AD San Carlos midfielder Lucas Meza battles New York City FC midfielder Valentin Castellanos (11) for the ball during the first half at Red Bull Arena. (Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports)
By Michael Lewis
HARRISON, N.J. — New York City FC knows who it will play in the next round of the Concacaf Champions League, but it doesn’t know quite where it will host its foe.
After dispatching AD San Carlos in the Round of 16 at Red Bull Arena on Wednesday night, City will face Mexican powerhouse in the two-leg quarterfinals.
But where, where in New York?
Well, your guess is as good as the team’s.
There is probably a good chance City will be back at the home of the Red Bills, where the MLS side registered a 1-0 return-leg win to put its stamp on a 6-3 series triumph. That, however, would have to be approved by Concacaf, the Red Bulls and Major League Soccer. A club spokesman said NYCFC hoped to have an answer by the end of this week and by the beginning of next week at the latest.
NYCFC is scheduled to host the first leg, which is scheduled for March 10-12, while UNAL (Tigres) will do the same from March 17-19.
As of late Wednesday night, however, NYCFC had no home venue, according to a team spokesman.
City had been planning on playing the home leg of the quarterfinals at Yankee Stadium, where it usually hosts its home matches. But there was a detour in the plans. Since the stadium underwent some extensive field reconstruction during the off season, there is a good possibility that the surface will need som extra time to be up to par for the Major League Soccer season, the spokesman added.
Not surprisingly, NYCFC is monitoring the situation closely with the Yankees, who have first and last word on the field for obvious reasons.
Citi Field, home of the Mets, is not available for the quarterfinals because it has undergone some reconstruction during the winter, although it would be available for certain legs of the semifinal and final, if NYCFC advances that far.
Yankee Stadium is not available for the semifinal and final dates.
The competition’s semifinals are set for April 7-9 (first leg) and April 14-16 (second leg).
The final legs are scheduled for April 28-30 and May 5-7.