The introduction of new MLS side New York City FC could change the whole outlook of the league. This is due to the statement today made by Manchester City chief executive Ferran Soriano.
Soriano announced that there could be potential for Manchester City to send many of their youth players to New York to get first-team experience. Although he went on to say that the New York side “is not a Manchester City team”, there clearly is going to be a strong footballing link between the two sides.
This relationship the two clubs hold might end up changing the way MLS squads look. As of now, most MLS sides are made up of American players with a few expensive, old, famous franchise players. However, if other Premier League teams follow in the footsteps of Manchester City, then MLS sides will start to have more and more young Premier League players.
Who would this affect? Who would be the winners and losers?
Well, both MLS and Premier League sides would benefit. After all, MLS will get better players and Premier League’s young players grow and develop much quicker. Also, the English national side would benefit, as most of the players going to get first-team MLS experience would be English. However, the USMNT would take a hit due to young American players missing out on playing at the hands of young English ones.
This kind of thing has been done before. For example, Chelsea have a strong relationship with Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem. Last season Chelsea had seven players out on loan at Vitesse and more have gone out this season. However, a relationship with an MLS side, as the Premier League and MLS seasons barely overlap, will allow teams to give their youth players a full year of football.
Whether or not more Premier League teams decide to do this, it is interesting to think about the impact it could have on MLS if more teams do start to do to have close relationships.