By Jerry Del Priore
As of 2021, the New York Mets will be joined by Queensboro FC (QBFC) — a soon-to-join United Soccer League (USL) franchise — as the second professional sports team in Queens, New York.
The club will kick off the action in approximately a year and a half in the USL Championship division, the top tier of the USL.
QBFC’s New York businessman Jonathan Krane, CEO of KraneShares, an asset management firm based in New York City, and international soccer star, World Cup champion and all-time leading Spanish national team goal scorer David Villa will lead the ownership group.
Villa played four seasons with Major League Soccer’s New York City FC, which call Yankee Stadium home. He knows what it’s like to be a well-known athlete in the sports-crazed Big Apple, which has a strong soccer fan base.
“I lived and played in New York for four years. I know what a special place Queens is,” Villa said in a press release. “I love the cultures, the food, the people and their passion for life and, of course, soccer. There is no other place like it in the world. It’s a dream to help build this football club in Queens and I couldn’t choose a better location.”
QBFC intends to host its home matches in a new stadium at York College in Jamaica, Queens, and also plans to hold select matches at Citi Field. Citi Field, home of the Mets, is a stone’s throw away from Corona Park, where you can witness countless diverse people playing the world’s most popular sport every weekend.
“We are excited to bring a USL Championship club to Queens,” Krane said. “Queens has a large, passionate and knowledgeable community of soccer supporters and players from all over the world and deserves a club to call its own. We look forward to working closely with the community to establish Queensboro FC as not just a leading organization in professional soccer but also as a proud ambassador of Queens. Together, we will accomplish great things on and off the pitch.”
Local politicians see this opportunity as serving the good people of Queens in a big way while teaching many important values through soccer.
“As a passionate soccer fan who has also played my entire life, I know how this game gives back,” said Francisco Moya, New York City Council Member. “Soccer teaches so many great lifelong lessons: the value of teamwork, hard work, and perseverance, to name a few. These are qualities that embody the Queens community and having a team of our own is very exciting.”-+