Hello NYCFC! Seems like a lifetime since your New York-based fans, press, and friends saw you play live. Probably feels like a long time for you guys too, especially after that unpleasantness in Atlanta. So a couple of things for you and the fans to think about before NYCFC returns to the Bronx on Wednesday May 31.
Welcome Back: NYCFC Returns to the Bronx Wednesday
The Long Strange Trip
When NYCFC returns to the Bronx to face the New England Revolution, the team will have traveled approximately 5,400 miles since the last home match. 5,400 miles! Rodney Wallace could have flown to San Jose, Costa Rica, hung out with his childhood friends and come back and STILL HAVE NOT TRAVELLED AS FAR. Do you know how many flights Alex Ring would have had to make in Finland or David Villa in Spain to cover that much territory? Of course you don’t. NOBODY DOES. IT’S NOT SOMETHING HUMANS HAVE THE COGNITIVE ABILITY TO CALCULATE.
NYCFC played in three time zones in three successive weeks. How often did players like Jack Harrison, Andrea Pirlo, David Villa, Eirik Johansen, Frederik Brilliant, and Maxim Chanot have to play in three time zones in one league month in their home leagues? NEVER. BECAUSE THAT’S MORE TIMEZONES THAN England, Italy, Spain, Norway, Luxembourg and France have COMBINED.
During this road trip, NYCFC had the opportunity to pick up 12 points, against two Western Conference teams and two Eastern Conference teams. Teams against whom NYCFC had a historic record of two wins, three draws and eight losses. Or said another way, against sides they’d only managed to take nine points from IN TOTAL EVER. And none of whom the side had ever beaten on the road. On this road trip alone, NYCFC took nearly half that many. Half as many as they ever had from these teams ever.
Am I making excuses for the fact that when NYCFC returns to the Bronx they will have to only take four points out of that possible twelve? Nope. Just making the case why they should be damn happy to be coming home.
But will they even recognize the place? They’ve been away so long, maybe they’ve forgotten what home even looks like! Therefore, a few helpful reminders.
Only One Time Zone
That’s right! No more adjusting to jet lag because the Bronx – like most of New York City – is in the Eastern Time Zone. Which means that your next three matches – and even the US Open Cup event against the New York Red Bulls – will not require you to re-set your watches. Which most of you probably don’t wear anyway. Okay, never mind.
No TSA or Airport Parking Hassles
The next three MLS matches are all accessible by the B, D and 4 trains or Bx6 and Bx13 busses. Plus there’s ample parking in official and improvised lots all around the stadium. And while there is a metal detector to pass through before entering the stadium, it’s certainly not as elaborate as the searches performed by the TSA. Nor are the lines as long.
The Pitch: It’s Comfy, Cozy and Convenient
No more running all over those massive pitches other sides have to struggle with. When NYCFC returns to the Bronx they’ll find a pitch with all the comforts of a Manhattan sublet – small? Yes. Up to code? As far as you know. Rent controlled? Well… But look at the view! And so accessible to mass transit!
Those People in the Stands: They’re on Your Side
I know, I know, crazy, right? But after enduring the purple wall in Orlando and the five stripe army in Atlanta, it bears remembering that when NYCFC returns to the Bronx you’ll be playing in front of literally tens of thousands of people who will be cheering FOR you and not AGAINST you. Although, of course, these are New Yorkers. You start dogging it and they will hurl an avalanche of invective down upon you. They’re your fans, but they’re not morons.
Those Other Guys on the Pitch? They’re Struggling
You played FC Dallas when they were arguably the hottest club in MLS. You played Orlando in the Purple Palace when they had never lost there. You faced off against Atlanta United when their midfielder Miguel Almiron had just scored a hat-trick, and won goal of the week. And you played RSL when, okay, that loss just completely escapes me.
But when NYCFC returns to the Bronx they’ll face a Revolution side that are coming off of a tough loss across the river to the New York Red Bulls, and a Philadelphia Union team who were just shut out by RSL. A Philadelphia side who have failed to win ten of their last 11 road matches and a New England team that have failed to win their last nine road matches. And your records against them? NYCFC are 2-1-3 against New England and 3-1-2 against Philadelphia.
So Get Comfortable!
Now that you guys are back in the Bronx, you won’t have to get on a plane until JULY when you fly to Vancouver. That’s four games at home, all against teams with fewer points than you have. Four games in a place you’ve failed to take points from only once this season. You know, home.
The American poet Robert Frost said that home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in. And that’s true. Fingers crossed for NYCFC, it’s also the place where you win.