NYCFC can confirm today that the Club’s upcoming Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League (CCL) home leg against Costa Rican club Santos de Guápiles Fútbol Club will be held 3000 miles from New York City at LAFC’s Banc of California Stadium on February 23, 2022, prior to the start of the MLS regular season.
The Club’s primary and secondary home venues, Yankee Stadium and Citi Field, are not CONCACAF-approved venues. NYCFC’s third-choice venue, Red Bull Arena, is the only CONCACAF-approved venue in the immediate New York City metropolitan area, but is also unavailable due to stadium and pitch renovations.
Therefore, the Club has needed to look outside the NYC area and settled on Banc of California Stadium due to the Club’s away game against LA Galaxy being played nearby just four days later.
NYCFC CEO, Brad Sims, said: “We’re extremely proud to compete in the CONCACAF Champions League following our triumph in Portland to win our first MLS Cup Championship last season. This Club belongs on the biggest stage possible and although finding home venues for the home legs of any Champions League matches is challenging to us, we are excited to compete against the best teams in North and Central America for another piece of silverware.
“It is frustrating that this home game will be played on the other side of the country. However, with our season opener at LA Galaxy only a few days later and our inability to play at Yankee Stadium or one of our alternative home venues, we felt that this arrangement gave our Club the best possible chance for two positive results that week as we look to do well in CCL and begin the defense of the title.”
The first leg of NYCFC’s tie against Santos de Guápiles Fútbol Club will take place on February 15 at 8:00pm ET. That game has been relocated from Guapiles to the Costa Rican Capital, San Jose since Santos’ home stadium is not CONCACAF approved. The second leg in LA will kick off at 3:00pm PST / 6:00pm ET.
Following the Champions League tie, NYCFC will play its first game of the MLS regular season as defending MLS Cup Champions against LA Galaxy at Dignity Health Sports Park on February 27.
This will be NYCFC’s second involvement in the CCL tournament after previously qualifying for the 2020 edition of the competition. On that occasion, the Club reached the quarterfinal stage before falling to Mexican side Tigres.