Citi Field Awkwardly Hosts International Friendly

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Written By Chris Azzopardi

Soccer came to Queens and they played on a baseball field. Lots of people showed up, so expect it to happen again and again.

The trend of putting soccer matches in baseball stadiums continued unabated last night when Greece and Ecuador played to a 1-1 draw at Citi Field. Almost 40,000 people showed up to pretend that the grass laid over the infield wasn’t a horrible eyesore.

It was a Citi Field first, and there are plans to do it again. And probably some more after that. The Mets aren’t exactly swimming in cash, and soccer brings out a decent crowd. More people showed up at a baseball stadium to watch a friendly than made it out to Ford Field in Detroit to see the US play Canada in a game that actually mattered. Admittedly, the field was probably better in Queens.

The soccer on display last night was decent, but most focus is on what comes next for soccer in New York proper. The Mets want more soccer at their baseball stadium, MLS is obsessed with adding a team in the city, so let’s all conjecturize and speculate.

The game will not be the last soccer match at Citi Field. The Mets executive vice president Dave Howard said a friendly between a “very well-known” European club and comparable Central American club was in the works for this summer. He said an announcement was expected within the next week.

More soccer equals better for the people of New York, and last night was surely fun for the large Ecuadorian and Greek communities, but it would be lovely if we could avoid the possibility of the right back tripping over where second base is supposed to be.

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