putting the ball in your own net. For once, the Red Bulls could have been the smarter the team, the more steady team, the team that acted like they knew what they’re doing.”

  2. NYRB without a doubt are in the biggest mess. NYFC is just getting started, and as some others have pointed out, they have a decent roster even without Lampard (who will show in July). NYRB’s roster is in shambles and the only thing we know about the upcoming roster is that it’ll be on the cheap.

    NYRB have had 20 freaking years to get their act together. They looked like they, finally, had some stability and some potential (even without Henry). Shoot, they were one goal away from the MLS final. But no… the ownership just couldn’t leave things alone.

    Speaking of the NYRB ownership, they’re the ones to blame. I never once said anything negative when RB bought MetroStars, even though I thought naming the team after an energy drink was not a good idea. I thought “well, at least they have the funds to get the team where they need to be”. Plus the previous ownership had set the bar so low, I though maybe this move would work. The stadium is a total gem where they got it right (location aside), and rumors about the training center kept me hoping things would come about long term.

    Now, I’ve come to the conclusion that so many of you have come to, RB needs to sell the team to someone who will do things right. Enough is enough. Like so many, after nearly 20 years I’m this close to saying “f@ck it” and quitting on the team.

  3. To be honest, I just wanna give all those NY fans a hug to deal with all this and say it’ll be okay (even though it REALLY won’t be o_O).

  4. With everything going on with the MLS teams, the Cosmos look to be in a really solid position right now. They had some pretty solid signings in the month of December, and if this Jaime Valdes signing comes to pass that would be another huge step for them. If they can finally get approval on their stadium (which seems to be only a matter of time with their bid) and if they make a deep Open Cup run, then 2015 could accelerate their growth even more for the next few years.

    We’ll see if they sign anyone else this off season, but with the circuses they call neighbors running around with their heads cut off it could put the Cosmos out in front as the top New York team for the foreseeable future.

    • I’d love to see how Raul’s 37-year-old knees feel after playing on the hard turf of James H. Shuart Stadium @Hofstra. Even if they get approval on a new stadium (which is still doubtful in this economic climate), it’ll be five or so years until it’s built. Will the rebooted Cosmos even still be around then?

      As I said previously, they’ve got a good team that’s fun to watch but it’s depressing as hell watching games out there in that tin cup league.

      • Yeah I agree, the NASL holds them back in terms of talent, just like MLS would hold them back in ownership. And I think they’re new international plan is going to be interesting as well, plus their stadium has and for a mall, restaurants, and a hotel, so if that all works out that’s more revenue. There’s definitely plenty of intrigue.

  5. Red Bulls are easily more of a mess now. They just lost and/or dumped their best attacking player, their best defender, a popular and successful manager, and their entire front office. They do not appear to be attempting to replace their best player, and have done nothing else so far to address their defense or other glaring on-field deficiencies. Their new GM and manager are basically untested. Their ownership no longer seems willing to spend money on established talent, and may off-load their other talented designated player. Their saving grace is the Arena, but recent hijinks isn’t going to help their attendance issues. As for NYCFC, they have a temporary PR problem, but will still field Villa and Lampard for most of the season, may ad Mixx to the mix, and have arguably the best manager in the league. Their stadium situation is perhaps not ideal for soccer, but it is serviceable for play and vastly underrated as a venue (no MLS soccer specific stadium has the range or depth of amenities at Yankee Stadium). So its not even a close call really.

    • I largely agree with your points here. The cupboard is not bare at NYC FC, even without Lampard. With Diskerud, you could have a midfield of him, Jacobson, Velazquez, and Grabavoy, a front line of Villa and Mullins. Defense looks a tad shaky at this point, but the attack could be in much worse shape.

  6. Red bull is a total mess and garber took this risk for the money and the league. Now that MLS is kinda mature and ready to run, red bull has to keep their promise that they are serious and have money to make red bull New York a global soccer team.
    Nycfc is barely a baby in the league and the Lampard mistake is an obvious sign but they did pay $100 million dollars.
    But if you want to compare red bull and nycfc, the difference is commitment and serious owners and nycfc will win in the long road.
    But Let’s be honest, red bull needs a rebrand like wizards and probably a new owner and nycfc just needs a stadium which they will get.
    Oh, and remember cosmos are watching what red bull and nycfc and they will learn from their mistakes.

  7. How is this even close? One team made one bad decision while the other one has over a decade of ineptitude and mismanagement and betrayal of any person who has an iota of passion for their job. This is a team that prematurely fired the 2 best American managers of all time as well as the most beloved figure in their organization’s history after 2 successful seasons. You’ve got to be kidding me. NYCFC are amateurs who, if they try really hard for the next 10 years, might one day be half as inept as NYRB management. NYRB is Babe Ruth in the a$$hattery hall of fame. NYCFC is a dumb rookie who just got into a bar fight. Please.

  8. Clearly NYC FC is the worse of the two. At least NYRB have a SSS and a core group of players established. Even if their roster and front office are in a state of change right now, they have more already than NYC FC does.

  9. I would dissolve both teams, ‘promote’ the Cosmos, let them choose whichever players they wanted from the two folded franchises, rechristen Red Bull Arena with a new sponsor and let them play there, and be done with it. I feel this sounds as reasonable as anything that has happened with either team this offseason

    • That’s a non-starter because the Cosmos don’t want to play in a league that takes ownership of your team logo & name, and severely limits your player hirings.

      Mess League Soccer

  10. Not trolling but I actually think the NY Cosmos are in the worst mess. They play in a cruddy, college lacrosse stadium and can barely draw a few thousand fans. I’ve been to a few games and they’re a fun team with a storied legacy but I don’t know what they’re doing toiling away in a 2nd division American league. I’d love it if they bought the Red Bulls franchise and brought the Cosmos name to Harrison, NJ.

    • I have to differ on the “storied legacy” descriptor of the current NY Cosmos. This team has absolutely no connection to the original Cosmos other than the fact they purchased the rights to the team name and logo. It bugs the heck out of me that now I can’t wear the logo of the team I fervently supported as a kid (season-tickets even) because it would be supporting a completely different team. They stole “my Cosmos’ ” identity, sigh…

      • This is rather silly. Cosmos used to play at the same stadium they are in now. Logo is still the same. The team still incorporates its history. Pele and Carlos Alberto are still on call. They have new owners – but the Yankees have had a bunch of different owners also and they no longer play in their old stadium. Sports fans are supposed to ride the wave — ask the Browns fans.

      • Sorry, to me, still not the same team.

        Cosmos only played at Hofstra for 2nd and 3rd of their 14 seasons, when attendances were under 6000, hardly a stadium they were strongly associated with. (They also played at both Yankee and Downing stadiums for 2 seasons each, and Meadowlands is the stadium they were really associated with, all the 8 high profile/attendance seasons were there).

        Then there was a 28 year gap. The only thing they pay homage to on their website is a timeline. Sure, the new Cosmos hired Pele and Alberto and Messing as “ambassadors” after they bought the name and logo before team kicked off (smart marketing) but that’s it.

        Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s good the current team exists, but it’s not the real Cosmos to me.

  11. the fact that Frank Lampard (1 player) will show up to NYCFC 7 months late is a joke but besides that (and being homeless) they are not looking that bad. Solid roster so far, good coaching situation, etc.

    the New Jersey team has absolutely committed suicide after back to back great seasons. so many mistakes over there. You would think that they would want to really capitalize on this season with so much extra attention to soccer in the area but instead they chose to implode.

    Cosmos looking pretty good right now!

    • That is a big IF Lamps even shows up. Remember, he has no contract with MLS and is under no obligation to come here, no matter how much Garber and Reyna whine and complain.

      If City wants Lamps, then Lamps suits up for them next year too.

    • So your point is that, besides being named by Human Rights Watch as for “image laundering” by a Middle Eastern despot, having no stadium prospects, and having an identity indistinct from a Premier League team, they’re not looking that bad.

      • look at the rest of the roster, their opening day roster will be pretty good relative to previous expansion teams, and the recent expansion teams haven’t been that bad. Along with whoever they pull from England, Kreis’ team will probably finish higher that RBNY.

        off the field; two teams owned by evil corps that make oil and sugar drinks. ya its bad (rb) vs worse (city) but its NY what do you expect?

  12. Voting for Red Bulls because of their 20-year head start. With experience of the NYC teams and Chivas, the model of ownership of teams across different leagues looks to be one MLS should avoid with future expansion and ownership changes.

    • Ditto. 20 years tossed aside. The move to fire Petke shows just how clueless RBNY really is. I am so angry I don’t think I can support the team right now. Which makes me madder still!!!

  13. 1. New York MLS headquarters – get it together Garber
    2. New York City FC – there could be some legal issues here, which is far worse than just the Lampard will he / won’t he part
    3. New York Red Bulls – front office and coaching is a mess but at least they have a stadium
    4. New York Cosmos – they play in front of a couple thousand fans on turf at Hofstra

    The “least messy” New York team may be NYRB’s USL Pro team if they actually play in New York City.

      • Dude, as slowleft pointed out in another thread, it ain’t just soccer either. Knicks, Mets, Yanks, Jets, Giants…. I don’t watch that much hockey and I guess maybe the Rangers qualify as “not a mess” …. Islanders?

        Expectations are crazy high in New York. And the teams are always swarmed in politics and weird stuff.

        I mean, look at this… all of us implicitly accept that these teams are in tatters when the “facts” are– NYRB just made the conference finals and very well might have won but for poor finishing and a couple slip-ups. NYCFC hasn’t even played a game yet!

        I’m not saying these teams aren’t in trouble… they certainly appear to be… only saying that the off-season is just as perilous– if not more– than anything related to competitive results in the craziness of NYC. Remind me not to buy a team there when one of my terrible get-rich-quick schemes strikes gold.

  14. I don’t know who’s more screwed up this whole situation is hilarious.
    Greed, incompetence and low self esteem makes for high comedy.

  15. I voted NYFC, because they are nothing BUT a mess at this point. NY obviously have a long history of being a mess, but at least they’ve played games and won. NYFC have gotten off to a hideous start before they even play a game.

    I’m assuming NYFC will eventually figure it out, and may still be a more successful franchise. But man, have they got some work to do to put this episode behind them, which probably won’t end until Lampard actually suits up, which may never even happen. In a word, what a mess.

    • At least NYCFC has an excuse,…they haven’t started yet! The tragedy of the Red Bulls is that they were fine,…heading in the right direction and are pissing it all away!

      • Don Garber leads the pack for the blame on this. As someone recently put it, he has a hard-on for a second team in New York, and it has deranged his thinking. First he added NYCFC to the league despite it violating his rule that any new team must already have a soccer-specific stadium. Then he has MLS trumpet Lampard’s signing to the skies, only to have it later revealed that Lamps isn’t actually playing until at least July 12th. I think he’s also had MLS support Lampard’s and Villa’s signings, in the form of helping with transfer fees, in a way he doesn’t for small-market clubs, thus pissing off many fans outside the big cities.

        Garber has done a good job in helping MLS grow smoothly and sustainably, but his desire for two teams in New York is running those principles off the rails. I think he has the worldview of “You haven’t made it until you’ve made it in New York”, when in fact the league has done quite well growing elsewhere.

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