8. A Franchise Is Born

New York City Football Club kicked off their life in Major League Soccer against fellow expansion side Orlando City Soccer Club. Jason Kreis started players such as Josh Williams, Adam Nemec, Ned Grabavoy, and Jeb Brovsky, none of whom are still with the club. Regardless, the realization of the NYCFC dream was an important day.

The two clubs did battle on Mar. 8, in a match that ended in a 1-1 draw. Orlando City certainly had the better of the chances, led by Brazilian legend Kaka and pacey forward Carlos Rivas.

Orlando had the first chance in the 37th minute, when Kaka fizzed a shot straight at keeper Josh Saunders, who made a fine save. He made another incredible fingertip save to deny winger Kevin Molino in the 47th minute. NYCFC were sparked by rookie Khiry Shelton, whose shot in the 68th minute crept wide of keeper Donovan Ricketts’ net. Adam Nemec wasted a shot two minutes later, skying it over the net.

NYCFC scored their first ever goal in the 75th minute. USMNT member Mix Diskerud curled in a beautiful shot from just outside the box to give the expansion side an away lead. They were unable to hold the lead. Despite being downgraded to ten men following an Aurelien Colin red card, they conceded in the 94th minute. Kaka’s free kick took an unfortunate deflection, and went past a helpless Josh Saunders, who dived the other way.

The match, deservedly so, finished 1-1. Neither team made the postseason in 2015, but the start of two new franchises signified a key moment in sports in 2015.