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A few implications of the ‘sister-club’ relationship between City and NYC FC

May 21, 2013, 2:05 PM EDT

Manchester City v Southampton - Premier League Getty Images

For ages countries like England, Spain and Italy have been taking the proverbial piss out of soccer in the United States.

They laugh at our men’s national team as we struggle to qualify for World Cups in a CONCACAF group that lacks the quality of European competition. They laugh at our domestic league, equating it to the second or third divisions of European football.  And they discount our incredible achievements in the women’s game where we have won two World Cups and four Olympic gold medals.

But it’s all good.

Because we, as Americans, know it’s coming.

We know that soccer is set to explode in America.

Whether its Major League Soccer expanding from 10 clubs in 2004 to 19 in 2012, five Premier League clubs being purchased by American business owners, or the World Cup and Premier League broadcast rights packages tripling in value between offerings, the writing is on the wall: America is on the precipice of becoming a soccer-crazed nation.

And with Tuesday’s announcement that Manchester City and the New York Yankees have combined forces to create New York City Football Club, we have yet another ground-breaking moment in U.S. soccer history.

By forming NYC FC, City and the Yankees have created what is essentially a ‘sister-club’ relationship – an innovative bond between a Premier League and MLS club. The implications are numerous.

First and foremost, it means that two of the world’s richest sports teams, each flush with billions of dollars, now have a vested interest in MLS and U.S. Soccer. This interest will translate to better facilities, coaching, player wages and youth programs. Oh yeah, and that elusive first club academy where players are educated and live together in the mold of La Masia? You better believe that’s now a reality.

(MORE: Why MLS was so focused on New York as the 20th market)

Second, the ‘sister-club’ bond represents a definitive player pipeline between the U.S. and England. That means City’s top youth prospects will spend seasons cutting their teeth in MLS. This will help further reduce the league’s stigma of being a retirement hotbed while providing MLS fans with looks at the future stars of European soccer. But the pipeline won’t just flow one way. With City on board our top homegrown youth products will now have a much greater opportunity to make it in England.

Third, the ‘sister-club’ relationship will do wonders for the NYC FC and City brands. Fans in Manchester will be more likely to support NYC FC while fans in New York will have a Premier League club they feel connected to. This translates into greater exposure for MLS in England and the Premier League in America.

The possibilities are endless. Believe it.

  1. takethelongview - May 21, 2013 at 5:42 PM

    While it is probable (and desirable) that up-and-coming Man City prospects may cut their teeth in MLS, I am not so sure “our top homegrown youth” will get a similar opportunity. Unless, of course, our top homegrown youth also hold passports to the UK or the Commonwealth countries. Certainly for the Premier League, foreign players have to have achieved a level of consistent play with their national team.

    Unless the the UK’s work permit rules differ for loans to England’s second (and lower) divisions, it seems likely such opportunities would be limited to training stints. Useful perhaps, but not precisely “cutting one’s teeth.” So are the rules different below the Prem? How did DeMerit get his work permit with no national team experience? (Or had he acquired that independently of any soccer interest?)

    • mdac1012 - May 21, 2013 at 6:10 PM

      Demerit had a Danish grandfather so he was able to work do to European Unon rules.

      • takethelongview - May 21, 2013 at 9:03 PM

        That tends to support my point that the movement of unproven players from US to them will be constrained by immigration law in a way that won’t allow for a two-way flow. Only if the up-and-coming player was eligible could NYCFC (or any other MLS team that affiliates itself in some way) ship to an English side. For example, SKC could loan Dom Dwyer out to gain experience because Dwyer is an English citizen. Shared ownership won’t matter between Man City and NYCFC….the citizenship of individual players will.

  2. charliej11 - May 21, 2013 at 10:07 PM

    If you are right…which I am not convinced…We just beat Italy and we won our group last WCup..over England. Screw them if they think they are better than us…they aren’t much better and they are multiple times more stupid.

  3. pf1977 - May 22, 2013 at 9:23 AM

    to play in england (all of the united kingdom actually) if you are from a country outside the european union you are supposed to have played in 75% of your national teams games over the previous two years. if you have a grandparent from a EU country you can get around that.

    you might see some youth team kids training in england but they won’t be on contract over there and won’t be able to play unless they meet the requirements above.

    plus having another MLS club in the same city as an older and longer established MLS club. when the newer MLS club is also owned by a foreign club it is almost like a Chivas USA part 2. i think it would have been smarter to keep teams in different cities to help expand MLS nationally and maybe that would also help with the TV ratings. minnesota, detroit, st. louis, san diego, phoenix, miami, orlando, atlanta, etc etc. i mean, the entire southeast is devoid of a team.

  4. joeyt360 - May 22, 2013 at 7:04 PM

    Actually, there’s a “special talent” exception to those rules for players with a lot of potential but who are not old enough to have the requisite NT caps. We’ve just never had a player good enough at a young enough age to get one of those. But that’s how a player like Jan Obi Mikel first got into the Premier League.

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