FC New York: What Happened?
Before I start, I will say. Yes, there is a chance that they’re working quietly behind the scenes to get everything sorted out, and that come April 2010 we may all look back and say “Why’d I ever doubt them?”, but it really doesn’t look that way at the moment.
When it was announced FCNY was treated as a big deal, MLS wasn’t in New York City proper, so it was treated as if it were the largest untapped market in the country. This new team was supposed to play in Queens, and continually talked up a possible stadium in the Borough, but we haven’t even seen a sketch yet. We heard talk of the team possibly playing some games in Manhattan at Columbia, and possibly some games at Icahn Stadium. They ended up picking Hofstra’s James M. Shuart Stadium, which has artificial turf and lines from about four other sports on it. On top of that it’s in Hempstead, and not New York.
This whole thing is starting to remind me of an old wrestling gimmick gone awry, particularly the infamous Shockmaster gimmick. Yes, I used to watch wrestling, and before anyone pipes up being smart, no, I don’t care. My point is that this whole thing looks like it’s fallen flat on it’s face to the point where it’s become embarrassing for the USL, so much so that you don’t really hear them speak of it. All the recent talk has been about the other expansion teams the USL wants to introduce: Baltimore, Detroit, Edmonton, Ottawa, and Tampa Bay. FCNY has sort of faded into the background, and some of it’s target audience have lost hope.
The team was introduced on April Fools’ Day, and it’s website hasn’t been updated since. Obviously it wasn’t a prank, they even had tryouts, but it is starting to seem like a joke. Word is the team plans to relaunch it’s website soon, maybe even this week, I hope that proves to be true. I don’t like to make fun of any team, really, but usually teams at least have a coach in place at this point, possibly even some signings made, and certainly in this day and age, a functional website.
For the sake of lower division soccer in America, I hope this thing pans out. I do. It’d be another embarassing blow if this team were to implode before it even got off the ground, especially after the bluster we saw back in April.