MCU Park, in its natural state with a baseball diamond.

By Michael Lewis

Front Row Soccer Editor

When the Cosmos take the field to face Miami FC in their home opener Saturday night, there will be a slightly different look to MCU Park.

There will be no sandy-brown infield as there was in the past.

In other words, the two-time defending North American Soccer League champions will be playing on a full green field, according to Cosmos Chief Operating Officer Erik Stover.

The Cosmos will use a field set-up not unlike what the now-defunct franchise, Rayo OKC as artificial turf will cover the artificial baseball field. Part of the infield invaded the penalty area when the Cosmos played two games at MCU in 2015.

“When the guys practiced there, they will felt pretty comfortable practicing,” Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese said.

In the two games the Cosmos played at the Coney Island venue in Brooklyn, N.Y. in 2015, the baseball field was visible in the northern end of the stadium.

In 2015, the Cosmos played two matches at MCU, a regular-season game in May and the NASL The Championship semifinals in the fall.

With kickoff at 7 p.m., temperatures expected in the forties and the stadium on the water, fans are reminded to bring winter clothes to the game and bundle up.

As for the players, that’s another matter.

“Our players are warriors,” Savarese said. “They have the mentality that whatever they encounter we have do together as a family, as a unit. If that night it’s going to drop, if it’s going to be cold, if it’s going to rain, whatever is coming to come our way, the guys need to be prepared to be be able to step on the field and give their best for the game and for the club. You never know what could come or what could not come on a particular day in game.”

Front Row Soccer editor Michael Lewis has covered 13 World Cups (eight men, five women), seven Olympics and 25 MLS Cups. He has written about New York City FC, New York Cosmos, the New York Red Bulls and both U.S. national teams for Newsday and has penned a soccer history column for the Lewis, who has been honored by the Press Club of Long Island and National Soccer Coaches Association of America, is the former editor of He has written seven books about the beautiful game and has published ALIVE AND KICKING The incredible but true story of the Rochester Lancers. It is available at