Whether you want to call it football or soccer, the precise semantics of the given sport all come down to which side of the world you’re squaring off in. But for fans who found themselves in the Bronx on Friday night, there was no question that Yankee Stadium was the ultimate place to be. It was here in the luxury club suite that New York City Football Club president Jon Patricof and Cinema Society founder Andrew Saffir hosted an intimate viewing party for the match against the Chicago Fire. Among those who came out to cheer on the boys in blue were Jemima Kirke, Ethan Hawke, Alessandro Nivola, Josh Lucas, and Timo Weiland. Similar rock-star vibes could furthermore be felt come halftime when legendary New York City FC player Frank Lampard stopped by for a cameo. “It’s like Mick Jagger just walked in!” exclaimed one onlooker as guests took turns posing for photos with the player. (Even Hawke’s 14-year-old son, Levon, managed to get an autograph added to the back of his very own Frank Lampard No. 8 jersey.) “I feel so proud to wear a uniform and badge that are inspired by New York City itself,” Lampard said. “I love that the badge was voted on by the fans. Plus, I’ve worn blue throughout my career, so our blue jerseys are a natural fit for me.”
Though the midfielder wasn’t in official gear himself, having been temporarily sidelined due to a minor calf injury, he looked nothing short of the football fashionisto in a chambray A.P.C. shirt, Dolce & Gabbana trousers, and Adidas sneakers. “I’m superstitious to the point where if things are going well, I’ll put my right shoe on first and my left on second, and when we have a bad game, I’ll change it,” Lampard said in reference to his pregame rituals. “And I always eat the same food—my wife’s chicken and pasta.” Fortunately, going into the second half, the New York City FC was leading by two, which made indulging in the game-day fare on offer all the more appealing. The decadent spread featured fresh lobster rolls, fried chicken wings, and miniature marshmallow treats for dessert, complete with the team logo spelled out in blue and white frosting. But perhaps the real icing on top of the proverbial cake came when team captain David Villa scored a final goal inside the far post from some 16 yards out. “I always go into games feeling that I will give my best to help the team win,” Villa said following the momentous occasion, which marked the New York City FC’s first Major League Soccer Cup playoff berth. Let’s hear it for the home team!