Wednesday, April 1, 2009
NEW YORK — FC New York has joined the USL First Division, the top flight of United Soccer Leagues (USL). The addition of the club will expand the USL First Division to 13 teams for the 2010 season. The ownership group, led by New York natives Jo-Ellen Treiber and Doug Petersen, along with USL Founder and President Francisco Marcos, and USL Executive Vice President and COO Tim Holt announced the news today at a press conference held at the Yale Club in Manhattan.
Speaking for FC New York, Petersen stated, “We are excited to bring professional soccer back to New York. The USL First Division has established itself as a highly respected and competitive professional league in North America. Our group will rise to and relish the challenge of putting together an organization on and off the field worthy of the greatest city of the world. It is also our intention to announce a European club affiliate in 2009 to aid the club’s effort moving forward.”
“We are thrilled to welcome FC New York as the newest addition to the USL First Division,” said USL Executive Vice President and COO Tim Holt. ”Their ownership group’s impressive and ambitious plans to develop a complete soccer club with a strong international partner and privately-financed future stadium will boost the profile of our league in one of the world’s largest and most diverse markets. The conditions are right for FC New York to excite the soccer community, which has a history of support for top-level professional soccer. With the additions of the Austin Aztex and Cleveland City Stars for the upcoming season and the Tampa Bay Rowdies and FC New York in 2010, the USL First Division has added important markets and ownership groups that will strengthen the league for years to come.”
FC New York has a commitment with Hofstra University to utilize James M. Shuart Stadium and the state-of-the-art training facilities. The 13,000 seat stadium will host league and international exhibition matches. Plans for 2009 include establishment of their youth academy, hiring staff, player recruitment and indentifying sponsors.
The FC New York shield is representative of the Queens flag, which was adopted June 3, 1913. The blue background with a horizontal white stripe is symbolic of its first Dutch governor William Kielt, who acquired the area from the Native Americans. The area’s first settlers are represented by the two flowers – the tulip, emblematic of the Dutch, and the double red and white rose of the English. The Queen’s crown signifies the name of the county and borough in honor of Queen Catherine of Braganza.
It was also announced that the group’s advisory board includes fellow Hofstra alumni Jim Kilmeade, who was the architect of 1995 Long Island Rough Riders championship team in what is now the USL Second Division, USL’s top flight at the time. Former Rough Rider, NY/NJ MetroStars and Los Angeles Galaxy center midfielder Travis Rinker will also serve as an advisory board member. Other key advisory board members also include Mark Francis, a New York Financier and British Chartered Accountant, and Almut von Biedermann, an international business strategist of Munich, Germany and Alicante, Spain.