The New York City Football Club is a New York City-based American professional soccer team that competes in Major League Soccer (MLS), the top division of American soccer, as an Eastern Conference team. They are the most recent MLS Cup champion is NYCFC, who took home the trophy in 2021. City Football Group, the company that also owns the English soccer team Manchester City, and Yankee Global Enterprises, the company that owns the New York Yankees, jointly own the club.
As the league’s 20th expansion team, New York City played its first league match during the 2015 MLS season. This team is just one of the many top teams to look out for in NYC that can surely be fun to watch. They are the second franchise in the New York metropolitan area, after the New York Red Bulls, with whom they compete in the Hudson River Derby. Since 2015, Yankee Stadium in the Bronx and Citi Field in Queens have served as the club’s primary home venues.
The Brief Founding History
Major League Soccer expressed interest in locating a second team in the New York City region in the early months of 2006. This came after the exclusive territorial rights of MetroStars, which were a requirement of the club’s sale to Red Bull GmbH and the establishment of New York Red Bulls, had expired. The league had discussions about who would own the second New York team in 2007 with several entities, including Fred Wilpon, owner of the New York Mets, and his family. Following the family’s losses in the Madoff investment scam, the Wilpons’ interest in Major League Soccer is said to have diminished, but the league is still looking for investors.
The league’s intention to add a second team in the New York region as its 20th franchise was publicly stated by Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber in 2010. The league then anticipated that the new squad would start playing by 2013. Garber also spoke with the New York Cosmos’ owners, but they refused to apply because of the league’s entrance cost and single-entity structure. Instead, they joined the lower-level North American Soccer League.
To become the owners of a future franchise, Garber had previously developed an interest in obtaining funding from a significant European soccer club. In December 2008, he made an announcement on a bid for a Miami expansion team that would be led by FC Barcelona. If accepted, the squad was scheduled to start competition in 2010, however the bid ultimately failed. Before turning his attention to Miami, Garber briefly explored Barcelona’s potential investment in a New York club.
When Ferran Soriano, Barcelona’s vice president during the Miami bid, was named CEO of Manchester City in 2012, Garber contacted him about a potential New York City team. Unnamed sources claimed to the media in December 2012 that Manchester City was about to be revealed as the new owners of the 20th MLS team and that the name “New York City Football Club” had been registered as a trademark. However, the club promptly refuted the claims. However, Garber declared in March 2013 that the new expansion team would soon be unveiled.
NYCFC Inaugural season and initial MLS Playoffs Failure
In an up-and-down preseason, they won their first exhibition game against Scotland’s St Mirren, scoring the club’s first-ever goal in a competitive match, while in the non-competitive Carolina Challenge Cup, they came in second place out of four teams after a slow start eliminated their chances of winning the trophy. On March 8 against fellow expansion team Orlando City, they played their first-ever league game, ending 1-1 in front of a crowded Citrus Bowl stadium, with Mix Diskerud scoring their first-ever competitive goal. A week later, in front of a crowd of 43,507, Villa and Patrick Mullins scored in their first victory at home against the New England Revolution. The squad later went on an 11-game losing streak, which was finally snapped on June 16 when they defeated the Philadelphia Union 2-1.
In the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup fourth round matchup between New York City and the New York Cosmos, New York City lost on penalties following a scoreless overtime. The club came in 17th overall and 8th in the Eastern Conference. On November 2, Kreis was removed of his position as head coach following the conclusion of the season. His departure was mostly caused by the team’s failure to qualify for the playoffs and its second-worst league record in terms of points. Patrick Vieira was introduced as the team’s new head coach a week later. After that, the team went through another period of change in the off-season as a number of players, including cult icon Tommy McNamara, recent additions Ofori and Eloi, and first team regulars Maxime Chanot and Rodney Wallace, had their options denied on November 29. Berget’s agreement with the team was also amicably terminated after just one season. The team also parted ways with record goal scorer and appearance maker Villa, who joined J-League team Vissel Kobe. Villa was twice selected to the MLS Best XI and was a four-time MLS All-Star during his four seasons with New York. Following Villa’s departure, Alexander Ring was chosen the club’s second captain. Later, Castellanos’ loan agreement’s option to purchase was used to make his transfer permanent. Eventually, Chanot accepted a multi-year contract and On December 8, Ofori’s loan was renewed for an additional year.
The First MLS Cup Victory
The club authorized the departures of the team’s captain Alexander Ring, leftback Ronald Matarrita, and midfielder Gary Mackay-Steven during the ensuing postseason, while former club record transfer Alexandru Mitriță left on loan. Malte Amundsen was the team’s first acquisition of the decade and came on February 12 for a reported fee of $1.6 million. By the end of June, the team had added several players: they had selected Andres Jasson and Vuk Latinovich, signed goalkeeper Cody Mizell, brought Chris Gloster back to the MLS, re-signed Zelalem, added Alfredo Morales, who would eventually become a regular for the first team, as well as the Brazilian duo of Thiago Andrade and Talles Magno, and loaned midfielder Santiago Rodrguez from Meanwhile, backup goalies Mason Stajduhar and Stuver left the game.
In the first round of the playoffs, New York City defeated Atlanta United 2-0 at Yankee Stadium. In the Eastern Conference semifinals against New England Revolution, they prevailed dramatically on penalties in Foxboro. Sean Johnson stopped an attempt by Adam Buska as NYCFC defeated the Revolution 5-3 on penalties following a 2-2 deadlock after extra time. It was New York City’s first victory in a penalty shootout in five attempts and their first MLS Playoff victory away from home. With a late goal by Talles Magno in the 88th minute, New York City defeated Philadelphia Union in the Eastern Conference finals 2-1. Due to MLS COVID-19, Philadelphia was without 11 players for this game. Health and Safety regulations, while star forward Valentin Castellanos was unavailable for New York City since he was dismissed from the previous game versus New England.
The NYCFT Supporters
Following the club’s announcement in May 2013, The Third Rail, New York City’s official fan club, started to take shape as fans connected via social media, member drives, and viewing events for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Before the start of the team’s inaugural season, 1,600 people had signed up. Although the organization runs independently of the team, it was acknowledged as the official fan club and is granted exclusive access to a particular area of Yankee Stadium. Chance Michaels, the group’s then-president, claimed that the name represented the group’s goal to “power NYCFC” in a similar manner to how the third rail powered the New York City Subway system.
The club’s season ticket membership had already hit 14,000 before the club started playing in March 2015, and by April 2015, season ticket sales had surpassed 16,000. The team reported selling 20,000 season tickets for the debut season in October of that year. The club officially recognized the New York City Supporters Club, (NYCSC) as its second official supporters’ group on April 29, 2017. On February 13, 2020, NYCFC and NYCSC announced their official separation. On February 11, 2022, the club recognized Los Templados #12 as the second official supporters’ organization, replacing NYCSC, which had severed ties with the team two years earlier.
When the New York City played their first game against the New York Red Bulls in May 2015, the New York metropolitan area witnessed a true local derby in MLS league play for the first time, games like this were like the unparalleled entertainment experience you can indulge in NYC just like the NBA match in Madison Square Garden. The early matches between the two teams showed a rising level of hostility between the two sides, even though it was first thought that the rivalry was contrived and that there was little of the customary banter between long-standing local rivals. The Red Bulls prevailed in the two teams’ first-ever meeting, a league game played on May 10, 2015, at Red Bull Arena. Before and after the two teams’ matches, there were several fights between the fans of the two teams. Supporters have given the match the nickname “Hudson River Derby.”