It’s been roughly two months since New York City FC stepped foot on the pitch. Since then, so much has changed in the lives of New Yorkers. With the prospect of the season beginning sometime in July, there is a real chance that most, if not all, matches will be played outside of the New York metro area. If this is the case, and NYCFC doesn’t host a home match this season, we might not see NYCFC play at Yankee Stadium before 2021.
Imagine, just for a moment, going over 500 days between home matches. If the pandemic hasn’t left you depressed enough, maybe that thought will. Most of us loathe watching soccer on a baseball field. However, if there was a match announced for next weekend in the Bronx, I know I’d be in my car like yesterday and you probably would too. Yeah, I’m missing home matches, but it’s not just the games themselves that I’m missing. There’s so much more.
I miss bringing friends and family to their first games and introducing them to NYCFC and the beautiful game. I especially miss the special time I get to spend with my daughter in section 233B. I miss the rowdiness, drum beats, and passionate chanting of the supporters section. I miss running into friends I’ve met through our mutual love of this club and the jubilant celebrations we have when Heber scores. I miss Hawaiian shirts, Love Yourself by Justin Beiber, and Choi chugging beers. But most of all, I just miss the intensity at which fans watch and react to every Maxi pass, Ring tackle, and Johnson save.
When Major League Soccer returns to the Bronx, and it eventually will, I’m going to savor those initial matches. I’ll save my criticism of the odd viewing angles and slip-inducing sod, at least for the first few matches. I’m going to make sure I seek out all those friends I’ve met over the years and share a beer. I’m going to bring EVEN MORE friends to their first match. And I will cheer my heart out for this club. Hopefully, that day will be sooner than later.