Cue up "Empire State of Mind" by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys -- or maybe "New York, New York" by Frank Sinatra if you feel so inclined -- because MLS finally has a team in New York City.
On Tuesday, MLS announced the creation of New York City Football Club, which will become the league's 20th franchise. The team will officially join the league during the 2015 season and the deal brings together a partnership between Premier League giant Manchester City, MLS, and baseball's New York Yankees.
Following LA Galaxy training on Tuesday, New York native and LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena offered his thoughts on the new franchise.
"I think that it's great. That's where I'm from, that part of New York and it's a great spot for a new franchise," Arena said. "It's an area that supports the sport of soccer.The venues that they've discussed in Queens [Flushing Meadows-Corona Park] is a good one, but if that falls through then I'm sure that there will be some other options. I know that Belmont Park [in Long Island] was a possibility for the [NASL's New York] Cosmos, maybe it can be a possibility for an MLS team. If they get a suitable venue, it's going to be fabulous addition to the league."
The primary question that surrounds NYCFC is just where the team will actually be located. The team will off in 2015 in a temporary location as a permanent home is constructed -- Yankee Stadium is being floated as a potential option -- and may stay there for two to three years. But as NYCFC look for a venue, it certainly doesn't hurt to have the clout of the New York Yankees behind them, a team that is dear to Arena's heart.
"When you get the Yankees behind it, there is not a better organization in sports," said Arena, who attended the Yankees game against the Toronto Blue Jays last Thursday. "The Yankees are the Yankees. There's nothing like the Yankees."
What are your thoughts on the new franchise? Planning a trip to New York City around 2015?
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The LA Galaxy returned from their three game, nine-day road trip on Sunday evening after their 1-0 defeat to the New York Red Bulls. Rather than a simple "Takeoffs and Landings" post, I decided to go in a different direction and take a look by the numbers at LA's trip:
*1: number of goals scored by Gyasi Zardes, who scored his first career MLS goal in LA's 4-1 defeat to Vancouver Whitecaps FC
* 3: number of points earned over the three game span.
*4: The number of goals scored by the Galaxy on the road trip and also the number of players who played 90 minutes in each of the three games (Omar Gonzalez, A.J. DeLaGarza, Carlo Cudicini, and Landon Donovan).
*6: The number of goals conceded by the Galaxy on the road trip.
*10: The number of minutes that Juninho played prior to exiting LA's defeat to the Red Bulls with a right shin injury.
*16: The number of players who played in at least one of the three games.
*30: The number of minutes that Rafael Garcia had played in the MLS Regular season prior to LA's defeat to the Red Bulls.
*80: The number of minutes that Garcia played in the defeat to the Red Bulls.
*201: The number of Regular Season appearances for Landon Donovan in an LA Galaxy uniform. Donovan made his 200 regular season appearance in LA's win over Philadelphia and is just five away from tying Mauricio Cienfuegos for third all-time on LA's regular season appearance list.
*6083: An approximation of the miles that the Galaxy traveled during their road trip. The list includes miles traveled by plane and bus.
LA Galaxy Homegrown right back Oscar Sorto has been named to the 22-man U.S. U-20 squad for the upcoming Toulon Tournament in France.
The tournament takes place from May 28 to June 8th and serves as the final tune-up before this summer's U-20 World Cup in Turkey. Joining Sorto will be LA Galaxy Academy alums Javan Torre and Jeffrey Payeras, who were members of a training camp at The Home Depot Center in April.
One omission, however, is LA forward Jose Villarreal, who has been a regular for the U-20's throughout their qualification campaign, possibly due to his status with the Galaxy first team. Although not called up, Villarreal is expected to make the squad for the upcoming World Cup.
The complete roster is below...
GOALKEEPERS (2): Cody Cropper (Southampton FC/England), Kendall McIntosh (Santa Clara Univ.)
DEFENDERS (7): Eric Miller (Creighton Univ.), Juan Pablo Ocegueda (CD Guadalajara/Mexico), Shane O'Neill (Colorado Rapids), Jeffrey Payeras (CSD Municipal/Guatemala), Caleb Stanko (SC Freiburg/Germany), Oscar Sorto (LA Galaxy), Javan Torre (UCLA)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Marlon Hairston (Univ. of Louisville), Benji Joya (Santos Laguna/Mexico), Mikey Lopez (Sporting Kansas City), Collin Martin (Wake Forest Univ.), Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew)
FORWARDS (6): Daniel Cuevas (Santos Laguna/Mexico), Daniel Garcia (Univ. of North Carolina), Alonso Hernandez (CF Monterrey/Mexico), Alfred Koroma (Univ. of Akron), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders Academy.), Victor Pineda (Chicago Fire)
Courtesy of LAGalaxy.com, Robbie Keane discusses the LA Galaxy's 1-0 defeat to the New York Red Bulls.
Watch the video below...
HARRISON, N.J. –Landon Donovan grew quite familiar with Tim Cahill’s grit and nose for goal during his two successful loan stints at Everton. But on Sunday, Donovan was given a rude reminder of Cahill’s skills as his former teammate scored the game-winning-goal in the New York Red Bulls 1-0 win over the LA Galaxy.
On a free kick in the 91st minute, Cahill was able to nod a header past LA goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini to seal three points for the Red Bulls. But the goal was just the icing on the cake for Cahill, who was statistically dominant against the Galaxy.
Cahill bossed the midfield by completing 46 of his 54 passes and making 12 recoveries to help the Red Bulls win the possession battle.
“We all talked about all week the things that [Cahill is] good at and the thing that he’s best at, we still couldn’t figure out and he made us pay. I thought he played well,” Donovan said. “I think his leadership is great and I was very impressed with at Everton, I’m impressed with how he has done this year. I think that he’s a fantastic player and he scored a good goal today.”
HARRISON, N.J. – Omar Gonzalez’s contract with MLS expires in December, but the LA Galaxy center back admitted that he has had some talks with the Galaxy about potentially extending his stay in MLS.
Gonzalez is in the midst of yet another strong season with LA and currently appears poised to become a regular on the U.S. National Team after starting their last three World Cup Qualifiers. Interest is expected to be high for the former MLS Defender of the Year, who revealed prior to U.S. World Cup qualifier against Mexico in March that Mexican giant Club America has kept tabs on him over the past year. Keeping Gonzalez on the squad is expected to be a top priority for the Galaxy and according to a report that surfaced in April, LA is not averse to making him a Designated Player.
Following LA’s 1-0 defeat to the New York Red Bulls on Sunday, Gonzalez admitted that he has spoken to LA about a new deal.
“There has been some talks [with LA]. I went to lunch one day and started that process, but that’s about as far as it’s gone,” Gonzalez told reporters. “Right now, I’m just worried about playing and I’ll let my agent take care of that. Hopefully, we can figure something out.”
Pleased to hear that Gonzalez has spoken to the Galaxy about a new deal? Should LA make him a Designated Player?
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The highlights of the LA Galaxy's 1-0 defeat to the New York Red Bulls are below...
HARRISON, N.J. – LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena discussed the LA Galaxy’s disappointing 1-0 defeat to the New York Red Bulls.
Arena’s quotes are below…
(On the goal by Tim Cahill…)
ARENA: “That’s not good. That play tonight shouldn’t happen. That’s 90% goalkeeper ball there.”
(On what is happening late in the game…)
ARENA: “You saw that goal; we had plays the other way to get a goal too…You have to make a play; they made a play, we didn’t; that’s the difference in the game. That game should be one point. That’s a real good effort; we played pretty well for the third game in a week traveling all over the country. I’m disappointed for our players because we certainly played well enough to get out of here with a point.”
(On Rafael Garcia’s performance…)
ARENA: “Solid job. He did a good job for his game with extended minutes.”
(On the foul by Gyasi Zardes that set up the free kick being a “rookie mistake”…)
ARENA: “Well, the referee didn’t have to call it either. It was maybe not a foul, but we just have to make the play on the restart. That ball was headed in from four or five yards out. That’s our goalkeeper’s ball.”
(On the road trip…)
ARENA: “I’m very disappointed not having a minimum of four points in the road trip even though it was a good effort from our guys. Our guys played pretty well (today) given the fact that most of them were pushed for the third game in a week. I can’t argue with their effort.”
In the latest edition of View from the Booth, I analyze the New York Red Bulls match with Joe Tutino.
Watch the video below...
David Beckham's storied career ended on Saturday as he exited in the latter stages of Paris St-Germain's 3-1 victory Brest.
Beckham donned the captain's armband for the match and was visibly emotional as he stepped off the field in the 81st minute.
Watch his exit below...