by Christian Araos
New York City FC and San Antonio FC will be partners in 2017 as part of the MLS/USL affiliation program, both teams announced Thursday.
They teams said they would collaborate on initiatives on and off the field. The ownership groups — Spurs Sports & Entertainment and the City Football Group — will work together on marketing and community relations. The two clubs’ technical staffs will collaborate on player development and academy expansions, including the opportunity for San Antonio to acquire NYC FC players on loan for this season.
“We’re happy to announce our affiliation with San Antonio FC,” NYC FC sporting director Claudio Reyna said. “This will be an important affiliation for NYC FC with an ambitious, forward-thinking club like San Antonio FC which shares our drive to grow the game within their own passionate soccer community. Spurs Sports & Entertainment is a best-in-class professional sports organization that New York City FC can learn from as our club continues to grow. We believe this will be a mutually beneficial relationship which will allow us to share ideas and knowledge on team and coaching development between the two clubs.
“In addition, our younger players can benefit from access to playing time in a competitive league at a club with a strong vision for the future and a clear identity on the field. This is an exciting announcement for both clubs and I’m looking forward to seeing the benefits that both teams can reap from it.”
San Antonio completed its first season in the USL in 2016 under Coach Darren Powell. Thew club was rebranded from the San Antonio Scorpions of the NASL after Spurs Sports & Entertainment bought the team after the 2015 season. San Antonio is one of 12 groups bidding for an expansion team in MLS. Tim Holt, the team’s managing director said working with NYC FC will shape San Antonio’s ambitions.
“NYCFC has quickly established itself as one of the highest performing clubs in Major League Soccer, and there is a considerable amount we can learn from their successful sporting and business models,” Holt said. “We look forward to cooperating with our new partners and are excited by this tremendous boost headed into the 2017 season.”