Hurricane Joaquin may threaten status of NYCFC, RBNY matches

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by CHRISTIAN ARAOS

Officials from MLS and DC United are monitoring the path of Hurricane Joaquin ahead of Friday night’s match between United and New York City FC, the Washington Post reports.

Although weather forecasters have yet to reach a consensus on the path of the hurricane, most are confident that the storm will bring rain and high winds to the Eastern seaboard in the next few days. That has prompted the RFK Stadium grounds crew to cover the playing surface to prevent water buildup, a DC United spokesman said.

If local officials declare a weather emergency, the match would more than likely be postponed. If not, the decision to play the match would rest with the match officials. NYCFC officials tell EoS the team will travel to Washington on Thursday as it had originally planned.

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Hurricane Joaquin may also threaten the status of the New York Red Bulls’ next two matches. The Red Bulls host the Columbus Crew on Saturday and the Montreal Impact on Wednesday Oct. 7. The latest forecast from the National Hurricane Center projects the center of the storm approaching southern portions of New Jersey on Monday morning. More than six inches of rain is expected to fall in New Jersey in the next seven days according to National Weather Service forecasts.

“We will continue to monitor the storm over the next few days. First and foremost, safety of our fans is the number one priority,” a Red Bulls spokesman said.

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An MLS spokesman said the league office will directly consult the National Weather Service on the day of each game.

Since NYCFC and DC United are both off for the international break, their match can be postponed a week without much difficulty. The same would apply for the Red Bulls and the Crew.

There are complications if the Red Bull-Impact match cannot be played next Wednesday. The Impact have to travel to Colorado to face the Rapids the following Saturday, Oct. 10 and the Red Bulls have a midweek game against Toronto FC the following week. That would mean that the only open window for the two teams to reschedule the match would be for Oct. 20-22, in between the final two weekends of the regular season. If the Columbus match does not go forward, both teams have off next week for a potential makeup.