By Michael Lewis Editor

Ladies and gentlemen, start your training.

During his daily pandemic conference from Jones Beach on Sunday Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that sports in New York can begin training immediately.

Translated, that means New York City FC (Major League Soccer) and the Cosmos and New Amsterdam FC (both National Independent Soccer Association) can start practices.

“I believe that sports that can come back without having people in the stadium, without having people in the arena. Do it!,” Cuomo said. “Work out the economics, if you can. We want you up. We want people to be able to watch sports. To the extent people are still staying home, it gives people something to do. It’s a return to normalcy. So we are working and encouraging all sports teams to start their training camps as soon as possible, and we’ll work with them to make sure that can happen.”

Cuomo made the announcement on the day the Indianapolis 500 would have been held, but it has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The iconic race begins with the announcement, “Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines.”

There was no word from New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy as to when sports teams can resume training in his state. That affects the Red Bulls and Sky Blue FC, who call Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J. home.

Neither of the three New York-based teams had comments on Cuomo’s comments.

Under MLS orders, NYCFC or any other league team, for that matter, hasn’t played since early March.

The Cosmos, who talked about starting their preseason training in June, and New Amsterdam are scheduled to kick off their fall seasons in August.

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