By Michael Lewis Editor

The Coronavirus has hit New York City FC for the first time.

The Major League Soccer club Thursday announced that a member of its sporting department has tested positive for the COVID-19.

NYCFC did not identify the person, but CEO Brad Sims said the inidividual “affected is at home and is feeling better after only a short illness” after displaying mild symptoms.

In a release press, NYCFC said that the team been working closely with local infectious disease specialists who have instructed players, team staff and those believed to have come in close contact to maintain self-isolation. All persons should report any symptoms they might be experiencing to team medical personnel.

NYCFC said that no other cases within the team had been identified as of late Thursday afternoon.

The team said also was in close consultation with the CDC, New York State Department of Health, Major League Soccer, Concacaf and “relevant” first team opponents regarding this situation.

On Wednesday, March 11, NYCFC lost to Tigres UANL in a Concacaf Champions League at Red Bull Arena.

The Red Bulls have informed their staff members who worked the game of the NYCFC individual.

“In consultation with club medical officials, it has been determined that our staff working the match were at low risk for exposure, given the limited interaction with NYCFC personnel and the time between the match and beginning of symptoms,” a Red Bulls statement said. “We will continue to monitor and take all necessary precautions.”

The Red Bulls said they had increased their pre- and post-event cleaning processes at the stadium. “All areas of Red Bull Arena were thoroughly cleaned after this match, and due to work from home protocols, most staff did not go back to work at Red Bull Arena after Wednesday night’s match,” a club statement said.

Sims thanked for those fans and people who had offered the team medical advice and support,” he  in a statement. “As a club, we are closely following all advice and taking all possible preventative measures.

“We will continue to be diligent and work closely with our team of medical experts to do our part to keep our community safe, healthy and informed. Though we do not believe any fans or members of the public have been put at risk, sharing information is vital at this time and we will continue to proactively update with any further details or confirmed cases. Soccer is a team sport, and one thing we can implement during this challenging period is how to work together. This is a time when we all need to ensure we’re doing what’s best for the wider community and greater good. I would like to take this opportunity to encourage all fans to take care of themselves and one another. We are New Yorkers, and we will get through this together.”

In the press release, NYCFC stated: “The health and safety of NYCFC players, coaches, staff and fans continues to be the club’s top priority. The club is committed to the health practices outlined by the CDC and encourages all NYCFC fans and New Yorkers to do the same. Follow the links for the CDC’s and New York State government’s advice.”

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