Don’t worry, MLS players won’t be on floats in Friday’s U.S. women’s national team parade

Reaction to the presence of Major League Soccer, Red Bull New York and New York City FC floats in tomorrow’s New York City parade for the U.S. women’s national team was originally mixed, but new information from the NYC mayor’s office has shed light on fears local men’s teams could be showcased at an event meant to celebrate the often-neglected U.S. women.

In a conversation with Phil Walzak, spokesman for the mayor’s office, Fusion confirmed the parade will cost the city a total of $2 million, of which 25% will be covered by private sponsors – Nike, Electronic Arts, Coca-Cola and others. Included in that private sponsorship total is $500,000 from Soccer United Marketing, the marketing agency for MLS and U.S. Soccer.

According to Walzak, MLS was given the opportunity to have floats in tomorrow’s parade as a “traditional benefit of sponsorship.” Both RBNY and NYCFC have informed the city they do not intend to include any players from their senior teams on their floats and will instead focus on boys and girls youth developmental teams.Once A Metro, a blog devoted to covering Red Bull New York, has greater detail on the team’s specific plans.

What the Mayor’s office could not confirm was the timing of MLS or the teams’ decisions, a detail that’s crucial to understanding the situation. If MLS or its teams never intended to use tomorrow’s parade as an opportunity to market themselves, then they’ve commendably helped fund a monumental celebration for the women’s national team. If the decision to showcase youth programs was a reaction to negative social media responses and a flood of unhappy e-mails, this story is much less warm and fuzzy.

WHERE TO WATCH