Seattle Sounders FC remains the gold standard for MLS expansion teams. Since the turn of this century, no MLS expansion team has been nearly as successful on the pitch in its first season or in following seasons. And of course none have been as successful in the stands.
One of the latest to try is New York City FC, who the Sounders will face for the first time Sunday at Yankee Stadium. They're certainly off to a slower start: 1-4-3 through eight games, while the 2009 expansion Sounders were 4-2-2.
Seattle coach Sigi Schmid was asked this morning in what ways NYCFC's expansion blueprint seems like or different from those of the Sounders.
"Everybody tries to so the same thing: You want to be successful in your first year," he said. "I think there’s a lot of likenesses in terms of they went after a couple of good DPs: we brought in Montero, they brought in Villa. You’re trying to get some guys in on discovery. They got a Mix Diskerud, we got a Kasey Keller and so forth. You try to do well in
the draft. They also have some people who are still around from the expansion draft, so they still have the Wingerts and that Grabavoys. (Coach Jason Kreis) got some guys that he’s familiar with, which is sort of what we did with Evans and with Vagenas being here when I first got there – they were guys that I was familiar with, so that made it a little easier for me. But then it all depends on how it works out. You need some confidence, you need some wins, and you go from there."