Claudio Reyna’s relationship with Manchester City just came full circle.
The English Premier League club announced on Wednesday at a press conference in Manhattan that the former City and U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder is the new Director of Football Operations for Major League Soccer’s newest team, New York City FC.
“Having had the privilege of playing both for my country here in the US and for Manchester City FC in England, I could not have hoped for a more tailored-made opportunity in soccer,” Reyna said in a statement. “I am incredibly excited to again wear City’s ‘Sky Blue’ as part of the expansion of the MLS and the growth of soccer in the United States, and am honored to have been offered this opportunity.
“With a large fan base through the New York area, prime television rights and distribution, sponsorship commitments, and the Yankees as a US partner, the New York City Football Club has everything in place to succeed.”
The New Jersey native, who made 87 appearances at Manchester City between 2002-2007, was most recently the U.S. Youth Soccer Technical Director, overseeing the numerous youth national teams representing the United States at international tournaments.
What do you make of this news? Excited about the Reyna hiring? Do you see any other New York area soccer legends joining the front office?
Share your thoughts below.
By DAN KARELL
Against the odds, four Premier Development League (PDL) sides came through victorious in the second round of the U.S. Open Cup, defeating professional opposition on Tuesday evening.
FC Tucson outlasted the NASL’s San Antonio Scorpions on the road on penalty kicks, winning 4-3 after the score was level at 2-2 following regulation and extra time. The Des Moines Menace took down Minnesota United of the NASL on the road, 1-0, thanks to a goal from Brandon Fricke in the 86th minute, while the Ocean City Nor’easters defeated the USL-Pro Pittsburgh Riverhounds, 1-0, at home.
Finally, Reading United defeated nearby rivals Harrisburg City Islanders of USL-Pro by a score of 1-0.
Dreams for amateur sides Icon FC (4-1 defeat to USL-Pro Richmond Kickers), Dearborn Stars (4-1 defeat after extra time to USL-Pro Dayton Dutch Lions), and the Georgia Revolution (3-2 defeat to NASL Atlanta Silverbacks) were put to an end with losses on Tuesday.
The four PDL sides who advanced will face Major League Soccer opposition in the third round of the competition next week. FC Tucson will visit the Houston Dynamo, the Des Moines Menace will face Sporting Kansas City, the Ocean City Nor’easters will take on the Philadelphia Union, and Reading United will play the New York Red Bulls.
Here’s a closer look at all the action from the second round of the U.S. Open Cup:
Villyan Bijev’s international future is officially up in the air.
Bijev, a 20-year-old forward who currently is in Liverpool’s system, has been called up by Bulgaria’s Under-21 team for a pair of Euro U-21 qualifiers vs. Andorra in early June. Should Bijev play in either of those matches, he would be provisionally cap-tied to Bulgaria and would need to file a one-time switch in order to play again for a U.S. Men’s National Team at any level.
Bijev has previously represented both the U.S. U-20 and U-18 teams, but has not been called in for recent camps by U-20 head coach Tab Ramos. Bijev reportedly turned down a call-up from Bulgaria’s U-21 side last year, but it appears he has now had a change of heart as to which nation to represent internationally.
What do you think of Bijev being called in for Bulgaria’s upcoming U-21 qualifiers? Still confident that he will eventually represent the United States? Indifferent about it all?
Share your thoughts below.
By DAN KARELL
Neymar looks to be accelerating his move abroad.
After years of promising that he wouldn’t leave until after the 2014 World Cup on home soil, the Brazilian starlet is moving closer to a move to Barcelona this July, according to reports out of Brazil.
According to the reports, Neymar signed a deal with Barcelona last week, and could make his final appearance for Santos on Sunday in the side’s first domestic match of the season against Flamengo. The 21-year-old is set to join up with the Brazil squad for friendly matches and then the Confederations Cup starting on June 2.
The report also states that Neymar’s release clause on his current contract at Santos is more than $84 million, but that Barcelona has met it, and the Santos board could approve the deal as early as Wednesday. Barcelona star Lionel Messi is reported to have said this week that he would welcome a move for the Brazilian forward.
Since coming into the first team in 2009, Neymar has gone on to win the Paulista State Championship three times, the Brazilian Cup in 2010, and the Copa Libertadores in 2011. In this season’s Paulista tournament campaign, Neymar scored 12 goals in 18 appearances.
Here are some more stories to get your day started:
Photo by ISIphotos.com
By FRANCO PANIZO
The U.S. Men’s National Team will be one player deeper when they assemble for camp next week, as head coach Jurgen Klinsmann added Brad Evans to the roster on Tuesday.
Klinsmann called in Evans for the U.S.’s upcoming training camp ahead of their busy five-game stretch from late May to mid-June, raising the total amount of players on the roster to 30. The Seattle Sounders midfielder has been called in previously by Klinsmann and used as cover for right back, where Evans played in the second half of January’s scoreless draw with Canada.
The U.S. convene for camp early next week and get their busy summer underway with a friendly against Belgium on May 29.
What do you think of Evans being called in? Would you have preferred to see someone else get selected? Wondering what led to him being summoned now?
Share your thoughts below.
By FRANCO PANIZO
The arrival of New York City FC will be beneficial to all, including the New York Red Bulls.
That was an underlying message from MLS commissioner Don Garber during a Tuesday conference call in which he discussed NYCFC joining the league as its 20th team in 2015. The addition of NYCFC is the culmination of several years of hard work by the league, but for many fans and pundits it is also a move that comes at the detriment of the New Jersey-based Red Bulls.
The Red Bulls have struggled to make a serious dent in the sports landscape in the New York market, with inconsistent attendance at games and an empty trophy cabinet at the heart of their problems. Those issues have instilled a belief in some that neighborly competition for attention in a market saturated with pro sports teams will be damning to the Red Bulls’ fanbase and organization.
Garber, however, does not see it that way.
“The view that we have is that there are more than enough people here to be fans of both teams,” said Garber. “There’s 19 million people in this region. We have lots of fans for the Red Bulls, but we don’t have 19 million fans. There’s more than enough people who can be either excited about being fans of both clubs or be converted from perhaps following another team from around the world to be a fan of one or both of those teams.”
There has been no shortage of evidence of MLS pushing hard for a second team in the New York metro area in recent years, but Garber said Tuesday that the league has been working on this project for quite some time. In fact, Garber stated that MLS has had the idea of fielding two New York teams since the league opened in 1996 and that the Red Bulls were cognizant of this even before they even bought into the league in 2006.
By THOMAS FLOYD
WASHINGTON — As Chris Pontius wrapped up training at RFK Stadium on Tuesday, he got wind of the news that his D.C. United side will be gaining a new Eastern Conference rival come 2015.
Then he found out New York City FC will be owned by Manchester City and the New York Yankees.
“Oh, Jesus,” he said. “So there will be no money in that team, right?”
The reverberations of MLS’ game-changing announcement were felt a few hours down I-95 in the nation’s capital, where United have long enjoyed a heated feud with the New York Red Bulls.
While coach Ben Olsen wasn’t an immediate fan of the NYCFC moniker (“Unbelievable — that’s some acronym.”), he was happy to add a fourth club to a mid-Atlantic region that not so long ago featured just United and the Red Bulls.
“I’d rather have it there than the Pacific Northwest,” Olsen quipped. “It’s an easy train ride for us.”
Added captain Dwayne De Rosario, a former Red Bull: “It will be interesting to see a game actually in New York, in the city. It’s a very passionate soccer community in New York, so to have another team, I think it makes sense. It’s big enough.”
Here are some more notes from RFK Stadium on Tuesday:
By DAN KARELL
It may have taken 18 years to become a reality, but Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber finally accomplished one of the league’s original goals.
MLS announced on Tuesday that the newest franchise in the league will be New York City Football Club, putting a second team in the New York metro area. The team will be run by Manchester City FC, with the New York Yankees taking an active minority role in the club as well.
Before the team even gets on the field in 2015, there are plenty of obstacles to overcome including building a stadium, working within the MLS salary constraints when fielding a team, and creating a fan base from which to build upon.
On the stadium front, MLS has been in negotiations with the city of New York for over a year in acquiring parkland in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park to build a soccer-specific stadium, but have yet to finalize the transfer of land.
By IVES GALARCEP
It is that time again. Time to talk all things soccer in the latest SBI Live Q&A.
Today’s major announcement of the 20th MLS team being New York City FC has sent major shockwaves through the American soccer community and is raising plenty of questions about how it will affect the league and current New York-area club the New York Red Bulls.
There is more to talk about than just NYC FC though. With the U.S. Men’s National Team prepping for the busiest time of the year, we have a bunch to discuss on that front as well. Then of course there is the current MLS season.
Get your questions ready and send them my way and I will try to answer/discuss as many of them as I can over the next few hours.
Join us (SBI Live Q&A is after the jump):
By DAN KARELL
With the FIFA international dates coming closer, and national teams in the CONCACAF region preparing for either Hexagonal play, friendly matches, or both, numerous Major League Soccer players have been chosen to take part.
Jamaica has called up Portland Timbers duo Donovan Ricketts and Ryan Johnson along with Vancouver Whitecaps forward Darren Mattocks to a 12-day training camp, where the Jamaican side will play Tottenham Hotspurs in a friendly match on Wednesday and then The Bahamas on May 31, before three World Cup qualifiers in June.
San Jose Earthquakes pair Marvin Chavez and Victor Bernardez are two of four MLS players chosen by Honduras for a friendly match against Israel on June 2, and then qualifying matches against Costa Rica, Jamaica, and the United States. Mario Martinez of the Seattle Sounders and Jerry Bengtson are also part of the squad.
El Salvador has called in Chivas USA defender Steve Purdy for a training camp and friendly match against Venezuela on Wednesday, while Haiti has selected Sporting Kansas City duo Mechack Jerome and Peterson Joseph for friendly matches against Spain and Italy.
Here are some more stories to get catch you up around the league:
Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS- Chivas USA, MLS- DC United, MLS- Montreal Impact, MLS- New England Revolution, MLS- Portland Timbers, MLS- San Jose Earthquakes, MLS- Seattle Sounders, MLS- Sporting Kansas City, MLS- Vancouver Whitecaps