United States: All-time New York XI (1)

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Major League Soccer's headquarters may be based in the City of New York, but for the division's 18-year existence there has been no representative franchise from the Big Apple.

However, that will all change next March, when New York City FC kick off the 2015 season. With a large cheque book and renowned sports stadium, Jason Kreis' side bear a resemblance to another club that have made the metropolis their home.

In the early 1970s, Warner Communications president Steve Ross was influential in the formation of the New York Cosmos. Claiming five North American Soccer League titles and welcoming record crowds, the outfit quickly gained worldwide recognition.

To achieve this success, and help his attempts to bring the market of soccer to the United States, Ross recruited players of the highest quality. Among others, Pele, Franz Beckenbauer and Carlos Alberto wooed the supporters and kept the tabloids busy, as some of the finest finest stars to grace the game joined the Cosmos.

While the bubble soon burst, the team returned in 2010 with the maverick Eric Cantona at the helm, and currently enjoying their second term in a revived NASL after collecting the Soccer Bowl Trophy last time out.

By this point though, they weren't the only organisation operating in the area. New Jersey's Empire Soccer Club were denied the Cosmos' name, but they instead settled for MetroStars, before becoming the New York Red Bulls following a takeover from the Austrian energy drinks company.

The Red Bulls have had a sole triumph of their own in the MLS, with last year's Supporters' Shield win, and the pressure will now be on NYCFC to match their rivals' exploits. If that's the plan, they've certainly made a positive start, with the signatures of David Villa and Frank Lampard.

To celebrate City's approaching debut campaign, we've compiled a line-up of New Yorkers past and present that they will look to emulate.

We can't promise that the players would work as a unit, or even get along with one another, but this assortment of talented individuals would certainly entertain...

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Thierry Henry
Thierry Henry
Tim Howard

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