Thirteen New York Soccer Stories to follow for 2013

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“NY2: LET THE POLITICS BEGIN”

Don_GarberAs an overarching storyline, few will match the attention of MLS and their quest for a second New York franchise. The league has invested significant funds towards their ambitious effort to land a pro stadium in the middle of Flushing Meadow Park.

Government officials, from Mayor Bloomberg, to Governor Cuomo on down to a host of local leaders are lending their support to the initiative, but NIMBY movements have begun to take form.

The result? Expect some unusually glaring mainstream attention given to the debate this year. MLS has thus far done a fantastic job of delineating their argument and lining up political power to make the dream a reality, but in the world of New York politics, nothing is certain until that first spike is planted into the ground.

THE NEW LOOK RED BULLS

Believe it or not, last year qualified as a low turnover year for the New York Red Bulls.

Well, at least it started that way.

The volatile franchise has made hiring and firing a made for TV art form. This year is no different. Without a coach in place, the Red Bulls have brought in Fabian Espindola, Kosuke Kimura, Jamison Olave, Josue Martinez , Juninho and a pair of homegrown talents while releasing 13 players since their playoff ouster to DC United.

And the draft is still days away!

The talent acquired is respectable, but it remains to be seen just how these players will gel and, frankly, who will be pulling the strings to make it work.

WHO’S THE BOSS?

And what would the New Year be without a new coach? So many names have been connected to the Red Bulls helm but Gary McAllister continues to be the one that resonates. Can he get it done? Will he be the chosen one?

The answer may come as early as this week. What a way to kick off the New Year!

DP3

Image / Mike Stobe Getty Images

Image / Mike Stobe Getty Images

Rafa Marquez is gone and he leaves the Red Bulls a precious gift; an open designated player slot.

Somehow, someway, New York always seems to carry that “problem” into every season since the “Beckham” rule was enacted. How will the Red Bulls use the commodity this season? Will it be more Thierry Henry or Frank Rost on it’s impact? What will the glaring need be this year now that Juninho Pernambucano is on board?

CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN

You want drama? Try Cahill v Henry.

No, there isn’t any known animosity between the two, but lets face it; Cahill has fast become a go to leader for the team both on and off the field. Henry’s brazen military style has upset the apple cart more than a few times over the years.

Is it time for the captaincy to change hands? Will it?

“STADIUM PORN”

The push for a Queens Stadium will undoubtedly include what so many affectionately dub “stadium porn;” the first renditions of what the new home may look like. 2013 will surely give New York and the World their first glimpse at the potential home of the second New York franchise.

WHAT FRIENDLIES WILL COME?

overheadshotyankeestadiumpsgchelseaYankees Stadium entered the fray of international soccer with a pair of successful matches that featured Real Madrid, AC Milan, Paris Saint Germain and Chelsea. Their efforts follow suit with Citifield which has enjoyed many an international gate while pandering to the locals with teams like Ecuador and Greece.

They will offer more venues for World Class organizations to tap the resources of the United States during the European offseason. Along with the Gold Cup and other potential international matches, this summer will once again go to show why New York has become a destination for World football.

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