New York City soccer club comes to Queens

In the parking lot outdside Citi Field, the team staged a fan festival with dance music, face painting and a stop-and-repeat banner complete with cardboard cut-outs of team stars Maxi Moralez and David Villa ready for cellphone photos.
Photo by Michael Shain
By Zach Gewelb

The New York City Football Club, a professional soccer team that calls Yankee Stadium home, played its final regular season contest at Citi Field.

With the Yankees still alive in the playoffs, NYCFC moved to Citi Field Sunday for its showdown against the Columbus Crew Soccer Club from Ohio. Before the game, the New York club hosted a Fan Festival that included dance music, face painting and a stop-and-repeat banner complete with cardboard cutouts of some of the team’s stars, Maxi Moralez and David Villa.

Following the pre-game festivities, the home crowd watched as NYCFC played to a 2-2 tie against Columbus Crew. Star player David Villa netted two goals — his 21st and 22nd of the season — to lead NYCFC offensively. With the tie, NYCFC finished the regular season with a 16-9-9 record and clinched the No. 2 seed in the East and a first-round bye as well as a trip to the Eastern Conference semifinals.

“I think we are really satisfied. We are really pleased because I think finishing second in the regular season is a really good achievement,” head coach Patrick Vieira said.

With the Yankees eliminated from the baseball playoffs, NYCFC will return to its home field at Yankee Stadium, where they have not played in nearly two months.

“Yeah, I mean, I don’t know when we’ve played at home the last time. Seven, eight weeks ago. It feels like we’ve been on the road the whole time and it’s nice to go back home,” midfielder Alex Ring said Sunday. “But I enjoyed playing here today, too. I think the fans showed up. Everything from the locker rooms to the pitch was pitch perfect. So, yeah. But it’s always nice to go home and play obviously.”

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