New York City FC

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Not to be confused with York City F.C. or F.C. New York.
New York City FC
New York City FC.svg
Full name New York City Football Club
Nickname(s) The Pigeons[1][2][3][4]
Founded May 21, 2013; 3 years ago (2013-05-21)
Stadium Yankee Stadium
Ground Capacity 33,444[5] (49,642 maximum)
Owner City Football Group (80%)
Yankee Global Enterprises (20%)[6]
CEO Ferran Soriano
Head coach Patrick Vieira
League Major League Soccer
2016 Eastern Conference: 2nd
Overall: 4th
Playoffs: Conf. Semi-Finals
Website Club home page
Current season

New York City Football Club is an American professional soccer club based in New York City that competes as a member of the Eastern Conference in Major League Soccer (MLS). NYCFC began play in 2015, as an expansion team of the league.[7] The club is the first MLS franchise based in the city, and the second franchise in the New York metropolitan area after the New York Red Bulls, based in Harrison, New Jersey.[8]



MLS had an interest in placing a second team in the New York area as early as 2006, when the MetroStars' exclusive territorial rights reverted back to the league as a condition of the club's sale to Red Bull GmbH.[9] By 2009, the league had held talks with New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon about owning the second New York club.[10]

In 2010, MLS commissioner Don Garber officially announced the league's intent to make its 20th franchise a second team in the New York area. At that point, the league hoped to have the new team beginning operations by 2013.[10] Garber also held discussions with the owners of the rebooted New York Cosmos.[11] The Wilpons' interest in MLS reportedly faded following the family's losses in the Madoff investment scandal,[12] while the Cosmos joined the second-tier North American Soccer League in 2012.[13]

Garber had previously cultivated an interest in acquiring investment from a major European soccer club to be owners of a future franchise, and in December 2008, he announced a bid for a Miami expansion team led by FC Barcelona that was to begin play in 2010,[14] though the bid eventually fell through[15] (Garber also briefly discussed Barcelona investing in a New York franchise before moving the focus to Miami[16]).

But when Ferran Soriano, Barcelona's vice president at the time of the Miami bid, was appointed Manchester City CEO in August 2012, Garber reached out to him about a New York City team.[16] In December 2012, unnamed sources told the media that Manchester City were close to being announced as the new owners of the 20th team of MLS, and the brand name "New York City Football Club" was trademarked, although the club quickly denied the report.[17] However, Garber announced in March 2013 that he was almost ready to unveil the new expansion team,[18]

Manchester City and the New York Yankees baseball team paid a $100 million expansion fee to join the league.[19][20]

New York City Football Club, LLC was registered with the New York State Department on May 7, 2013,[21] and on May 21 the team was officially announced as the 20th Major League Soccer franchise.[22]

Former Manchester City midfielder and U.S. international Claudio Reyna was named as the first director of the club.

On May 22, 2013, the club named former United States and Manchester City midfielder Claudio Reyna as its director of football operations, responsible for coaching staff and player recruitment ahead of the team's inaugural MLS season in 2015.[23] Reyna, a New Jersey native, also played for the nearby New York Red Bulls. He said he had begun identifying candidates to be the club's head coach, but would not name one in 2013.[24] The team announced an English-language radio deal with WFAN on October 3, 2013.[25]

The club made their first recruitment dealing in off-field matters on September 6, 2013, when they hired former Rutgers University Athletic Director Tim Pernetti to serve as Chief Business Officer, part of a five-year deal with the university.[26] Further hirings were made in mid-November, when three experienced administrators were appointed to Vice President roles.[27]

On December 11, 2013, Jason Kreis was announced as the first head coach of the new franchise, having reached the end of his contract at Real Salt Lake and declined an extension.[28] The move came just four days after he missed out on lifting his second MLS Cup with the Utah team, losing on penalties to Sporting Kansas City. It was revealed in the announcement that his contract, starting on January 1, 2014, would see him begin by travelling to Manchester in England to familiarize himself with the set-up of franchise-owners Manchester City.[28] Kreis' official unveiling was made at a press conference on January 10, 2014, where he made it public that his former assistant Miles Joseph had joined him at the club.[29]

On June 2, 2014 the club announced that Spanish World Cup-winning striker David Villa had signed as the first player.[30][31] While the team awaited its MLS start in 2015, Villa was loaned to another team owned by Manchester City, Melbourne City FC of the Australian A-League but was called back after only four matches.[32] On July 24, 2014, New York City FC announced at a live press conference in Brooklyn that ex-England international and Chelsea all-time top goal scorer Frank Lampard would be joining them as their second Designated Player. Reyna hailed Lampard as "one of the greatest players in world history." Lampard said that "It is a privilege to be able to help make history here in New York City."[33][34] On July 6, 2015 the club signed Italian international Andrea Pirlo from Juventus as their third Designated Player.[35]

In the 2015 MLS SuperDraft, as an expansion team, New York City had second overall pick, choosing Oregon State forward Khiry Shelton as their first pick.[36]

Inaugural season[edit]

An up-and-down pre-season saw them dominate their first ever exhibition match, played against Scotland's St Mirren, with Villa scoring the club's first ever goal in a regulated match,[37] while in the Carolina Challenge Cup, they finished second out of four teams after a slow start ruled out their chances of picking up the non-competitive silverware. Their first ever league game was played on March 8 against fellow expansion side Orlando City, with Mix Diskerud scoring their first ever competitive goal in a game which finished 1–1 in front of a packed Citrus Bowl stadium.[38] A week later in their first home game, Villa and Patrick Mullins scored in their first home win against New England Revolution in front of a crowd of 43,507.[39][40] The team eventually suffered an eleven-game winless streak which ended on June 16, after defeating the Philadelphia Union 2-1.[41]

New York faced the New York Cosmos in the fourth round of the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, and were eliminated on penalties after playing overtime.[42] The team finished 8th in the Eastern Conference, 17th overall. After the season ended, Kreis was relieved from his head coaching duties on November 2. The team's failure to make the playoffs and the team's second lowest points in the league, were the main factors in his release.[43] A week later, Patrick Vieira was announced as the new head coach of the team.[44]

Colors and badge[edit]

The badge used at the launch of the club

With the team announced in 2013, almost two years before it was due to play its first competitive game in 2015, the board of the nascent New York club announced their intention to take their time in building the club, and at the team's launch ceremony did not unveil colors or a badge, instead only using a placeholder image of a blue circle with "New York City FC" written within. As interested parties waited for the club to reveal its official colors and badge, a number of graphic designers released their own impressions of possible crests and shirt designs,[45] something the club encouraged by publicizing several attempts on their various social media outlets.

Although club chairman Ferran Soriano emphasized the desire to create a club with its own identity, rather than relying entirely on the brands of club owners Manchester City and the New York Yankees, the online presence that the club kept up across its own website and on various social networking websites maintained a consistent approach of using the sky blue of the Manchester club and the navy blue of the MLB team, along with the white employed by both owner-clubs. With the soccer side running the operations of NYCFC, however, the vast majority of journalistic reporting and speculation assumed that the club's color-scheme would eventually be revealed as a reflection of, if not a copy of Manchester City's sky blue kits with white trim.[46][47][48][49] with Director of Football Operations Claudio Reyna saying at the press conference announcing his appointment that he was "...incredibly excited to again wear City’s ‘Sky Blue’ as part of the expansion of the MLS...".[23]

Having allowed the speculation and amateur designs to build interest in the club for almost nine months, on February 4, 2014 it was announced that the selection of an official club badge was to be forthcoming, with the club planning to release two designs for the crest in two different styles, which would then be put to a public vote to select the chosen design.[50] In the meantime, New York City FC's official website announced a "Badge of Badges" campaign, inviting all to create their own crests on a hosted badge-designer page, with every entry ultimately to be incorporated into a mosaic of the badge when a final design was selected, the mosaic to be available both online and in physical form at the club's training ground once built.[51]

Although March 3 was originally set as the release date for the two proposed logos, the vote was pushed back as the Yankees vetoed one of the potential crests for infringing their own trademark.[52] The two badge options, both designed by Rafael Esquer following the success of his Made in NY mark, were revealed on March 10. At that time, the club's official color scheme of navy blue, sky blue and orange was also announced. The orange was an homage to the city's Dutch heritage, and is the same shade found in the city's flag.[53] Fans were given three days to vote on the final design, and the winner was announced on March 20.[54][55]

Following closely on the tails of Orlando City SC's jersey announcement, New York City FC held their inaugural jersey announcement on November 13, 2014,[56] revealing a sky blue shirt taking its inspiration from parent club Manchester City.[57] The away jersey was revealed on November 24, a black shirt with sky blue and orange trim and five reflective black stripes to represent the five boroughs of the city.[58]

Uniform evolution[edit]

Home, away, and third uniforms.

  • Home
  • Away


Season Manufacturer Sponsor Ref.
2015– Adidas Etihad Airways [59]

City Football Group sponsor Etihad Airways was announced to be NYCFC's inaugural jersey sponsor[59] in an event at Terminal 5 in New York City on November 13, 2014, at the same event which revealed the club's first ever jersey design. The announcement capped a week in which Heineken[60] and Adidas[61] had been signed up as secondary sponsors of the club.


In one of the club's first announcements on October 3, 2013 - before announcing where the team would play and before any players had been signed - New York City FC signed an agreement with WFAN to broadcast English-language radio commentary to the New York area for NYCFC games and also serves as the flagship station of the New York City FC Radio Network Powered by CBS.[25] A year later, on December 18, 2014, the club announced that it was following up its radio deal with an agreement with the YES Network to televise all home and away games.[62] On top of the YES broadcasting rights, the deal included free streaming of all games across the internet via the Fox Sports Go website.[62] With club co-owners the New York Yankees also part-owners of YES, the deals were of little surprise, with even Randy Levine openly speculating on the possibility within days of the club's unveiling.[63]


The team currently plays at Yankee Stadium

Before the official team was announced, plans were presented by MLS to build a soccer stadium in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park[64] in Queens. However, due to opposition to building a stadium on park land as well as objections from the New York Mets, who play nearby, the site lost favor once the new team was announced. The team came up with an alternate proposal to build the stadium in the Bronx adjacent to Yankee Stadium to be completed in 2018 at the earliest.[65] On April 21, 2014, the club confirmed that they would play their first season home games at Yankee Stadium, and that plans for a future stadium were in progress.[66]



New York City FC's official supporter group, The Third Rail, began to form after the club's announcement in May 2013, when fans met through social media, and through member drives and viewing parties for 2014 FIFA World Cup matches. It had registered 1,600 members before the team's first season.[67] Although the group operates independently from the club, it was recognized as the official supporter group and has received exclusive access to one section in Yankee Stadium. Then-group president Chance Michaels said the name reflected the group's desire to "power NYCFC" the way the third rail powered the New York City Subway system.[68]

Before the club began play in March 2015, the club's season-ticket membership had already surpassed 14,000,[69] and by April 2015 season-ticket sales had reached 16,000.[70]


Main article: Hudson River Derby

In May 2015, the New York metropolitan area experienced a genuine local derby in MLS league play for the first time, when NYCFC played their first game against the New York Red Bulls.[71][72][73] Although initially regarded as a manufactured rivalry with little of the traditional banter apparent between long-time local rivals,[74] the first meetings between the two clubs displayed an increasing level of animosity between the two sides.[75] The Red Bulls won the first ever encounter between the two, a league game on May 10, 2015, at Red Bull Arena.[76] A series of brawls between supporters of the two teams occurred before and after matches between the two teams.[77] The contest has been dubbed the Hudson River Derby by supporters.

Social media campaigns[edit]

In 2015, MLS hosted a contest between New York City Football Club and New York Red Bulls ahead of the Hudson River Derby on June 28. The team with the most votes would have the Empire State Building lit up in their favor. New York City Football Club launched the 'WINNYCFC' campaign and won the contest.[78][79]

In the 2016 MLS season, New York City FC started the 'We Are One' campaign on social media, followed by the 'Support Your City' campaign during the playoffs later that year.

Players and staff[edit]

Current roster[edit]

Spanish World Cup-winning forward David Villa is the team captain.

Where a player has not declared an international allegiance, nation is determined by place of birth. Squad correct as of December 11, 2016.[80]

No. Position Player Nation
3 Defender Ethan White  United States
4 Defender Maxime Chanot  Luxembourg
5 Midfielder Mikey Lopez  United States
7 Forward David Villa (DP)  Spain
10 Midfielder Mix Diskerud  United States
11 Midfielder Jack Harrison (GA)  England
12 Goalkeeper Josh Saunders  Puerto Rico
13 Defender Frédéric Brillant  France
15 Midfielder Tommy McNamara  United States
19 Forward Khiry Shelton  United States
21 Midfielder Andrea Pirlo (DP)  Italy
22 Defender Rónald Matarrita  Costa Rica
24 Goalkeeper Andre Rawls  United States
25 Goalkeeper Eirik Johansen  Norway
27 Defender R. J. Allen  United States
52 Defender Shannon Gomez  Trinidad and Tobago
Midfielder Kwame Awuah  Canada
Forward Jalen Brown  United States
Midfielder Miguel Camargo (on loan from Chorrillo)  Panama
Goalkeeper Sean Johnson  United States
Forward Jonathan Lewis (GA)  United States
Forward Sean Okoli  United States

Out on loan[edit]

Where a player has not declared an international allegiance, nation is determined by place of birth.

No. Position Player Nation
23 Defender Jefferson Mena (on loan to Barcelona)  Colombia

Team management[edit]

Patrick Vieira, a World Cup-winner for France, is the head coach.
Club president Jon Patricof
Vice president for partnerships Ben Martin
Vice president for communications Martin Von Wurthenau
Sporting Director Claudio Reyna
Director of player recruitment David Lee
Coaching staff
Head coach Patrick Vieira
Assistant coach Javier Perez
Assistant coach Christian Lattanzio
Goalkeeping coach Rob Vartughian
Performance coach Kristian Wilson
Head trainer Kevin Christen
Youth technical coordinator Rodrigo Marion

Last updated: March 6, 2015
Source: [81]

Club presidents[edit]

New York City FC Presidents
Name From To Honors
United States Tim Pernetti September 9, 2013 February 1, 2015
United States Tom Glick February 1, 2015 March 1, 2016
United States Jon Patricof March 1, 2016[82]


The USL's Wilmington Hammerheads were NYCFC's first affiliate, announced on January 16, 2015.[83] One year later, both clubs announced an extension to that original agreement.[84] On April 21, 2016, the club announced that the Long Island Rough Riders would be their official Premier Development League partner beginning with the 2016 season.[85]


NYCFC began building its youth development program in April 2014 by partnering with eight local youth soccer clubs.[86]

In February 2015, the club announced the formal creation of an academy, beginning with a single team at U-13 and U-14 level.[87]

Team records[edit]


As of November 6, 2016 [citation needed]
Year MLS Regular season Position MLS Cup
Open Cup Champions
Top Scorer
P W L D GF GA Pts Conf. Overall Player Goals
2015 34 10 17 7 49 58 37 8th 17th DNQ 4R DNQ Spain David Villa 18
2016 34 15 9 10 62 57 54 2nd 4th Conference Semifinals 4R DNQ Spain David Villa 23

Head coaches[edit]

  • Includes MLS regular Season, MLS Playoffs, CONCACAF Champions League, and Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
As of October 1, 2016 [citation needed]
All Time New York City FC Coaching Stats
Coach Nationality Start End Games Win Loss Draw Win %
Jason Kreis  United States December 11, 2013 November 2, 2015 35 10 18 7 28.57
Patrick Vieira  France January 1, 2016 Present 35 15 11 9 42.86

Average attendance[edit]

As of October 24, 2016
New York City FC Average Attendances
Season Reg. Season MLS Playoffs
2015 29,016[88] DNQ
2016 27,196[89] 28,355[90]

See also[edit]


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External links[edit]