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NYCFC suffers embarrassing pitch problems at Yankee Stadium during 0-0 tie with Montreal Impact


It was an ugly afternoon for New York City FC at Yankee Stadium on Saturday.

Not only did NYCFC fail to score for a second straight game - this time a 0-0 tie against the Montreal Impact - but the playing conditions were an embarrassment for both the team and Major League Soccer.

Large chunks of the field were coming loose almost from the opening kick as both players and grounds crew were forced to try and fix the problem on the fly.

“It’s not a good pitch,” Impact coach Remi Garde said after the game. “It’s a shame that good players like there were on the field today on both sides cannot play good football.”

New York City FC midfielder Alexandru Mitrita (28) takes a corner kick against the Montreal Impact during Saturday's tie against the Impact. (Noah K. Murray/AP)

The turf issues had the soccer world buzzing.

“There’s a dead raccoon @Yankee Stadium,” tweeted former U.S. national teamer and current ESPN analyst Taylor Twellman as another chunk of turf went flying.

A reporter at the game tweeted a photo of the grounds crew: “furiously working on the temporary infield grass.”

“I don’t think they can build a new stadium in 15 minutes,” responded one Twitter user.

NYCFC are now in a fifth season using the Stadium in the Bronx as a temporary home. The grounds crew has the challenge of covering up the baseball infield with temporary sod as the stadium is transitioned for soccer games.

“It’s always difficult to play,” Impact midfielder Samuel Piette said. “It was really dry. It is really small, but it’s for both teams.”

While teams are now used to the smaller-than-regulation pitch at the Stadium as MLS tries to cram a soccer field into a baseball stadium, the loose turf is another red card for the venue.

Saturday’s loss before an announced crowd of less than 20,000 on a beautiful 60-degree day in the Bronx dropped NYCFC’s record to 0-1-4. The team has been shut out in back-to-back games and has scored just four times on the season.

“Our players need to win one game for the confidence because they don’t have to convince the journalists, they don’t have to convince the fans, they have to convince themselves,” NYCFC head coach Domenec Torrent said after game.

Torrent’s club will have a pair of road games to try and finally get the first win of the new season. And the folks at Yankee Stadium have until April 24 to figure out how to make the grass stay put in the infield.