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Yankees, Manchester City to go in together on an MLS team

May 21, 2013, 11:33 AM EDT

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People who know a bit about EPL soccer sometimes make comparisons between the big English soccer teams and the big major league baseball teams in order to explain the dynamic of that league to we soccer ignoramuses.

Like, I once heard someone say Man U. was like the Yankees. Or maybe Arsenal. And Chelsea was the Red Sox. Or maybe Liverpool was. I can’t remember and I kinda don’t care, actually. Like every other time I’ve sat and watched more than five minutes of an EPL game I was in a pub and the guy explaining this all to me was over-emphasizing the words “football,” “kit,” “pitch,” and “match” to make it abundantly clear he wasn’t saying “soccer,” “jersey,” “field,” an “game.”  I’ve sorta liked EPL when I’ve watched it, but man, those guys who make it a point to have you know how into it they are drive me nuts.

Anyway, this is some meat for those conversations:

The New York Yankees are going into the soccer business.

The Yankees are partnering with Manchester City to own Major League Soccer’s 20th team, which will be called New York City Football Club and plans to start play in the 2015 season.

Manchester City, owned by Sheik Mansour bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, will be the majority owner of the team.

During that conversation, held at the faux Irish pub in a suburban Ohio mall, the guy to my right will loudly and conspicuously order “a pint of bitter,” and then frown a bit when the suburban Ohio bartender rolls his eyes and gives him whatever they have.

Oh, here he is now.

  1. dwishinsky - May 21, 2013 at 11:37 AM

    At least Fado has Carlsberg!

    • APBA Guy - May 21, 2013 at 5:01 PM

      OMG, a refugee from Athletics Nation!

      • pjmarn6 - May 21, 2013 at 10:06 PM

        Finally Craig has admitted what we all have known for a long time. He is an ignoramus.

  2. jm91rs - May 21, 2013 at 11:52 AM

    New York is going to have two mls teams? The mls must not suck as much as I thought.

    • cgerstl - May 21, 2013 at 12:00 PM

      It’s “MLS”, not “the MLS”.

      and yes our league has been growing for quite some time. We now have 19 (soon to be 20 with NYCFC) teams, with only 3 of those teams playing in non-soccer stadiums (DC United in RFK Stadium, New England in Gillette Stadium, Seattle in CenturyLink). Our average attendance the last two seasons (17,872 in 2011, 18,807 in 2012) were both higher than the NBA and NHL, and if Seattle Sounders FC were an MLB team, they would have the 4th highest attendance in Major League Baseball.

      TV ratings for MLS are still lagging behind, but they are improving rapidly, particularly with MLS signing a TV agreement with NBC to put games on NBCSN and NBC.

      Bottom line, MLS has earned a spot among the major sports leagues in the US and Canada. It may not be NFL or NBA level, but it atleast is NHL level.

      • mgdsquiggy17 - May 21, 2013 at 12:08 PM

        Agreed with everything you said however It’s not NHL level either. The NHL does a lot better then you think (except for the handful of Southern/Central teams). It is making traction and possibly will end up taking over for the NHL in the future but for now it is clearly behind the NHL in revenue, attendance, viewership, etc. If there is ever a good infusion of American born talent (specifically if all the record numbers of youth playing turn into legit professional players) then I could see this happening. The NHL is still the best of the best while MLS is by no means the best of the best.

      • jm91rs - May 21, 2013 at 12:25 PM

        Jeez, I get yelled out for not putting THE in front of things like Ohio State, or for putting them in front of things like mls. Chill out.

        I’ve attended several Columbus Crew games, the atmosphere was definitely lacking, but I guess it’s either doing better in other places or they’re making enough money that it doesn’t matter that the place wasn’t rocking.

        It won’t be on the level of the NHL until the best of the best start playing MLS soccer, but glad to hear it’s doing well enough to expand.

      • kevinbnyc - May 21, 2013 at 1:21 PM

        I think you just (partially) proved that soccer fans are kind of douchy.

    • joecsports - May 21, 2013 at 3:47 PM

      I am surprised that ManU is the team in EPL that partnered with Yankees. Arsenel has their games on the YES network, so I guess ManU is headed towards YES. I can’t see how the Yankees can run a fan friendly MLS team with the way they treat their own baseball fans. It is the least family friendly ballpark in America with outrageous parking prices ($35 or more) and even more outlandish pricing for tickets and food. Maybe the Yankees have their eyes on creating an EPL expansion franchise in NYC? Everything they do, is about making globs of cash quick. Bet their baseball season ticket holders are held hostage, unless they buy MLS tickets. They should call the team the “Vampires” for their attempt to suck as much cash from fans as possible.

      • asimonetti88 - May 21, 2013 at 4:25 PM

        Manchester United and Manchester City are two separate teams. Man City is the team partnering with the Yankees.

      • joecsports - May 21, 2013 at 4:59 PM

        Sorry. I know Manchester City is a different team. I do watch EPL…

      • asimonetti88 - May 21, 2013 at 6:48 PM

        Well you know more than I do. I did not know that Arsenal games were on YES.

  3. papalurchdxb - May 21, 2013 at 11:59 AM

    More ego massaging for Shk Mansour, at least he’ll probably make a profit out of this though instead of blowing $500m like he has on Manchester City.

  4. multiplemiggs - May 21, 2013 at 12:22 PM

    As a City fan living in NY this really excited me at first until I heard the Yankees name pop up. They are an absolute BORE of a franchise. NYC FC is great but I am praying to god they dont put the team in aweful navy blue pinstripes or something and I pray NYC FC wears the TRUE New York City colors Orange and Blue (NYC official government flag). As for the baseball to EPL analogies I know you said you dont care but in case others do, Manchester United = Yankees, Arsenal = Angels, Chelsea or Liverpool = Red Sox, Manchester City = Mets.

    • jm91rs - May 21, 2013 at 12:29 PM

      If Liverpool = Red Sox, which player from the Red Sox is Luis Suarez? Great player, major scum bag. Unbelievable to me that you can viciously bite someone like that on the field (yep, I said field, as that’s what it is called where I play) and ever be allowed back on your team (club, whatever).

    • papalurchdxb - May 21, 2013 at 12:31 PM

      Liverpool definitely = Red Sox. Chelsea don’t have enough true history to make that grade. As a Birmingham fan, any team with money just depresses me! I’d have maybe thought Man City would have been the old Florida Marlins? – won it all once and then struggled?! ;)

      • scoocha - May 21, 2013 at 1:10 PM

        Other than the fact that Liverpool is owned by Fenway Sports Group, by your logic they wouldn’t be the Red Sox. Liverpool has finished first many many times, whereas the Red Sox have won 2 titles in 95 years.

      • papalurchdxb - May 22, 2013 at 12:19 AM

        Yes, and Liverpool haven’t won the league in over 20 years either which is getting there in terms of a fall from grace – always the bridesmaid, never the bride these days.

  5. sdelmonte - May 21, 2013 at 1:10 PM

    Figures. The Wilpons talk for years about bringing a team to Flushing, and the Yankees get the team. No way that a Yankee-financed club ever plays in Queens.

    Gotta wonder where they will put the stadium, though. And who pays for it.

  6. adge84 - May 21, 2013 at 1:35 PM

    So do they now switch the redbulls to nj instead of ny. I mean they play in jersey anyway so it makes sense. Or are they now going to have two teams playing in red bull arena both undoubtedly named ny. Bring back the metrostars.

  7. apmn - May 21, 2013 at 2:18 PM

    Ugh. That guy is never wearing deodorant, either.

  8. ditto65 - May 21, 2013 at 4:05 PM

    What is “soccer”?

    • jimeejohnson - May 21, 2013 at 5:25 PM

      The world’s most popular sport, by far.

      • ditto65 - May 21, 2013 at 5:28 PM

        Sorry – I am only familiar with America’s pastime. Which is why I am on a baseball blog.

  9. APBA Guy - May 21, 2013 at 5:09 PM

    OG always calls it “backandforthandbackandforth ball”. Except he has more “back-and-forths”. I don’t have the patience for that many.

    Anyway, I like the EPL because their season is really underway after the baseball season ends and their climactic final weekend (just last weekend) is right when MLB has enough games in for some story lines to develop. Also, the EPL skill level is fantastic and they have absurd, pampered players, just like MLB, with dramas from uber-rich owners and lots of grasping for publicly funded stadium improvements, plus the occasional referee controversy. It’s all very familiar, but with an accent.

  10. multiplemiggs - May 21, 2013 at 6:23 PM

    Great points made here. I am VERY unsure about a Queens stadium now that the Yankees are involved. They will most likely play in Yankee Stadium before the new one is built or finished (wherever and whenever that may be). As for the Red Bulls I can GUARANTEE you that Governor Christie will push to have the name changed to New Jersey Red Bulls AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. This would cover a small portion of the damge done to the fans there when the Nets left for Brooklyn until NJ can get another NBA team (as Christie has promised).

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