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New York City FC could be a proving ground for Man City youth

Aug 1, 2014, 9:23 AM EDT

NYCFC Lampard Soccer AP

Manchester City chief executive Ferran Soriano says look out for New York City FC when it kicks off its debut season next year, warning that the new Major League Soccer club isn’t messing around when it comes to its goals as an organization.

“We are building a truly authentic New York team,” Soriano told ESPN. “This is not a Manchester City team, or a brand play or a marketing trick. This is real.”

Part of that reality is that NYCFC could become a place where future Manchester City stars earn their chance at a Premier League job. Soriano said the club could have players begin in MLS before moving onward.

From the BBC:

Manchester City are planning to send young players to develop at their Major League Soccer franchise in the USA.

New York City FC, who signed England midfielder Frank Lampard from Chelsea in July, are owned by Man City and baseball giants New York Yankees.

“We have some bright players. We might ask them to come to New York before they play at Manchester,” City chief executive Ferran Soriano told ESPN.

“This is a team that’s going to play beautiful soccer in New York.”

The philosophy could reap dividends for Manchester City and, in a certain sense, would be good for Major League Soccer. The influx of talent the league would not normally see would draw attention from abroad and help with the branding of the club.

However, there’s a certain “minor league risk” involved with such a concept, as anyone who lives in a AAA baseball or AHL hockey market. When your prized prospect or star player gets scooped back to the big club, it lends an air of illegitimacy to matches, or even a season.

Surely there are ways around this — loans would have to be a season in duration — but there’s a challenge in players not being your team’s players, especially in New York City.

  1. travishenryskid - Aug 1, 2014 at 10:03 AM

    This would definitely be a good thing. Don’t pretend you are something bigger than you are. If future stars are getting their shot here, it’s a good thing. And it will also further expose Americans on other teams to the BPL scouts. Just imagine if the next wave of BPL mega stars played here and then made it big. It would give the league a major boost.

  2. christophershearin - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:19 PM

    how is this going to work with the absurd allocation rights MLS has in place? Not every player for NYCFC can be a DP. Say Man City wants to send a player out to NYCFC for a while, he would be subject to the allocation rights currently in play.

    • mdac1012 - Aug 1, 2014 at 3:43 PM

      Not every player is subject to the allocation. Americans and players (American or foreign) returning to MLS are subject to the allocation procedure. Foreign players who have never played in MLS don’t go through the allocation process. This would certainly apply to any young players sent over from Man City.

  3. charliej11 - Aug 1, 2014 at 2:52 PM

    I don’t get it…at all.

    How does it work in the salary cap ?
    How does it work if another MLS team wants the player more ?
    Man City only does biz with one team ?

  4. the0verheadwire - Aug 1, 2014 at 3:26 PM

    The bigger thing I think for US Soccer is that he told Men in Blazers that they are going to set up a youth academy as well. That means that americans will have a better chance to get into the European system if they are good enough. It seems like all of this is a youth development strategy as much as it is a business move.

  5. renhoekk2 - Aug 1, 2014 at 4:42 PM

    Do people realize how hard it is to break into the Man City squad? It’s not like these guys are going to be playing in NYFC for one season than Man City the next.

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