Former Spain international forward David Villa is part of a consortium to be granted USL franchise in New York City.
A report in ESPN outlines the operation of Queensboro FC, who will begin playing in the USL Championship – one level below MLS – from the 2021 campaign.
The investment group is led by Jonathan Krane – CEO of KraneShares – and the club will be the latest entry into the evolving football scene in the US.
“Bringing professional football to Queens' diverse community is an exciting and unique opportunity,” Villa explained in a statement to ESPN.
“The beautiful game already lives here, thanks to the melting pot of cultures who are so passionate about the sport. I can't think of a better place for QBFC to grow. I'm proud to be part of this project.
“I'm proud to say I've had a long-running connection to Queens, I lived here for four years while I was developing my football academies, teaching kids not just how to play the sport but to appreciate the game's values, too.
“Queens is – and always has been – special. You feel the passion for football walking the streets.
“It's why we're proud to bring a professional team to this borough. It's the obvious next step following the clinics, summer camps, academies and various other programs for boys and girls we've held in Astoria, Flushing and at Queens College.”
Queensboro will play at a new stadium at York College in the Queens district with a 7,500 capacity and will reportedly play occasional games at Citi Field, home of MLB's New York Mets.
Villa scored 80 goals in 124 MLS appearances for New York City, whom he became their first foreign star, across four campaigns.
Villa previously played for Sporting Gijon, Real Zaragoza, Valencia, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid in La Liga, while netting 59 goals in 98 international appearances for the Spanish national team.