David Villa. Photo: Elizabeth Shrier
Who they are:
The only Major League Soccer team that plays within the City’s limits. Last season’s club had the second-best record in the league, making the playoffs and advancing to the conference semifinals. English Premier League soccer powerhouse Manchester City and baseball’s Yankees co-own the team.
Faces of the franchise:
Striker , the captain of the squad since its inception in 2015, was league runner-up in goals scored last year (22) and remains NYCFC’s most feared attacker. He gets plenty of support from the midfield, including fellow international Maxi Moralez, who led the team in assists; Alex Ring, a defense-first stalwart with Bundesliga experience; and fan favorite Tommy McNamara.
The team has continued to expand its international appeal by adding players from all over (Italian legend Andrea Pirlo and England’s Frank Lampard both finished their careers here); in the off-season, they acquired Ghanaian midfielder Ebenezer Ofori, French defender Cédric Hountondji and Norwegian striker Jo Inge Berget. But it’s designated player Jesus Medina, a 20-year-old attacking midfielder from Paraguay, who appears to be the jewel of the new signings.
Random bit of trivia:
When Spain and France met in the Round of 16 at the 2006 World Cup, France won 3–1. Spain’s scorer that day was Villa, while the game winning goal for France was put in by Patrick Vieira, NYCFC’s current coach.
Take the B, D or 4 trains to the Yankee Stadium-161st St. station, or Metro-North express trains from Grand Central Terminal to the Yankees-E. 153rd St. station. Ticket prices per game are generally $40–200.