By Michael Lewis
TORONTO — As New York City FC starts its plans for its fourth Major League Soccer season in 2018, there are still no concrete plans for a stadium it can truly call home.
But MLS commissioner Don Garber still is optimistic the team will find a new home sooner or later.
This past season was a rough one for NYCFC at Yankee Stadium, as it was forced to play two matches within a month out of the Bronx. One game was moved to Hartford, Conn., the other to CitiField in Queens.
“It’s not optimum,” Garber said during his state of the league press conference Friday afternoon. “It wreaks havoc on our schedule and it’s not good for fans and NYCFC.
“Patrick’s been patient.”
As in Patrick Vieira, the head coach.
“But it’s a challenge,” Garber added. “They have been for many years, no different than Miami, trying to get a stadium deal done.”
With the Yankees on the ascent — they took the world champion Houston Astros to the seventh game of the American League Championship series this year — it might be difficult to find dates at the stadium in October and perhaps November in the future.
City has put the periscope up and is considering other possibilities, including the Harlem River Yards in the South Bronx, a spot near the stadium and in Flushing, Queens.
“They’re going to continue to work hard on that,” Garber said. “I think if we were going to look at this situation today, New York City as teams 25, 26, 27 or 28, we would require there a stadium finalized at that time. But I have a lot of confidence in Marty Edelman [team vice chairman]. I have a lot of confidence in Jon [Patricof, team president] and Ferran Soriano [managing director].
“Life’s a long time with us. You go through a lot of trial and tribulation. But we’ll have a stadium and I believe we’ll have a stadium in Boston as well.”