The Yankees are branching off into the beautiful game.
The baseball franchise announced Tuesday morning they will be forming a new MLS team, named the New York City Football Club, which will join the league in 2015. The Yankees are forming the team in conjunction with Manchester City, one of the most powerful clubs in the world.
Manchester City will be the majority owner of the new club.
Manchester City was purchased by the Abu Dhabi United Group in 2008, which has poured massive amounts of money into the club. The club brought in international stars such as Yaya Toure and David Silva. They won the English Premier League title in 2012 for the first time since 1968. They were shocked by Wigan in the FA Cup final just two weeks ago, with a 1-0 loss. They fired manager Roberto Mancini days later.
“We proudly welcome two of the most prestigious professional global sports organizations to Major League Soccer,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber said in a statement. “This is a transformational development that will elevate the league to new heights in this country. The New York area is home to more than 19 million people, and we look forward to an intense crosstown rivalry between New York City Football Club and the New York Red Bulls that will captivate this great city.”
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The franchise will be the 20th in MLS.
“We are pleased to be associated with this major move by MLS to increase its presence in the New York market and to enhance the opportunity for New York soccer fans to enjoy high-level play in their own city,” Yankees managing partner Hal Steinbrenner said in a statement. “We look forward to the opportunity to work with Manchester City to create something very special for the soccer fans of New York.”
The team has not yet announced where in the city they will play, but promised a permanent stadium will be built. The city has discussed building a new stadium in Queens at Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The owners of New York City FC said they would “continue these discussions.”
Follow Metro New York Sports Editor Mark Osborne on Twitter @MetroNYSports.