After being introduced as Major League Soccer's 20th franchise, New York City Football Club made its first personnel decision on Wednesday, hiring former United States international Claudio Reyna as director of football.
Reyna will be responsible for building the soccer elements of the NYCFC organization, including the recruitment of players, coaches and trainers, and other support staff.
In announcing the appointment of Reyna, Manchester City CEO Ferran Soriano noted Reyna's significant contributions to soccer in the U.S., both as a player and as the Youth Technical Director of the US Soccer Federation.
"Finding the right person for this role and getting him in place from the start was a priority," said Soriano. "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," said Reyna. "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."
Reyna had an illustrious pro career, having played in Europe and the United States for more than 12 years. He played for Manchester City from 2003-2007 and represented the United States National Team in four World Cups from 1994 through 2006 and was team Captain in 2002 and 2006. He is also a two-time Olympian.
New York City FC, which is jointly owned by English giants Manchester City FC and the New York Yankees, will begin play in 2015.