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F.C. New York Folding After One Season

2012 January 8
by Brian Quarstad

F.C. New York has played their last game and have folded after only one season in USL PRO. The team was originally announced to play in 2010 but had issues getting organized and didn’t join USL until 2011 with when they joined the new USL PRO league.

Rumors and speculation have been swirling for months that the team’s front office was struggling to keep the team afloat during the season. A source told IMS that the USL had told F.C. New York they would not be allowed to participate in their 2012 season. Some speculated the club would move down to the USL’s Premier Development League.

F.C. New York becomes the 4th team to fold from USL PRO which started play in 2011. Puerto Rico United, River Plate Puerto Rico and Sevilla Puerto Rico were all removed by the league a month into the season after major financial issues became apparent for the 3 Puerto Rican teams.

45 Responses
  1. WSW permalink
    January 8, 2012

    I just hope they gave back the tryout fees to the players.

  2. January 9, 2012

    Who didn’t see this coming when the team was announced in what, 2009? I was shocked when they actually took the field. Going into the NYC market was insane for a D3 side to begin with.

    For those keeping track, USL lost 4 teams moving from 2011 to 2012, 3 of them less than halfway into the 2011 season. NASL lost one, and that is because they were exceptional in D2 and are now in MLS. And they are being replaced by a team in a solid market who is building their own stadium.

  3. Soccer Boy permalink
    January 9, 2012

    I think that this has more to do with a poorly run “league” than a poorly run team.

  4. Kenneth (Intru) permalink
    January 9, 2012

    Tecnically Sevilla Puerto Rico dint fold and the owner was really mad because he was lumped in with the other two teams. The team is still playing locally.

  5. speedcake permalink
    January 9, 2012

    Shocking news. When can we add L.A. to the list of most recent failed USL teams?

  6. WSW permalink
    January 9, 2012

    hopefully this will be a lesson for USL not to expand to markets where there is a existing team, unless it’s a team for NASSL North American Soccer Serious League.

  7. Fotbalist permalink
    January 9, 2012

    Don’t know much about FCNY but their website & press releases always looked sketchy. It’s sad for USL Pro but not totally unexpected either. It further goes to show that NASL is the next rung down the soccer ladder in the USA and Canada. And that’s perfect for me.

  8. January 9, 2012

    Kenneth, I’m sure Yankiboy can speak to this better than I can, but Sevilla were in a world of hurt financially as well. If they hadn’t been I’m sure Holt would have kept them aboard since they also kept Antigua in the league and teams could have played 2 Caribbean teams when in the area. USL made the right choice in removing them, whether the owner was mad or not.

    http://www.insidemnsoccer.com/2011/04/23/la-liga’s-sevilla-cuts-ties-with-usl-pros-sevilla-fc-puerto-rico/

    http://www.insidemnsoccer.com/2011/05/10/river-plate-puerto-rico-purges-roster-usl-pro-international-division-in-disarray/

    BTW, I probably could have worded that better, but I did not say the teams folded but that they teams folded from USL PRO. Confusing on my part and I apologize.

  9. Bart permalink
    January 9, 2012

    FC New York could not have managed a U20 or PDL team successfully. Neither Petersen or Treiben had the business or sports experience to have pulled this off in any market, much less one of the toughest markets in the US.

    This was pretty evident by last season, and I suspect that if they did not retire on their own, USL would have retired them anyway.

    What USL needs is a Traffic Sugar Daddy (just like NASL) for its teams so that it can artificially prop them up. That would help create that same false sense of stability that their big brother has, and all the fans could rest assured that “long term” stability has finally made it to the minor leagues of soccer.

    This concept of letting each individual team make it or break it on their own just does not work.

  10. January 9, 2012

    There is merit in Bart’s comment in regard to one entity propping up the league. Whether you agree with the concept of one entity, Traffic Sports, doing that is perhaps the bigger question. But no one can denny that if Traffic was to pull the plug it wouldn’t be just one team that folds but the whole league would be in jeopardy. Let’s hope that Traffic can find suitable and affluent owners for the 4 teams soon.

  11. Silly permalink
    January 9, 2012

    Bart does make a valid point.

    I know all of the arguments about USL being franchise fee collectors. I however can’t see any instance where the NASL who is in need of teams and owners would turn down anyone right now who shows up with enough startup cash to field a team.

    I also think that the one team NASL added to replace the one who was promoted to MLS is sketchy at best. They have an owner who is planning on funding an amusement park with all of the soccer profits he is going to be making. Everyone in the free world know that these teams lose money except him. His team is now going to be playing in a high school field where they will not be able to sell alcohol and make the most of the possible concession profits.

    NASL should be concerned about his statements/intentions, But they had to have this new team so they could stay at 8 teams this year. When he finds out that his park will not see any money from soccer, how long will he stick around?

  12. January 9, 2012

    I think the most important thing about the NY team folding is how it reflects on Orlando City. Orlando City needs to be playing in NASL if any of minor league Soccer makes sense.

    Now, Orlando City is playing in a flux league, where teams come and go willy nilly. This is embarrassing for a team trying to jump to MLS or is it?

  13. Jay Walk permalink
    January 9, 2012

    Regards to some of the comments, I don’t see how a clueless front office of one team should affect a team that seems to know what they’re doing (Orlando City). FC New York had decent crowds coming to their games, but the way the FO ran the team was just ridiculous stupid as Martinez wrote in-depth.

  14. Kenn permalink
    January 9, 2012

    NASLophiles love to conveniently forget St. Louis and Baltimore folding because it doesn’t fit their narrative.

    And if FCNY folding is symptomatic of a “poorly run league” rather than a poorly run team (as the guy who discovered soccer about an hour and a half ago would have you believe), what is the longevity of Charleston, Charlotte, Richmond, Harrisburg and Rochester symptomatic of, exactly?

  15. Tom permalink
    January 9, 2012

    FCNY averaged 819 per game (cannot confirm if that figure was total attendance or paid attendance).

  16. Jim permalink
    January 9, 2012

    Regardless of the league they were in, I always find it sad when a lower division team fails. I’d like to see successful lower division leagues in the US and this doesn’t really help anyone out.

    Of course, in the normal process of placing blame when this happens it’s important to step back and use an unbiased approach in analyzing it. Yes, Bart has a good point but this isn’t about the NASL at all. I love how we all compare and are ready to spar over which league is better. IMHO there is plenty of blame to go around for the failure of FC NY if true. I believe the team was not run very well and that is the fault of the owners. It is also the fault of the league that allowed them in and did not vett their financial stability and ability to run a professional team.

    USL Pro is a work in progress and I hope they learn and improve from whatever lessons they learned in this situation.

  17. Tom permalink
    January 9, 2012

    @Jim
    I agree with all of your comments except the last paragraph. USL a work in progress – how long have they been around?

  18. January 9, 2012

    Tom, he said USL PRO, not USL. And USL is under new ownership as of 2010. Should they know better? Probably. Will I give them this first year to make some mistakes? Yes. Will I be more critical the second year? No question I will and I am expecting that is why you will hear of no new teams joining USL PRO this season. The schedule with teams will be released this week.

  19. Tom permalink
    January 9, 2012

    @BQ,
    How long has Peter Holt been involved with USL?

    http://www.uslsoccer.com/aboutusl/contactus/166755.html

    IMO, you are being more than generous in your understanding of this scenario.

  20. drebin permalink
    January 9, 2012

    Why wouldn’t NASL take into account Gordon Hartman’s plans for his team? The man went through a mandatory vetting process that was outlined by US Soccer and is being enforced by NASL. No matter how ridiculous of a plan he has about operating a team.. Hartman still met the league requirements of NASL to be granted an expansion team.. and still was considered financially sound for the league his team will play in to be provisionally sanctioned by US Soccer for 2012. The league keeps the federation in the loop and the federation continues to provide oversight and consultation to the league.

    Does that not give anyone some sense of assurance?

    NASL has its issues, no doubt, but let’s not elevate its problems to the level of flaws and inconsistencies that exist in USLPro. They are both different cases and should not be compared. I hope the federation extends its regulation to USLPro, or things like this will continue to happen.

  21. January 9, 2012

    I don’t get the Peter Holt comment?

  22. ERic permalink
    January 9, 2012

    Tom’s comment seems pretty obvious to me. While the USL has only had one year under new ownership, Peter Holt has been with the USL for many years. So there’s certainly reason to question the idea of giving the league much slack.

    I’m starting to wonder if lower division soccer can survive in the US at all.

  23. Tom permalink
    January 9, 2012

    @BQ,
    I guess I have a hard time with differentiating between USL being under new ownership when the gentleman who is in charge has been there for over 10 years. From the USL website:

    Holt first joined USL as Director, USL First Division Operations in April 1999. He added the responsibilities of overseeing the operations of all USL senior leagues in November of 2002 and was named Vice President in 2004. He was promoted to United Soccer Leagues Board of Directors in 2007 and was named President of USL following the acquisition of USL by NuRock Soccer Holdings in August of 2009.

    New ownership – yes, you are absolutely correct, but I think you are giving them too easy of a pass when the man in charge was there in a senior management position in their prior incarnation. That would be like Exxon having new ownership and crashing a tanker off the coast of Alaska and looking for understanding from the public since they have new management (yes, I know, a bit of an extreme example, just trying to make a point).

  24. Silly permalink
    January 9, 2012

    The point I was trying to make was that if Hartman was joining USL (Stating that he was going to be funding an amusement park from the profits of the soccer team) he would have been ripped to shreds. He would be called stupid to think lower division soccer makes money. How could USL bring in a team with an owner who thinks he is going to pay off a park with soccer money? USL only wants his expansion fee, ect.

  25. Silly permalink
    January 9, 2012

    You are also trying to refer to Tim Holt at USL.

    Peter Holt is the owner of SS&E

  26. Tom permalink
    January 9, 2012

    thanks for the correction Silly – my bad.

  27. yankiboy permalink
    January 9, 2012

    “NASLophiles love to conveniently forget St. Louis and Baltimore folding because it doesn’t fit their narrative.”
    -Kenn
    Uhmm. I get your point.

    But let the record show that both of the clubs failed while in the USSF D2.

    Let the record also show that Holt & company were more than happy to allow Baltimore to play in the USL1–and actually encouraged them too–just as they had with the Cleveland City Stars the year prior.

    It was only after Baltimore decided to “defect” and align themselves with they weren’t yet another USL casualty.

    Both the NASL and the USL got no bragging rights on who should take the credibility hit for the Baltimore situation–they both look bad when it comes to what happened with Baltimore because both were more than happy to make up the numbers rather than realize that Baltimore moving up was overambitious. It was like everyone was so eager to get another ally that they got selective amnesia over what the USL had done to Cleveland less than a year before.

    That’s my narrative.

    Baltimore folding was terrible for the area and it was horrible for
    both the USL and NASL.

  28. yankiboy permalink
    January 9, 2012

    “Tecnically Sevilla Puerto Rico dint fold and the owner was really mad because he was lumped in with the other two teams. The team is still playing locally…”
    -Intru(Kenneth)

    With all do respect to Don Francisco Martinez-Cañavate and the front office of the Sevilla Puerto Rico/Juncos:

    They didn’t fold and fielded a very competetive team but once things went from bad to worse with their PRSL/USLPRO brethren (River Plate PR & PR United), there was NEVER any indication from the USL that Time Holt and company would considere them to remain or return to USLPRO.

    I’m not doubting the sincereity of the comments attibuted to DOn Martinez-Cañate or Don Luis Gonzalez–not by any means; What I am saying is that when those gentleman indicated that Sevilla PR could remain or return to the USLPRO–based on their impressions of the their specific standing–all of my intel indicates that the USL had made up its mind that the club was not economically viable for participation in USLPRO.

    So while they were clearly a lot better of than RPPR & PU United–it would take a small miracle for them to return to USLPRO play.

    I hope that they have the chance one day but you and I both know that some serious bridges were burned last May. Even with all of the good will that DOn Jo(s)e Serralta has built with the USL, I don’t know if another Puerto Rican based club with EVER have a shot to join a USL prfessional division again (unless Traffic pulls the plug on the NASL and Puerto Rico Islanders FC and the USL kiss & make up)…

  29. yankiboy permalink
    January 9, 2012

    FCNY talked a heck of a lot of SMACK!!! Now, living in my Baltimore and Puerto Rican glass houses, I really shouldn’t be throwing any stones. Oh yeah, throw in the Washington Freedom. Maybe you can throw in Real Maryland moving down to the PDL.

    SO you could say that I have lost more professional clubs in less than a year than most people will ever support in their life.

    But FCNY talked a lot of SMACK… “Slaying the the (Red) bull and all that…”

    New York Cosmos, could you be too far behind???

  30. drebin permalink
    January 9, 2012

    @Silly: Honestly. If Hartman were to pay for an expansion fee that was satisfactory to USL, on one condition that he was allowed to field a roster full of circus clowns and lucha libre midgets… theeeey’d probably still let him in. =/

  31. yankiboy permalink
    January 9, 2012

    @drebin: SO I guess that you aren’t interested in becoming a majority owner in the Baltimore-based USLPRO franchise that I want to launch in time for the 2012 season, huh?

    I’ll cross you off my list.

  32. Silly permalink
    January 9, 2012

    Can’t stop drinking the Kool Aid long enough to see the point Eh?

  33. cudafan permalink
    January 9, 2012

    Sad news but we must not forget – that sport is a business of entertainment for all who take part, when the coach fails so the team then when management fails so the team then without hard cash we all collapse my friends.
    NASL and USL have both had thier share of failed teams – time to move on just like any show …it must go on…………………………….peace and a happy new year from the islands.

  34. Silly permalink
    January 9, 2012

    Thanks Cuda. Happy New Year to you too. I hope Antigua is able to continue to pull it off, But there are many who post here who are secretly rooting for your team to fail so that they can continue to point fingers at mistakes by USL.

    Good luck this season, and I can’t think of a better place to come watch a game. Maybe someday I can pull it off.

  35. james permalink
    January 9, 2012

    Maybe NuRock Holdings should help fund some of the leagues teams to help with the stability. Do they not believe in the markets/ownership they allow in?

    Is it public knowledge how much they paid for the USL?

  36. January 9, 2012

    Happy New year to you as well cudafan. I think you are well respected on this site and don’t agree with Silly. I don’t think anyone here wants your team to fail.

  37. cudafan permalink
    January 10, 2012

    Thanks fellows and honestly speaking if it was not for the USL our National team would not be playing the USA on June 8th in next rd of WCQ, you are all welcome to visit when they come to the sun on Oct 12th – should be 2 great history making games for us.
    Both NASL and USL are gd for the game but in part both make mistakes which could be sorted with clear minds, let us all support which ever league as we love this beautiful game…..peace

  38. drebin permalink
    January 10, 2012

    Silly, I see your point, but I just don’t agree with the premise. I don’t want to see any club in any league fail. The only thing I want is for “leagues” to be accountable for the success and failures of their clubs. It does not matter if the root of the problem originated within the FO, it is ultimately a league-wide issue that should be dealt with. The more reason why I emphasized my point that direct oversight from US Soccer is much needed.

    However, I don’t even think the federation really has come to terms with what its role is. They’ve historically allowed leagues to have free reign and did nothing to curb or intervene in their business practices. The last thing they want is to actually run a league, but we’re still growing as a sport. It’s not about choosing sides, it’s about expecting the same level of standards for all leagues.

  39. January 11, 2012

    First, Colin Klass gets suspended for 26 months and then the first professional team that’s going to visit Guyana since 1974 folds? Its been a rough five months for the Guyana FA.

    Whatever other dysfunction defined FC New York’s owners and operators, publicly lining up next to Klass the week after Klass cast his lot with Lisle Austin was super impressive.

  40. Footy76 permalink
    January 11, 2012

    This story is not new and it’s being played out on both side of the aisle USL Pro and NASL.

  41. danwolf02 permalink
    January 11, 2012

    are you talking about the new NASL or the old NASL. The New NASL hasn’t lost a team yet unless you count USSF D2. And even looking at that they only lost as many teams as MLS.

  42. yankiboy permalink
    January 12, 2012

    collegeparkaddicktd-

    “…the first professional team that’s going to visit Guyana since 1974 folds?”

    Not trying to be a “ballbuster” or anything, coz maybe I got it twizted–but didn’t Puerto TIco Islanders, Defence Force and Tempete visit Guyana for the Caribbean Club finals last Spring???”

    Maybe I got it wrong. Happens to me several times a day, every day…

  43. yankiboy permalink
    January 12, 2012

    Man, the more cudafan posts, the more likeable I find the Brother…(seriously)

    Peace to you, Bro–If I travel down for the WCQ, can I stay at your crib and can you taxi me around, starting by picking me up at the airport???

    (not so seriously)

  44. Fenchi permalink
    January 12, 2012

    USSF is the main organization responsible for all of this. They should be the one running the show in D2, D3 etc. Make a change in the way things are done. Make it affordable to have a team. Cut down travel cost, maybe look for a league sponsor, I don’t know, try to bring something new to the table.

  45. January 12, 2012

    Yankiboy:

    FC New York’s press release still lives: http://uslpro.uslsoccer.com/home/546092.html

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