New York City Football Club Fans Cheer From Afar During Season Opener

Fans gathered at Yankee Tavern in the Bronx to cheer on the NYCFC in the season opener. Photo by Daniel DiDonna.


On Saturday, Feb. 25, a group of New Yorkers hosted a viewing party at Yankees Tavern in the Bronx as Major League Soccer began their new season. Among the 11 opening games, this section of New Yorkers were paying close attention to one game as New York City Football Club played their first game of the season.

NYCFC started their season against Nashville Soccer Club on the road, and while they put in a good effort, they could not overcome a two-goal deficit and lost the game 2-0.

While most of the NYCFC’s fan base was in Nashville attending the game, some fans went to show their support at five different viewing parties in New York, including one at Yankees Tavern, just a block away from Yankees Stadium.

Before the game, Angel Gonzales, who was the event organizer and works with The Third Rail, spoke about why this event is so important to the fan base and especially to those in the Bronx.

“You know the whole point is to bring all soccer fans together from the Bronx and enjoy what we all love, which is NYCFC,” said Gonzales.

While this was just one viewing party across the five boroughs, this did not stop a good number of fans from showing up at Yankees Tavern. Among the supporters at the tavern was Felix Palao, a board member of one of the official support groups of NYCFC called The Third Rail.

While most of The Third Rail was in Nashville, Palao knew the importance of having viewing parties in New York City and how the atmosphere is different from home games than away games.

“My responsibility is to provide a space to come and enjoy a match…when we do have a match down the block it’s pretty lively in here, we’re getting loud we get rowdy just like we do across the street,” said Palao.

NYCFC has been in existence for ten years, and every year, Yankees Tavern has always been the go-to place for supporters to get together and enjoy a match around friends.

Phil Dasuk is a bartender who has worked in the bar for 11 years and has seen firsthand just how passionate these fans are.

“The energy in here is better than a baseball game… slowly gradually I’ve seen the supporter coming in and I tell everyone is into the game,”said Dasuk.

While Yankee’s Tavern is the go-to place for NYCFC fans to meet and get together before and after the games, that will not be the case in a couple of years.  The team will be getting a new home stadium in 2027, which will not be in the Bronx, but instead in Flushing, Queens.

Dasuk spoke about how this will affect business.

“We’re going to miss soccer when they go to Flushing,” said Dasuk.

Even though the new stadium will be affecting most of the fan base’s choices as to where their new go-to place will be, these fans of the Bronx will not be going anywhere.

“This will be gameday at least for us in the Bronx. That’s not going to change just because the team will not be playing in the Bronx anymore… where from the Bronx we rep this team like only the Bronx can we just bring that Bronx energy all the way to Queen” said Palao.

While the outcome of the game was not what the fans were expecting, the fact that they got together again and supported this team with all their heart is one of the many beauties of soccer.