Queens may have wriggled out of becoming the permanent home of a Major League Soccer team when the Flushing Meadows Corona Park stadium idea was nixed last year, but the club will still be connected to Queens nonetheless.
The New York City Football Club, Major League Soccer’s new expansion franchise, announced last Thursday that it will partner with eight soccer clubs in New York City, including Ridgewood’s Blau Weiss Gottschee and Maspeth’s Metropolitan Oval, to serve as affiliates for the team.
“The affiliations with New York City FC will provide a clear pathway for the local youth soccer community to reach the highest level of competition,” the club announced in a statement, “providing each with access to the invaluable resources and expertise of Major League Soccer’s 20th team.”
NYCFC and its sister club, Manchester City FC of the English Premier League, will host programs such as clinics and camps for the affiliate clubs, as well as scout high-end players with the ability to potentially play with the big league clubs in the future.
Formed in 1951 by a group of Austrian and German immigrants, Blau Weiss Gottschee has become one of the nation’s top soccer development programs, and youth director Ben Boehm expressed his excitement about the partnership with NYCFC.
“We are honored to now have the professional expertise of New York City FC and their staff,” Boehm said in a statement, “whose resources and instruction on and off the pitch will be invaluable to our kids.”
Formed by German and Hungarian immigrants in 1925, Metropolitan Oval has also become a nationally renowned youth soccer program.
Sporting director Jeffrey Saunders believes the new partnership will help its players reach new heights.
“The youth who participate at our Center for Excellence now have a clear pathway to ascend to the highest level of competition.”