Major League Soccer side New York City FC will call Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles “home” in their Concacaf Champions League match against Costa Rica’s Santos de Guapiles.
The first leg of the round-of-16 match-up is set to be played on February 15 in Costa Rica, followed by the return game on February 23 in California.
New York City FC cannot occupy Yankee Stadium or Citi Field, its usual home venues, because they are not Concacaf-approved. Red Bull Stadium is also not available because of renovations.
The Eastern Conference club instead chose Los Angeles because it will be playing its Major League Soccer season opener at the LA Galaxy on February 27.
“It is frustrating that this home game will be played on the other side of the country, “NYCFC chief executive Brad Sims said in a statement Tuesday.
“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 (the Champions League) and begin the defense of the title.”
NYCFC’s first leg against Santos will be played at the National Stadium in San Jose, Costa Rica. That game was relocated because the team’s home field in Guapiles also isn’t approved for Concacaf play.
New York City FC is coming off of a winning 2021 season that saw them lift the MLS Cup for the first time in team history, defeating the Portland Timbers 4-2 in penalties.