Raquinho is officially a major part of the 2024 season for NYCFC

  • NYCFC has a new unofficial mascot
  • Raquinho has become a part of the club after introducing himself in the Philadelphia Union match
NYCFC, Raquinho
NYCFC, Raquinho / Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

When New York City FC played the Philadelphia Union earlier in the month, nobody expected the team would go viral for non-soccer reasons. During the game, a raccoon made its way onto the pitch, running around like it owned the place. The animal got extremely close to fans and the players, causing a stoppage for about five minutes.

What made the event go viral was the chase to catch the raccoon, who everyone has dubbed Raquinho. It took multiple stadium staff and grounds crew, plus some garbage bins, to capture him. It took some time and Raquinho broke some ankles along the way. He pulled off some Lionel Messi moves to escape them. Although, eventually he was captured and released outside of the stadium.

The raccoon chase was why NYCFC and the Union went viral. Major news networks like CNN and NBC News, sporting networks and websites, and even local news covered the story. Of course, it went viral on social media, especially on X. Even people who were not the biggest Major League Soccer fans were talking about Raquinho and his stellar performance.

NYCFC has made the raccoon a part of the 2024 season

Therefore, MLS took advantage of the moment, posting numerous posts about the raccoon. However, NYCFC has taken it to a whole new level. The club has made Raquinho a part of the club for the 2024 season. He has become an unofficial mascot. The fans have also welcomed the raccoon with open arms.

The Pigeons have constantly posted posts on social media where the newly loved animal has made multiple appearances. For example, he has made his way into the "There is no reason to be upset" meme, which has been posted a few times after wins.

The excitement of Raquinho even led NYCFC to purchase a stuffed raccoon that will travel with them on the road. Jovan Mijatović and Mitja Ilenič showed proof of the raccoon on a post that was on the striker's Instagram story. Subsequently, NYCFC shared the photo, confirming the stuffed animal is indeed named Raquinho.

It is early, but it seems the Serbian has already taken the job as caretaker.

Naturally, nobody knows whether the Raquinho obsession will last throughout the season. Right now, he is still fun to add to aspects of the club, especially on social media. It is great to have an unofficial mascot during this fantastic run.

At the same time, it is funny that NYCFC has a name for their raccoon, but no official Pigeon mascot. Perhaps Raquinho will end up with a friend as the season progresses.