Soccer Made in Tribeca: New Amsterdam FC

I first spotted what was clearly some pro players on the fields a couple weeks ago, practicing ground dives in goal and playing what looked like a pickup game at Wembley. Turns out it was the newly formed New Amsterdam Football Club, a professional team owned by Tribecan Laurence Girard, whose apartment on Murray overlooks the team’s practice pitch. (Note that I could not possibly have gotten these shots; the credit goes to Michael Mansfield.)

Girard just launched the team in April — it’s part of NISA, or the National Independent Soccer Association, one division of what’s called the American soccer pyramid, after Major League Soccer and USL’s two divisions — as a New York City team, representing city players. He grew up playing for the Red Bulls youth team as a goalkeeper in high school, and later with the Cosmopolitan Soccer League, the oldest league in the country founded here in 1923. And while he spent some years after college focusing on his day job (founding a telemedicine company called Fruit Street that has taken off), Girard (who’s 28) never lost touch with the game.

He was living in London, expanding his company there and pursuing soccer, when he reconnected with a teammate from his Cosmopolitan days. Maximilian Mansfield, who lives in Fidi, had played as a pro in Europe by dropping out of high school in the 10th grade, and then returned here to play for both Columbia and Cornell. A couple years in finance drove him back to soccer, and he started a consulting program called The Fussball Project, which helps talented players find pro opportunities.

The two started brainstorming ways to invest in soccer in the US and realized NISA would allow for easier entry than the other leagues. The cost to start and maintain a franchise is much lower (a team can run for $1-2 million a year) yet the talent here in the city is deep. (Another NISA team, the New York Cosmos, plays out of Long Island.) And Girard convinced Manfield to coach.

“The league is trying to grow the game in a different way,” said Girard. “We wanted to see how we could take it to the next level.”

They chose the name to conjure a bit of old New York — “back to a time when New York welcomed everybody, with people from different backgrounds.” They have 24 players, plus 19 on a reserve team, who represent more than a dozen countries (Senegal, Ivory Coast, England, Romania, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Nigeria, Israel, Trinidad, Jamaica, Columbia, Ecuador, Poland) and speak almost that many languages. They also have a youth academy of 20 players who train five days a week in East River Park.

Right now they are playing home games at the Hudson Sports Complex in Orange County, but hope to find a stadium in the city — maybe at Fordham. Practices are at Battery Park City a couple times a week and they are angling for some field time at Pier 40.

Covid cut this season short, but ordinarily NISA’s fall season wraps up in late November. Till December they’ll play in the Cosmopolitan league and will hold practices at our fields; local kids are welcome to come watch and even introduce themselves.

“Our club is really an open book and if there are kids there who are curious, they should approach us and ask about it,” Mansfield said. “Our players are a great resource, and they are right here.”



  1. good morning congraulations let me know if you need a team sponser

  2. *yawn* Another vanity project from a bored millennial with money to burn. They’ll either fold up shop or move to an amateur league in two years.

  3. Wow!

    NYSoccerGuy – so disappointed to see your response. Either change your moniker or migrate your attitude to gratitude. (the latter is preferred)

    Welcome New Amsterdam FC! Glad you are in the hood!

    • Heather: I’m just saying you might want to start planning those away day trips against Kingston Stockade and Greater Lowell Rough Diamonds in the NPSL in two years because I don’t see how a professional club is going to be able to keep its head above water without a stadium and with no ticket revenue coming in. Unless it’s a tax dodge.

      • You are spot on, NISA is a great concept on paper but in practice it can’t survive. Without Stadium Revenue, how would you run a club ? Its only a matter of time Detroit City and the New York Cosmos will move to the USL. The rest will have to play regionally in the UPSL or NPSL

  4. It is a nice addition to the field, welcome. I have seen them training and wondered who they were, thanks.

  5. Welcome New Amsterdam FC! Saw you guys practicing on the BPC fields. Excited to see a new team forming in NYC! Best wishes!!!!

  6. Does anyone have any idea when they train/play on the fields? ie at a set time every week?

  7. My observation a couple of weeks ago now makes sense! Walking my pooch one morning I noticed a large group of gorgeous athletic men practicing on the BPC fields and thought they looked too professional to be a bunch of bankers having a quick lunch break game. Ah, well good. Nice to know. Welcome.