New York City FC honors Grant Wahl in team’s home opener

Grant Wahl
Grant Wahl / Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

On Saturday, New York City FC played against Inter Miami CF in the club’s home opener.  The first home fixture took place at Yankee Stadium, and the Pigeons won thanks to an own goal. 

Like every Major League Soccer team, NYCFC took the time to honor the legendary sports journalist, Grant Wahl.  As many know, Wahl passed away while covering the World Cup back in December.  Despite theories on his death, especially due to his criticism on Qatar and the handling of the World Cup, he sadly passed away from an ascending aortic aneurysm.

Wahl was best known for his work at Sports Illustrated.  He first started covering college basketball, but it was his coverage on soccer that put him on the map.  Whether it was the World Cup, player profiles, or women’s soccer, he always put his heart and soul into the coverage.  Most notably, he covered the controversial issues, which included his criticism of Qatar throughout the entire World Cup process. 

He truly helped the growth of soccer in the United States.  Anyone who followed soccer knew Wahl’s name, and his work was appreciated and loved by everyone, even those who did not agree with some of his opinions.  His sudden death sent shock waves across the US soccer community, and he is greatly missed. 

New York City FC honors and remembers Grant Wahl

Hence, it was not surprising for Major League Soccer to honor Wahl at each team’s first home fixture, including New York City FC.  Every team reserved one spot in their press box, and left it empty to honor Wahl.  But in a sense, it was not empty, for pictures of the journalist reminded everyone he will always be here. 

Since NYCFC’s first home game was on Match Day 3, the team finally honored the late legend.  Like every team, they set aside a spot to honor Wahl, and included pictures and flowers.  The team tweeted a picture, which can be seen below.

In addition, a moment of silence was held for him and Charlotte FC player, Anton Walkes, who passed away in January due to injuries from a boating accident.  It was a somber moment, and it was a difficult reminder that two beautiful souls are no longer here.    

The decision by the Pigeons and the rest of MLS to honor Wahl was a kind gesture.  He is no longer here, but his memory will forever live on in the history of the beautiful game. 

Thank you, New York City FC and MLS, for taking the time to honor Grant, and reminding everyone how wonderful he was, both as a writer and a person.