When Major League Soccer began play in 1996, those of us who lived in New York City had only one team to root for—the New York/New Jersey MetroStars. But despite their odd hybrid name, they were pretty solidly a New Jersey team. They played out at Giants Stadium, and those of us coming from Manhattan would often arrive late to games, as they never scheduled enough buses from Port Authority. Intentional or not, the indifference to fans east of the Hudson was palpable. That franchise has since cleaned up its act, and become the formidable New York Red Bulls. They still play in Jersey, though, at the Red Bull Arena in Harrison (which is, admittedly, a lovely stadium). But luckily for New York City fans, there's been another option over the past two seasons—New York City Football Club, a new MLS franchise that plays its home games at Yankee Stadium. NYCFC clinched its first MLS Cup playoff berth this past weekend, and is celebrating with a gritty new spot from Johannes Leonardo, its first-ever brand commercial. The poetic spot, called "Along These Lines," is as much a tribute to the city as the team—rallying New Yorkers to get behind their soccer team, using a theme of connection that's both literal (the subway system connects everyone, and of course stops at Yankee Stadium) and figurative.
New York City Football Club
Can Tom Glick put soccer fans and sponsors in a New York state of mind? He's giving it his best shot as president of Major League Soccer's New York City FC.
IDEA: New York City Football Club, the 20th franchise in Major League Soccer, won't field a team until 2015 and doesn't even have any players yet. Thankfully, it has a high-powered sister club in England whose world-class athletes can film some nifty promos in the meantime.