New York City Football Club Taps Into Growing MLS Soccer Fans

at 12:39 pm | By

LockerRoomVIP was invited to the inaugural Media Day of the New York City Football Club on March 11, 2015 at Yankee Stadium to meet some of the star players of the newest Major League Soccer team. Check it out!

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Founded May 21, 2013, NYCFC officially joined MLS, becoming the 20th team in the league and the first MLS franchise to be located in the city.

The New York Red Bulls play across the Hudson in Harrison, New Jersey.

Manchester City and the New York Yankees paid a $100 million expansion fee to join the league, with the first season of home games taking place at Yankee Stadium. Plans for a soccer-specific stadium are in progress, but until then, the players will be sharing the stadium with the baseball team.

However, the five players that LockerRoomVIP interviewed didn’t seem to mind that the team was playing inside of a baseball stadium. The players even took time to answer questions to give us a better idea of not only what is expected from them, but what they are experiencing as NYCFC enters its first season.

Mix Diskerud – #10 Midfielder

Mikkel “Mix” Diskerud, 24, was born in Oslo, Norway to a Norwegian father and an American mother. Mikkel’s mother coined his nickname “Mix” when he was learning to walk, as he had lots of energy and ran around the house in circles like a mixer. Mix is also part of the U.S. men’s national team.

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Mix scored the first goal of the NYCFC franchise on March 8, 2015 against the Orlando City SC.

Ned Grabavoy – #11 Midfielder

Ned Grabavoy, 31, was named the 2000-01 Gatorade National High School Player of the Year. Ned also won the NCAA Championship in 2003 while attending Indiana University.

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Ned has won 2 MLS Cups, first in 2003 with the LA Galaxy, and then in 2009 with Real Salt Lake.

Sebastian Velasquez – #26 Midfielder

Sebastian Velasquez, 24, was a member of Real Salt Lake from 2012-14 until he was traded to the NYCFC ahead of the 2015 season. He scored his first MLS goal on November 8, 2013 during the second leg of the 2013 Western Conference semifinals against the LA Galaxy.

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Velasquez moved to the U.S. from Colombia when he was a kid. Queens County has the largest concentration of Colombians in the United States.

Josh Saunders – #12 Goalkeeper

Josh Saunders, 34, was named a First Team All-Pac-10 selection in each of his two seasons with the Cal Golden Bears and became the first keeper ever to be named Pac-10 Player of the Year.

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The goalie is entering his 13th season as a professional soccer player. Saunders has won 3 MLS Cups (2003, 2011, 2012).

Jason Hernandez – #21 Defender

Jason Hernandez, 31, was born in New York City and attended Seton Hall University where he was captain for his final two years.

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With NYCFC playing in the Bronx, Jason is a fan favorite– largely due to his NYC roots and being of Puerto Rican descent.

Click below to see the other NYCFC members at Media Day…