New York City Football Club (New York City FC) has named Claudio Reyna as the club’s Director of Football and its first employee. Reyna will be responsible for building the soccer elements of the New York City FC organization, including the recruitment of players, coaches and trainers, and other support staff, in preparation for the team’s inaugural MLS season in 2015.
The announcement took place at PS 72 (Lexington Academy) in East Harlem, which boasts New York City’s only rooftop soccer field and was donated by Manchester City Football Club in 2010. This facility provides quality soccer instruction and programming to thousands of children in 20 NYC public schools each year.
New York City FC, the Major League Soccer (MLS) expansion team was unveiled yesterday as part of a partnership of global sports powers — Manchester City FC and the New York Yankees. The Club will become MLS’s 20th team. In announcing the appointment of Reyna, Ferran Soriano, CEO of Manchester City, noted Reyna’s significant contributions to soccer in the US – both as a player and as the Youth Technical Director of the US Soccer Federation.
“Finding the right person for this role and getting him in place from the start was a priority,” said Soriano. “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.”
“Having had the privilege of playing both for my country here in the US and for Manchester City FC in England, I could not have hoped for a more tailored-made opportunity in soccer,” said Reyna. “I am incredibly excited to again wear City’s ‘Sky Blue’ as part of the expansion of the MLS and the growth of soccer in the United States, and am honored to have been offered this opportunity. With a large fan base through the New York area, prime television rights and distribution, sponsorship commitments, and the Yankees as a US partner, the New York City Football Club has everything in place to succeed.”
New York City FC will be an independent club that mirrors and benefits from its relationship with Manchester City Football Club, allowing both organizations to collaborate on community programs and other team aspects, such as global youth development and scouting, coaching, sports science and first team football operations. In that regard, Reyna will work closely with Manchester City’s Brian Marwood, Managing Director of City Football Academy, Txiki Begiristain, Director of Football, and World Cup Winner Patrick Vieira, Head of Elite Development Squad, as the New York City FC organization takes shape, and operating philosophy takes hold.
Reyna had an illustrious professional career having played in Europe and the US for more than 12 years, including at Manchester City FC from 2003-2007. He represented the United States National team in four World Cups from 1994 through 2006 and was team captain in 2002 and 2006. He is also a two-time Olympian. Since 2010 Reyna has served as the US Soccer Federation’s Youth Technical Director.
His coaching curriculum revolutionized youth soccer in America, providing standards and procedures for improving player development for young Americans.