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Assemblyman to Red Bulls: Nix 'New York'

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Now that New York is getting its own Major League Soccer team, a Middlesex County assemblyman is calling on New Jersey's team to drop “New York” from its name.

MLS announced a new expansion team this week to play in New York City and be known as New York City Football Club. That prompted Assemblyman Patrick Diegnan (D-South Plainfield) to call on Harrison, N.J.'s team, New York Red Bulls, to change its name to reflect its home state.

"A Hudson County-based team in a New Jersey publicly financed stadium calling itself the 'New York Red Bulls' is a slap in the face to New Jersey residents and taxpayers who help support the team," said Diegnan, in a press release.

Diegnan bristled at MLS Commissioner Don Garber's assertion that the launch of NYCFC in 2015 would create a "cross-town" rivalry with New York Red Bulls.

This isn't the first time Diegnan has urged Garden State sports teams to show more Jersey pride. Back in 2007, Diegnan sponsored a bill calling on Rutgers University to amend its sports logo to add "N.J." The university didn't take his advice.

This time, Diegnan has an ultimatum for the Red Bulls.

"If MLS and the Red Bulls want to continue this charade, they should return the public financing they've received from New Jersey's taxpayers," he said.

A spokesman for the Red Bulls did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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