NYCFC to play Champions League ‘home’ game in Los Angeles |

NEW YORK (AP) – MLS Cup champion New York City FC will cross the country for a “home” game in the CONCACAF Champions League.

NYCFC face Costa Rica Santos de Guápiles in the round of 16 of the Champions League. The second leg will be played on February 23 at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles, home of LAFC.

The NYCFC cannot play the game at Yankee Stadium or Citi Field, its home stadiums, as they are not CONCACAF approved. Additionally, Red Bull Stadium is unavailable due to renovations.

The decision to move to Los Angeles was made because the NYCFC is playing its Major League Soccer season opener at the LA Galaxy on February 27.

“It’s frustrating that this home game is being played across the country,” NYCFC general manager Brad Sims said in a statement on Tuesday. “However, with our opener at LA Galaxy a few days later and our inability to play at Yankee Stadium or any of our alternate home venues, we felt this arrangement gave our club the best possible chance. get two positive results that week as we look to do well (the Champions League) and start the title defense. “

The NYCFC’s first leg against Santos will be played at the National Stadium in San Jose, Costa Rica. This game has been moved as the team’s field at Guápiles is also not approved for CONCACAF play.

NYCFC is coming off a victory over the Portland Timbers in the MLS Cup Championship last month. The team reached the quarter-finals of the 2020 Champions League but fell to the Mexican Tigers.

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