NYCFC Yankee Stadium
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

New York City FC will put up a fight to not become the first MLS expansion team to not reach the final within its first five years.

Seattle Sounders FC won the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in their first year in the MLS in 2009. Atlanta United won the MLS in their second season in the league last year. Houston Dynamo lifted the MLS Cup in their inaugural season in 2006.

Five years after joining the MLS, Vancouver Whitecaps took home the 2015 Canadian Championship. Portland Timbers won the MLS in 2015 in their fifth year in the league.

The list goes on and on.

Real Salt Lake, Toronto F.C., Montreal Impact won a silverware during their first five years in the MLS. Philadelphia Union didn’t win a trophy in their first five MLS campaigns but reached the Open Cup final in 2013, their fifth year. In their third season, Chivas U.S.A. were the 2007 Western Conference regular-season titlists.

If New York City FC don’t reach a final or win a title this season they will become the first ever team not to do so in their first five years in the MLS as an expansion team—Orlando City SC are in the same boat as well.


In The Pigeons’ inaugural season in 2015, they missed out on the playoffs after finishing in eighth place in the Eastern Conference and lost in the fourth round, their initial round, of the Open Cup to New York Cosmos.

In each of the following four campaigns, NYCFC’s MLS season ended in the Eastern Conference semifinals and in the fourth round of the Open Cup.

Other NYC Teams

New York’s starting keeper Sean Johnson touched on the club’s desire to win a trophy this year.

“This is a very, very important year for the club,” Johnson told the team’s website. I think we showed promise over the past couple of years but like I said every year if we don’t achieve something by lifting a cup, winning a trophy, I think for me it’s a failure.

“We’re very focused on that as a group. We got to do the best we can to prepare ourselves for a long season ahead.”

NYCFC is not entering the season on the most promising note. The club doesn’t have a true Number 9 on their roster and it will be their first season without a European superstar. Experience is not on The Boys in Blue’s favor either. The average age of Domenec Torrent’s men is only 23.

It will be a soccer story for the ages if the young Cityzens can save NYCFC from becoming the first MLS expansion team not to win a title or clinch a final in their first five years. The City players are not backing down from their arduous task.

“Success is the only option,” Johnson said. “I think me and the guys are ready for the challenge.”


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