Soccer Held At New York’s Yankee Stadium

Is it blasphemy?  Soccer is being held at New York’s Yankee Stadium, built for baseball.

Wikipedia states that “(O)n April 21, 2014, it was announced that New York City FC, a Major League Soccer expansion team owned jointly by the New York Yankees and Manchester City, would play in Yankee Stadium from 2015 until their new stadium is completed.  NYCFC played their first game at Yankee Stadium on March 15, 2015.”

On a gorgeous Thursday night in April, fans chanted “olé olé olé olé” under banners of Babe Ruth on the concourse outside, according to USA Today. Young men in bright blue scarves discussed Mix Diskerud’s latest performance while going through security.

Over 20,000 fans showed up at Yankee Stadium on April 11th (a weekday evening) to see New York City F.C., the city’s new MLS expansion team, take on Philadelphia Union in a game that was being branded as a possible new rivalry, states USA Today.

The game ended in a 1-1 tie.

Regional rivalries are part of MLS’ development strategy, similar to the three-team grouping in the Pacific Northwest – Seattle Sounders, Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps.  The rivalries drove fan interest and ratings when they played on national TV, states USA Today.

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

No one is sure if the NYCFC–Union rivalry will take off.  It still feels new, states USA Today, but NYCFC is a new team.

It was “born of the wealth of Manchester City and the New York Yankees and the desire to bring soccer to the Big Apple. (The New York Red Bulls actually play in Harrison, New Jersey, which is just a PATH train-ride away.)

Despite being the wrong shape for a soccer venue, Yankee Stadium is surprisingly intimate. The field is packed into the outfield and reaches just to the pitching mound, which is covered for every game.

(NYCFC’s schedule was worked around the Yankees schedule to give the stadium crew time to set up the field.)

The supporters’ section, located in the left field bleachers, is loud and still figuring out what it means to be a supporters’ section.

It’s “beautifully raw,” according to USA Today.  The fans sing songs, usually made famous by other soccer clubs. (They particularly love an updated version of “Hey Baby” by Bruce Channel, which is a mainstay at stadiums on both sides of the pond.)

But the teams may need some new chants.  “We don’t like most of the chants,” said Marvin Blugh, a 25-year-old from Brooklyn who bought season tickets in the bleachers this year. “Feels like we’re ripping off the other teams.”

British Soccer Player Fired For Sex In Stadium

Soccer Player Cut From Team After Being Filmed Boning Fan In The Dugout

Jay Hart of the British semi-pro soccer team Clitheroe was cut from the team after video of him and the fan you see was made public.  They were having sex in the opposing team’s dugout after a match, writes the publication Screamer.

The match in question was a 4-1 Clitheroe loss to team Mossley.  Coincidentally, Mossley had advertised the game as “ladies day” in appreciation of their female fans, according to Screamer and The Daily Mirror.

While the two were going at it, someone nearby secretly began recording the encounter. Afterward, the video was shared online and caught the attention of Hart’s football club, which swiftly made the decision to get rid of the player.

The Mirror:

“Striker Jay Hart can be heard laughing on the mobile phone footage as he was caught still in his club T-shirt…”

The Mirror continues:

“The face of the fan cannot be seen. Within hours of the footage being circulated to team-mates and fans, Hart was sacked by the club, who play in Evo-Stik Division 1 North.”

Club chairwoman Anne Barker said that Hart had brought the club into disrepute. She said “Any players, while wearing a Clitheroe tracksuit, represents the club.”

“We expect a certain level of behavior and discipline. And that wasn’t it.”

To his credit, Hart – of Accrington, Lancashire – apologized for the incident and said he was “full of regret.”

The video appears to have been scrubbed from the internet. However, there is still an image on twitter.

The story isn’t all fun, though. Hart’s girlfriend slammed whoever was responsible for posting the video clip, according to The Daily Mirror.

She took to the Clitheroe Football Club Facebook page to vent her frustration at those who had made light of the incident.

She wrote: “Have a bit of decency for the people it’s affected. Thank god my kids are too young to read.”

(Updated post)