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New York City FC not focused on Harlem River Yards as site for proposed stadium - president

Portland Timbers continued their turnaround after a slow start to 2018 with a resounding win over New York City FC.

ORANGEBURG, New York -- New York City FC president Jon Patricof says that a tract of land at Harlem River Yards is not an area of focus for a proposed stadium site.

NYCFC has spent its entire existence playing in the narrow confines of Yankee Stadium, with a proposed project at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park falling through shortly after the creation of the franchise in 2013.

Since then, the organization's efforts to find a permanent home have been unsuccessful, including a proposal to build on a site in Belmont Park that eventually went to the NHL's New York Islanders.

But it was revealed last week that NYCFC, along with two property developers -- Stephen Ross' Related Companies and Keith Rubenstein's Somerset Partners -- had responded to a request for expression of interest from the Empire State Development agency in developing a 12.8-acre site in the South Bronx. The preliminary proposal includes a 26,000-seat stadium, affordable and workforce housing, parking space, retail and more.

Speaking to reporters on the occasion of the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the team's new training facility in Orangeburg, N.Y., Patricof said that he feels like NYCFC "continues to make good progress" on finding a stadium site, but indicated the club is focusing its efforts on locations other than Harlem River Yards.

"We submitted something to the State [of New York] as part of a request for expressions of interest," said Patricof about the Harlem River Yards site. "But that's it. That site is not an active site."

As for the sites that Patricof considers "active" he declined to give details.

"Each one is complicated, but we're committed to the five boroughs, public access to transportation, and the answer is there are sites out there and that we feel confident we'll be able to secure one of them and develop it."

Patricof added he understands the impatience of fans regarding the stadium issue.

"I realize that expectations are high and fans appropriately want to see progress," he said. "So do we, so we're highly focused on it."

Jeff Carlisle covers MLS and the U.S. national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreyCarlisle.

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