Just when you think it couldn't get surreal enough, after a week in which Chivas USA went back to its roots and doubled down on a Mexico-based orientation by hiring a well-regarded coach with no MLS experience, and a minor league club literally copied Chivas USA's naming custom and model, comes news that the owner of English Premier League Champion Manchester City may be in line to become the owner of the all-but-inevitable second MLS club in the New York City region. Scott Soshnick reported today on Bloomberg.com that Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who has owned Manchester City since September 2008, is the current frontrunner to get the NY2 franchise, provided he pays the reported $100 million entry fee and ponies up additional money to build a stadium for the club. According to the article, the new club would be called New York City Football Club, and it was previously reported that MLS took out a trademark on City FC recently.
It is unclear if this move is imminent, and if it is, how Man City will regard its MLS club. But there is at least a possibility that they could run it in a similar vein as Chivas de Guadalajara owner Jorge Vergara has (intermittently) run Chivas USA - as a satellite club of the original team. Does that mean the new City will wear sky blue? Will they bring in retread players from Manchester who can't hack it in the metropole? That, of course, remains to be seen.
Still, the prospect that not one, but two teams in American soccer with foreign connections may use a model similar to Chivas USA probably takes the multitude of critics of Chivas USA by complete surprise. Heck, it even takes me by surprise.
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