It's not Orlando City or even the New York Cosmos. As has been speculated for several weeks, the 20th Major League Soccer franchise will be the Manchester City backed expansion club to be named New York City FC. The big surprise in the announcement is the involvement of the New York Yankees as a part owner with Manchester City. Don Garber and MLS big wigs have been attempting to shoehorn a second New York area franchise into the league for some time now and they've finally got their wish.
Having the New York Yankees on board as a 25% owner puts another spin on the proceedings that should elevate the level of attention afforded to MLS in the nation's biggest market. The $100 million dollar expansion fee is a boost to the existing 19 clubs but the biggest plus may be the added anticipation of an expansion team in New York conveniently slated to begin play the season after the current TV deals expire at the end of the 2014 season. This could mean greater bargaining power in efforts to secure a more lucrative tv deal going forward despite less than impressive ratings. Garber and MLS got everything they wanted with the exception of a stadium deal. NYCFC may play at Yankee Stadium while a deal for a permanent home is worked out.
On the negative side, fans will surely be subjected to merciless and nonstop NYCFC hype via MLSsoccer.com for the next several years. Expect a constant barrage of rivalry talk and manufactured excitement that would make the Seattle Sounders feel neglected.
The addition of NYCFC will likely mean some reshuffling of the conferences with Houston probably moving back to the West.
The Fire will know who they're playing in the third round of the US Open Cup later tonight. The winner of the Charlotte Eagles v Seattle Sounders U-23's match will face the Fire next week. If Charlotte wins the Fire will travel to South Carolina for a game next Wednesday. If Seattle wins the Fire will host them at Toyota Park on Tuesday night.