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The scene is 2006, MLS is looking to put yet another team in the New York City market. MLS commissioner, Don Garber, met with many groups such as the Cosmos and even the ownership group of the Mets, but nothing panned out.
Then, Manchester City FC and the New York Yankees teamed up and submitted a bid for an MLS expansion team. They got it and all of a sudden a huge market was opened up for the MLS.
The MLS had a ‘New York’ team in the Red Bulls, but they played in Harrison, New Jersey at Red Bull Arena, which is a very nice stadium. It may just be the most European stadium in the MLS along with Allianz Field (home of Minnesota United).
However, the NYCFC bid was intriguing. A New York team that played their games in New York, it was a huge win for the MLS as well as New York soccer fans.
NYCFC’s proposed plan was to play in Yankee stadium for three years while their soccer-specific stadium would be built. Many new expansion teams do this. For instance look at FC Cincinnati or Minnesota United. Those two teams played on temporary grounds while their main home is being built. Even David Beckham’s club Inter Miami is doing this.
The first three years were a success for New York City FC. Averaging over 22,000 fans per game in their first three seasons. They were even home to some of soccer’s biggest names such as Frank Lampard, David Villa, and no other than the Italian maestro himself, Andrea Pirlo. All three of those players are long gone now. Lampard is coaching at Chelsea, Villa just retired after having played two seasons with Andres Iniesta at Vissel Kobe, and Pirlo retired after the 2017 season. Once those three left, New York City FC hasn’t attracted a big name, and there's a reason why that is.
As mentioned earlier, the proposed plan was to build a soccer-specific stadium while they used Yankee Stadium for three years. That never happened. NYCFC has had many potential stadium proposals, but none of them ever worked out. From the New York Islanders snatching up the limited land to build a stadium in New York before them to even NYCFC proposing to tear down a factory and parking garage but the plan was turned down by the mayor because it was going to all be public funding, something the mayor was strongly against.
New York City FC even proposed a stadium on an abandoned airport that they were going to tear down. This was turned down though because it was ‘too close’ to the Citi Field (home of the New York Mets) and the Mets demanded NYCFC pay them $40 million in compensation for being too close to their home ground.
As the years roll on for New York City FC they have attracted less and less star power. This is due to the infrastructure they play in. Star players would much rather go to LA or Miami now as the two New York teams in MLS play outside of New York and in a baseball stadium. Despite playing outside of New York, at least the Red Bulls play in one of the coolest stadiums in the league. Red Bull Arena will be home to New York City FC. Yes, you heard that right. NYCFC’s rivals team home turf will be their own home throughout the Concacaf Champions League as both Yankee Stadium and Citi Field (NYCFC has played there when Yankees and NYCFC's schedules conflicts) both were not approved by Concanaf.
Years tick on for New York City FC and fans are becoming more angry that the teams haven't made a move yet, or even have a proposed plan go through. Since their inaugural season in 2015, the team's average attendance has gone down from over 29,000 to 21,000.
Playing in a baseball stadium is a bad eye for the club and the league itself. If a proposed stadium plan finally goes through, NYCFC instantly becomes one of the league’s hottest teams and they can compete with LA for the battle of star players. It’s truly now or never for the boys in blue over at New York City Football Club.
As many expected, Super Bowl 54 was nothing short of spectacular.
From fourth quarter comebacks, to career defining moments, Super Bowl 54 had it all. In this editorial, I will be taking a dive into the big game. Seeing where the coaches went right and where they went wrong. I will also look at players who stepped up to the plate when the lights shine brightest on them as well as players who cracked under pressure.
The first half showed both nerves and indecisiveness. Teams were not capitalizing on the others mistakes, and the game was a low scoring, quick game.
Many people were expecting the Chiefs to pass a lot as they have been all season, however this wasn’t the case. Instead, the Chiefs gave the ball to Damien Williams who had the game of his life, rushing for 104 yards and 1 touchdown to go along with it. Williams was a vital piece to the Chiefs moving offense, and really got the ball rolling for them on many drives.
On the other sideline, the 49ers were doing great. They were stopping the Chiefs near perfect offense, led by the dynamic rookie, Nick Bosa. The 49ers were also moving the chains well on offense. Jimmy Garapollo was slinging the ball around, getting his receivers in the game.
The 49ers play calling was also great up until the end of the first half. They knew what was working and stuck with it, not trying to change anything that was giving them success. However, at the very end of the half, Kyle Shanhan didn’t call a timeout when the Chiefs had the ball on 4th and 13, ultimately leading to Kansas City chewing the clock down. This would cost the Niners as when they got the ball back, they didn’t have enough time to score despite the huge 42 yard reception by George Kittle (which was then taken back ten yards due to pass interference).
Shanahan messed up big time in the first half, and that event was the starting point of the 49ers play calling demise.
Once San Francisco went up 20-10 with around 17 minutes left in the game, they were given a golden opportunity to take an even larger lead when Patrick Mahomes threw an interception, but that wasn’t the case. Rather, the Niners were forced to punt.
Then, the turning point of the game happened. The Chiefs had the ball with eight minutes left in the game and Nick Bosa got injured. The dominant 49ers defense that everybody had seen all game took a huge hit, and Kansas City capitalized.
Led by Patrick Mahomes, the Chiefs stormed back, with Travis Kelce and Damien Williams caught a touchdown each, making the most of the 49ers mistakes.
From the poor coaching to the execution from the players, San Francisco’s fourth quarter was one to forget. In the fourth, Jimmy Garapollo finished with a total QBR of 2, with his last pass being to Kednall Fuller of the Chiefs.
Poor usage of timeouts and questionable coaching led to the 49ers downfall and the rise of the Chiefs who put together the second biggest comeback in Super Bowl history. The first being the Patriots 25 point comeback after being down 28-3 to the Falcons, a team whose offensive coordinator was no other than, Kyle Shanahan.
The Super Bowl for the ages was capped off with Andy Reid hoisting the Lombardi Trophy for the first time in his storied career, a sight millions among millions of fans loved to see for the all time great coach.
Despite Shanahan losing his second Super Bowl (first as a head coach), I feel his time is coming too. He’s a proven winner in the the regular season, and turned the 49ers around from a bottom 3 team, to a top 2. Shanahan has really transformed the 49ers in his three seasons he’s been there, and I see a Super Bowl in the near future for him.
photo via http://www.nfl.com
The Super Bowl.
The biggest game of the year for football fans around the world will come down to the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49’ers.
The Chiefs, led by former NFL MVP, Patrick Mahomes, have a slingshot attack that is nearly impossible to defend against. On the other side of the ball, the 49’ers have a rock-solid defense that has been the hardest defense to score against all year. Overall, it’s a heavyweight matchup that will be a tough, hard-hitting, action-filled game that may go down as one of the greatest Super Bowls of all time.
Leading off, the 49ers are a versatile team led by ex-Patriots QB, Jimmy Garrapolo. Despite consistently doing his job all season, many people give Garroppolo hate as he rarely passes the ball. The San Francisco QB only threw the ball eight times in the Niners win against the Packers in the NFC Championship. However, I don’t understand the hate. The 49ers have been winning games all season with their rush-oriented offense, and that scheme has been working. Garroppolo fits his role perfectly and the 49’ers couldn’t have found a better player to fit the role of their QB than Jimmy Garrapolo.
The 49’ers also have the best defense in the league. The Niners defense has been on a tear all season, garnering 48 sacks throughout the season. Nobody has been able to stop the dynamic group of Nick Bosa, Arik Armstead, Soloman Thomas, Dee Ford, and DeForest Buckner. The five d-lineman have a train that has just kept on chugging all season, and they’ve yet to reach their final destination.
Meanwhile, on the other sideline stands Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes, only in his third season in the NFL has already become the best QB in the whole league. Ever since Mahomes took over the Chiefs, he has turned the franchise around in a drastic way.
People laughed at the Chiefs for trading up for Mahomes in 2017. How the tables have turned.
If one person can flip the 49ers defense by their heels, it’s Mahomes. Mahomes can scramble out of the pocket, throw the ball into double coverage and make it somehow land in the hands of the receiver, and a lot more. He’s got the best arm strength in the lead without a doubt, and if he shows up on Super Bowl Sunday, it will be very interesting to see how the 49ers can keep up.
With all of this being said, I have the 49ers winning. I know Mahomes is great and a generational talent that has the potential to win multiple Lombardi Trophies in his career, but Super Bowl 54 will not be on the list.
The 49ers defense is just too hard to play against. The Niners have a staggering 5 first rounders of their defense line and they’ve accumulated a whopping 9 sacks in two playoff games. As the old saying goes, “offense wins games, defense wins championships” and I think that saying will be in full effect come Super Bowl Sunday.