New York City FC was officially unveiled as Major League Soccer's 20th team on Tuesday. They are slated to begin play in 2015 at a still undecided location. They will begin their inaugural season in a temporary home.
While the announcement has been expected for quite some time, there was a new wrinkle added: The New York Yankees will be part of the ownership group that is led by England's Manchester City. New York City FC is not a private venture by Sheikh Mansour, as previously reported, but will be run by Manchester City itself.
"We proudly welcome two of the most prestigious professional global sports organizations to Major League Soccer," MLS Commissioner Don Garber said in a press release. "This is a transformational development that will elevate the league to new heights in this country. The New York area is home to more than 19 million people, and we look forward to an intense crosstown rivalry between New York City Football Club and the New York Red Bulls that will captivate this great city."
Up until now, MLS had been publicly suggesting that an official announcement on a 20th team would be dependent on approval of plans on their Queens stadium project. While New York City FC has not abandoned those efforts, they have taken over negotiations and may choose to explore other possibilities. They did re-commit to finding a home within city limits, though.
"New York City FC will have a permanent home in the City in the great traditions of New York sports and world soccer -- a home that must be a sports, commercial and civic success," said Ferran Soriano, Manchester City's CEO. "But in considering any stadium site, we will listen first. This is what we have always done in Manchester and what we will do in New York. Only in this way, can the Club truly represent the City whose name it will carry."