New York City FC: 3 things club must do before 2021 season

New York City FC (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)
New York City FC (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images) /
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New York City FC
New York City FC (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images) /

The 2020 season for New York City FC was a wild ride.  The team not only dealt with the pandemic like the rest of the league, and the world but also dealt with inconsistency.  Scoring was a hit or miss, and the Pigeons often struggled against top of the table sides.  They finished the regular season on a high note but then failed to win another playoff game.

Thus far in the offseason, there has been a lack of signings.  Plus, the team shockingly traded Captain Alexander Ring to Austin FC and then starting left-back Ronald Matarrita to FC Cincinnati.  Furthermore, there is still an issue with transparency from the club to the fans.

So, with problems off and on the pitch, numerous fans are frustrated with the organization and management.  Sadly, if one were to search NYCFC on Twitter, they would see more negative tweets toward the club than positive.  They include tweets about the lack of a stadium, the fact the Pigeons cannot sign any big signings, disappointment with Ronny Deila, etc.

Hence, the 2021 season will be the club’s most vital one yet.  Not only do the players have to perform and succeed, but off the pitch, the management must regain fans’ trust.  There is a lot at stake, so here are three things the club must do prior to the 2021 season.

New York City FC
New York City FC (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

3. This is getting tiresome, but… THE STADIUM

Like many sports teams around the globe, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted finances and plans for the future.  In the case of New York City FC, they had to put the stadium search process on hold.  Despite the slowdown, developers still continued to work behind the scenes.  And of course, there is the issue of the parking garage that is hindering the progress.

Nevertheless, information from the club is still hard to come by.  Some developments regarding the stadium are often given by third parties, and not NYCFC directly.  The club must be transparent, and keep fans updated on the status of a stadium.  This was actually discussed last year with what needs to be done for the 2020 season.  However, another year has gone by, and the club still has no stadium announcement.  Furthermore, their transparency has not gotten any better either.

As nice as Yankee Stadium is, it is not meant for soccer.  The pitch is small, and often there are issues with the grass due to the switching back and forth for soccer and baseball.  Also, NYCFC tends to get kicked out by the New York Yankees.  Since that is their stadium, the baseball team will always come first, and rightfully so.  The lack of stability with playing at home though has led the Pigeons to play games at Red Bull Arena, which is something fans despise, and Citi Field.

Unfortunately, NYCFC has become the laughing stock of MLS clubs, because they play in a baseball stadium, and don’t have a permanent home.  Sure, there are some clubs that don’t have their own stadium, but these clubs, like Atlanta United, share with NFL teams.  The NFL plays only 16 games in a regular season, so it is easier to arrange schedules.  To add, it is easier to change a football field to a soccer pitch.

Therefore, this negative stigma can have an impact on recruitment.  While there are no stories out there, it would not be a shock if some players turned down NYCFC due to the stadium situation.

All of this has led to anger and frustration amongst the fans.  Frankly, all New York City FC has to do is give a full and clear update regarding the process.  But make no mistake: the club has to get their act together, and speed up the process.  They have no choice; a stadium location must be announced in 2021.