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SBD Global/May 23, 2013/Franchises

Former Man City Midfielder Claudio Reyna Named Football Dir Of New MLS Franchise

Claudio Reyna will be the director of football for the new MLS franchise run by Man City and the N.Y. Yankees.
Man City has announced that former midfielder Claudio Reyna "has been appointed as director of football" of the new Major League Soccer franchise established by the EPL club and the MLB N.Y. Yankees, according to James Ducker of the LONDON TIMES. Reyna "was unveiled at the official launch" of New York City FC in East Harlem Wednesday, where N.Y. Mayor Michael Bloomberg "offered his firm backing for the pioneering deal." A former captain of the U.S. national team who made 111 appearances for his country, Reyna "will be responsible for putting together a coaching and playing staff" ahead of New York City joining the MLS from the start of the '15-16 season. Reyna: "This is very exciting for me, having had the opportunity to play both for my country and Manchester City I could not imagine a more tailor-made opportunity" (LONDON TIMES, 5/22).

THE RIGHT FIT: Man City CEO Ferran Soriano said, "Finding the right person for this role and getting him in place from the start was a priority. The football culture of New York City FC will be built from this decision, and we believe Claudio is the man who uniquely understands what New York soccer should mean, and how it can benefit from the relationship with Manchester City FC" (MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS, 5/22). BLOOMBERG's Eben Novy-Williams noted Reyna, elected last year to the National Soccer Hall of Fame, "stepped down" from his position as U.S. Soccer’s youth technical director, which he held since '10 (BLOOMBERG, 5/22). In London, Ian Ladyman reported Soriano and Reyna were present Wednesday at the Lexington Academy in Harlem, where Man City "paid to build a football pitch on the roof -- 14 stories up -- three years ago." Man City has "subsequently invested more money to put a roof on the facility to protect its young footballers from the dust and the heat." Soriano said, "We are enthusiastic believers in the development of soccer in America" (DAILY MAIL, 5/22).

THE YANKEES COME: In London, Mark Ogden wrote MLB N.Y. Yankees President Randy Levine "admitted his interest in taking his baseball team to Manchester" for a game, in light of the recently announced New York City FC partnership between Man City and the MLB team. Levine: "The idea has come up through Major League Baseball about us maybe coming over to play. I don't think they have actually said it yet, but we'd love to come over to play at the Etihad Stadium." Former Man City MF Patrick Vieira threw out the first pitch for Tuesday's Blue Jays-Yankees game (TELEGRAPH, 5/22).
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