NYCFC Offers World Class Structure For Local Talent

NYCFC will provide access to its sporting resources to 8-affiliated NYC-area soccer clubs, offering a clear pathway to professional careers for players and coaches alike
by Nick Chavez   |   Monday, April 21, 2014

Blue City – column on New York City FC (NYCFC) & the NYC area soccer scene.

New York City Football Club announced a partnership with 8 youth soccer organizations located throughout the greater New York City area, nominating these organizations as “affiliate clubs.”

The 8 affiliate clubs are:

- Blau-Weiss Gottschee 
- Downtown United Soccer Club 
- Manhattan Soccer Club 
- Metropolitan Oval
- New York Soccer Club 
- South Bronx United 
- Staten Island United
- World Class FC

From the MLS expansion club’s press release, ”The affiliations with New York City FC will provide a clear pathway for the local youth soccer community to reach the highest level of competition, providing each with access to the invaluable resources and expertise of Major League Soccer’s 20th team (NYCFC).”

New York City FC has been asked by the press and fans how the club will help develop local New York-area youth soccer players and coaches, helping them to achieve a higher level of quality and competiveness within the vast, global pool of talent, and these affiliations are a major part of the answer to this question.

These efforts by NYCFC with the local soccer clubs both increase the possibilities and likelihood of the team having better youth players, and also help increase options for the United States Men’s National team, furthering the efforts of improving our national soccer program and pushing our talented youngsters to the next levels required to be considered “world class.” All of this helping us move one step closer towards our goal of claiming the greatest prize in all of sports by finally winning a FIFA World Cup.

Many believe that the USMNT winning a FIFA World Cup is the key to finally getting Major League Soccer to really compete with the “Big 4” of professional sports leagues in the US and Canada as far as TV ratings and revenue, and while I don’t think it’s a necessary ingredient for MLS success in those areas, nobody can deny that it wouldn’t dramatically help the cause by seriously raising the game’s popularity even more rapidly in the United States.

How will NYCFC’s affiliation with these local NYC clubs improve the development of local youth? The press release explains:

 “Through New York City FC’s relationship with sister club Manchester City FC, the 8 affiliate clubs will have the opportunity to work with renowned soccer coaches and training staff, providing expertise and resources from both organizations. From community programs, to youth development, scouting, coaching, sports science and first team football operations, the New York City area’s youth soccer community will have an unprecedented level of access to world-class soccer expertise. Affiliate club coaches will also have the opportunity to learn at Manchester City Academy, and elite players will have the chance to play alongside some of the world’s best up-and-coming talent at Manchester City’s new state-of-the-art facility.” 

These world-class resources, unrivaled in terms of what’s available to the rest of the MLS clubs’ youth development, and are now at the disposal of NYCFC and its affiliate NYC-area clubs. In fact, they’re arguably better resources than what are enjoyed by most football clubs throughout the world.

There is no doubt that unprecedented access to possibilities like these for the 8 affiliated clubs should really improve the quality of players, coaches, scouts etc. produced locally in the New York City area, making it ever-more likely for NYCFC to develop genuine, homegrown legends locally like Steven Gerrard is for Liverpool, Iker Casillas is for Real Madrid, and Xavi Hernandez is for FC Barcelona.

To do this in America’s biggest city can only help improve the chances of developing top talent that can compete at the highest level for both NYCFC and the USMNT. It also underscores the strong commitment that City Football Group, the majority owner of NYCFC, has to developing local New York soccer, and the vision and potential they see in the American player.  

NYCFC also announced the hiring of Paul Jeffries as the director of community development: ”Jeffries, former director at Downtown United Soccer Club, will oversee all New York City FC’s community engagement efforts, managing the Club’s Community Soccer programs including coaching sessions, clinics and camps, as well as New York City FC’s ongoing relationship with local youth and adult leagues across the 5 boroughs.

Forming official ties with these youth soccer organizations and appointing Jeffries to lead ongoing engagement efforts stays true to New York City FC’s core mission of being committed and connected to the New York City community.”

NYCFC Sporting Director Claudio Reyna added, “Through our affiliations with each of these organizations, we will play an integral role in the development of the area’s most talented youth. After previously serving as Youth Technical Director for U.S. Soccer, I’m passionate about youth development and know firsthand what a critical role these programs can play in local communities, and in improving and advancing the level of coaching and talent across the country.  And with the appointment of Paul, we’ll be able to take a comprehensive approach in directly engaging our local communities and youth. We’re thrilled to have a veteran like Paul at the helm of our community development efforts.”

Hiring a NYC resident and youth development expert like Jeffries, who’s clearly very familiar with New York City and the area’s organizational soccer nuances, seems to be yet another shrewd choice by NYCFC, who continue to hire top professionals locally in order to maintain the expansion club’s identity as a genuine New York City soccer operation, in the hands of those that already have connections in the area, and know how things work in the City.

Fortifying this local passion and know-how with the world-class, global expertise and resources of City Football Group can only improve the chances of NYCFC developing some of its first, and perhaps the USMNT’s next, home-grown soccer stars. 


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Real Madrid CF
This is the longest-running column focused on the only team representing the 5 Boroughs in world football: New York City FC. Long may its supporters continue to make history.