New York City soccer club comes to Queens

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In the parking lot outside Citi Field, the New York City Football Club staged a fan festival with dance music, face painting and a stop-and-repeat banner complete with cardboard cutouts of team stars Maxi Moralez and David Villa ready for cellphone photos.
Everyone gets three tries to put the ball into one of the four corners of the goal.
Because the Yankees were still playing post-season baseball, the professional soccer club, which calls Yankee Stadium home, had to move the final game of the season to Citi Field.
Season ticket holders stood in line for nearly half an hour to get a special patch created just for the team’s first game at Citi Field, a No. 7 train with the NYCFC logo.
The right field bleachers are reserved for the Third Rail Club, the most-dedicated boosters who organized themselves three years ago when the club was founded.
Ethan White of the New York City club is escorted onto the field by two youngsters — a soccer tradition since the 1990s. The kids are usually selected from local soccer leagues.
Fan appreciation day includes a group of kids who were put in charge of the team’s flag.
The starting 11 for the New York City soccer team plus a young fan — who is the designated mascot — pose for the traditional pre-game group portrait.
Maxi Morales is all alone in the corner and heads toward the net.

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.”

Updated 11:48 am, October 25, 2017
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Reader feedback

Andy says:
Um, the score was 2-2, a tie.
Oct. 25, 2017, 10:01 am
Jose from Little Neck says:
Please correct your article. The carboard cutouts are of Maxi Moralez and Jack Harrison (not David Villa).
Oct. 25, 2017, 9:59 pm

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