New York City FC will host the Seattle Sounders in the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League Semifinals on the well-trimmed grass field at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ, the club announced earlier today.
Red Bull Arena was NYCFC’s home-away-from-during during last year’s COVID-altered season, and while the venue wasn't popular with the New York City faithful this decision to hold the CCL Quarterfinal just across the Hudson in New Jersey will come as a relief to fans.
Because Yankee Stadium is not a CONCACAF-approved venue NYCFC was forced to play their first CCL home game at Bank of California Stadium in Los Angeles, and their Quarterfinal home game at Pratt & Whitney Field in East Hartford, CT—those were two “home” matches in name only. Only small groups of supporters attended those games: Anecdotally, 90% of the crowd at Pratt & Whitney field supported Comunicaciones FC, not NYCFC.
Playing just across the river in Red Bull Arena is welcome news. NYCFC fans are more likely pack the stadium, and the team will be supported by the home crowd for the first time in this tournament. Besides, Red Bull Arena is a nice place to visit: Clean nightlines, good pitch, easy circulation. Respect.
NYCFC advanced to the Semifinals on away goals after collapsing in Guatemala City and losing to Comunicaciones 4-2. The Seattle Sounders advanced after bunkering down in Mexico and beating Club León 4-2 on aggregate.
CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinals
Seattle Sounders host NYCFC at Lumen Field, Wednesday, April 6, 10 pm ET
NYCFC host Seattle Sounders at Red Bull Arena, Wednesday, April 13, 9 pm ET
The all-MLS Semifinal guarantees that an MLS team will make it to the Final of the CCL. On the other side of the bracket, Pumas UNAM and Cruz Azul will face off, guaranteeing that a Liga MX team will also be in the final.
No MLS team has won the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League.
And now time for the other shoe to drop: The game against DC United schedule for Saturday, April 9 at Citi Field will now take place on Wednesday, August 31 at Red Bull Arena. The game was moved so that NYCFC could play this Semifinal match on a full week’s rest.
You take the bad with the good.