[MLS SPOTLIGHT]The first hire by New York City FC was a no-brainer. Former U.S. national team captain and U.S. Soccer youth technical director Claudio Reyna, who was named director of football on Wednesday, played for Manchester City, the expansion club's majority owner.
Reyna spent four seasons at Manchester City (2003-07) before returning to MLS, where he joined the New York Red Bulls as their first Designated Player. He retired in 2008 because of injuries.
He was appointed to the position of U.S. Soccer's youth technical director in April 2010 and was instrumental in putting together the U.S. Soccer Curriculum that revamped the goals for youth soccer and coaching philosophy in the United States.
Reyna, who went to four World Cups and captained the USA at the 2002 and 2006 finals, grew up in New Jersey, where he attended St. Benedict's Prep in Newark. The National Soccer Hall of Famer currently resides in Bedford in Upper Westchester.
Manchester City CEO Ferran Soriano said Reyna was uniquely qualified to build the soccer side of the NYCFC business, which would include recruiting players, coaches, trainers and other support staff in preparation for the team’s inaugural MLS season in 2015.
"We're here to compete," he said in an interview with Yes Network. "We're here to win. We want to make sure we have a strong team from Day 1."
Reyna said NYCFC would tap into the resources of Manchester City -- including players -- but he added that the goal was to "make sure we're built to compete in MLS right away."