Man City, Yankees partnership a home run for MLS | Soccer | CBC Sports

MLSMan City, Yankees partnership a home run for MLS

Posted: Wednesday, May 22, 2013 | 02:56 PM

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New York Yankees president Randy Levine, left, Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber, centre, and Manchester City CEO Ferran Soriano were on hand to announce the birth of NYCFC on Tuesday. (Mary Altaffer/Associated) New York Yankees president Randy Levine, left, Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber, centre, and Manchester City CEO Ferran Soriano were on hand to announce the birth of NYCFC on Tuesday. (Mary Altaffer/Associated)

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The financial resources of New York City FC, the new MLS expansion team, will be vast. Plus the team will benefit from Manchester City's new youth academy and the New York Yankees' marketing expertise.
It's a major development for Major League Soccer. Manchester City and the New York Yankees joining forces to create the league's 20th team.

New York City FC will begin play in 2015.

Talk about vast resources. Man City is owned by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Sheikh Mansour is worth more than $30 billion, which makes him the wealthiest owner in world football.

There'll be no problem financing big names to fill those three designated player spots that MLS allows.

Still, attracting NYCFC's equivalent of a Thierry Henry or David Beckham is not what's most exciting about the Manchester City connection. Man City's new youth academy is. When construction is complete in 2015, the Etihad Campus is expected to be the top training facility on the face of the planet. It's based on Barcelona's La Masia academy.

And what better place for the next Joe Hart, Micah Richards or Adam Johnson to cut his teeth in the professional ranks than at a de facto farm team like NYCFC?

Major League Soccer has long suffered from not being able to attract top young players. The Man City/ NYCFC model could help change that.

And young talent won't just be coming from the other side of the Atlantic. Man City has already constructed soccer facilities for youth in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami and other major American cities. It stands to reason that Canadian cities can't be far behind.

And how will all these young stars fill seats in a city where the competition for the sports entertainment dollar is as stiff as any place on earth?

That's where the New York Yankees come in: The most famous team in baseball lending its expertise to market NYCFC to New Yorkers.

Sounds like a home run for MLS.

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