NEW YORK — Manchester City FC have grand plans for the newest expansion team in Major League Soccer, New York City FC.
"Our first idea and our first objective is to bring to New York the best football club that we're able to produce," said Manchester City CEO Ferran Soriano. "And that means using all our expertise, our scouting network all over the world and also our players."
Soriano said that the club will bring to bear all its resources to ensure the club is successful.
"Obviously we're going to make extensive use of our resources and knowledge, not only in Manchester but globally," Soriano said. "The teams are going to have synergies all over, from the sports point of view and commercial point of view. We're lucky the name is very similar and the teams might look similar, but this is something we'll be working on in the coming months."
To achieve the club's objectives, Manchester City partnered with the New York Yankees. The soccer club and the baseball powerhouse already have a partnership through the Yankees' Legends Hospitality arm at the Etihad Stadium, and Man. City will play a friendly against Chelsea FC at Yankee Stadium this Saturday.
"We believe we know how to manage a soccer club and the New York Yankees are one of the top sports organizations in the world and are true New Yorkers," Soriano said. "In the spirit of what we want to do here, we want to be in New York permanently. We have a long-term bet for soccer in the United States and New York and we couldn't have a better long-term partner."
Soriano says that a "local organization of high-caliber people" will be assembled and unveiled for New York City FC in the coming days and months.
"We don't know yet if it's going to be America, South America or English," Soriano said. "The first thing we will do is appoint the director of football because in the next 18 months we need to create a team from scratch."
As far as the players are concerned, Soriano said that movement of players from Manchester City to New York City FC is something that "might happen organically" but that "it's not the purpose."
The goal is for the team to have its own identity even if he says "sky blue" is an option for the new team's colors.
"The rules of MLS are very clear and we will respect them," Soriano said. "These may be players that come from Manchester, but they might be players that also come from Latin America where we have a very good scouting network. Naturally, I think it will happen that some Manchester players will play in New York. But the target is to find the right players for the New York team."
Soriano said he plans to take advantage of the roster rules as much as possible.
"We will have the opportunity to have three Designated Players, and we will use that," he said. "But this is about winning and developing a competitive team that will win. There is no marketing strategy without winning. So we will bring the players that will help us win."
The idea of winning was front and center for Soriano as he spoke to the media. He was very clear that NYCFC are not an attempt to extend the Man. City brand.
"New York City FC is going to have its own personality and a team on its own," he said. "Branding is not our objective. The objective is football, developing a good football product [in a place] where there is demand. This is a 19 million inhabitant city. How many football clubs do we have in London? Six. There is only one here in New Jersey so the opportunity is here in New York and now."