New York City FC has a new United Soccer League affiliation — San Antonio FC, it was announced Thursday.
The partnership will facilitate the sharing of best practices between the two clubs as well as between Spurs Sports & Entertainment and City Football Group, which is the majority owner of NYC FC.
The two organizations also will utilize experiences on both sides in marketing, community relations, player development, academy expansion and growth as well as other key areas of sports business.
The Wilmington Hammerheads had been the Blues’ affiliate in their first two seasons, but they decided to play in the Premier Development League this season.
“This will be an important affiliation for NYCFC with an ambitious, forward-thinking club like San Antonio FC which shares our drive to grow the game within their own passionate soccer community,” NYC FC sporting director Claudio Reyna said. “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.
An open door policy will allow coaches to have the opportunity to observe training sessions and matches as well as share soccer and business expertise between the two clubs.
The partnership includes an element of player movement, giving San Antonio FC the opportunity to strengthen its USL roster through player loans from NYC FC during this season.
“We are delighted to have the opportunity to partner with New York City FC as we continue to shape the ambitious future of San Antonio FC,” San Antonio managing director Tim Holt said. “NYC FC 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.
“We look forward to cooperating with our new partners and are excited by this tremendous boost headed into the 2017 season.”
Led by head coach Darren Powell, the former Orlando City SC ProAcademy director, the team from the Alamo City play out of the 8,400-capacity Toyota Field.
San Antonio FC’s parent company is Spurs Sports & Entertainment who also own NBA’s San Antonio Spurs, WNBA’s San Antonio Stars, the American Hockey League’s San Antonio Rampage and the NBA D League’s Austin Spurs, while operating the AT&T Center and Toyota Field.