New York City FC hires 1st employee

Claudio Reyna became the first employee of New York City Football Club by being named director of football Wednesday. 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 Major League Soccer season in 2015.

The announcement took place at PS 72 (Lexington Academy) in East Harlem, which boasts the 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 city public schools each year.

New York City FC, the MLS expansion team, was unveiled Tuesday as part of a partnership of two global sports powers, the Yankees and Manchester City FC. The Club will become MLS’s 20th team. Managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner and president Randy Levine represented the Yankees.

In announcing the appointment of Reyna, Manchester City chief executive officer Ferran Soriano noted Reyna’s significant contributions to soccer in the United States, both as a player and in his position as youth technical director of the U.S. Soccer Federation, a post he has held since 2010.

“Finding the right person for this role and getting him in place from the start was a priority,” Soriano said. “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 U.S. and for Manchester City FC in England, I could not have hoped for a more tailored-made opportunity in soccer,” Reyna said. “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 U.S. 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. 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.

Reyna had an illustrious professional career as a player in Europe and the U.S. for more than 12 years, including at Manchester City FC from 2003-2007. The two-time Olympian represented the U.S. National team in four World Cups from 1994 through 2006 and was team captain in 2002 and 2006.

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