For New York City FC trio Maxi Moralez, Valentin Castellanos and Jesus Medina, the coronavirus pandemic has quite literally brought them together.
With New York City at the epicenter of the American response to the COVID-19 threat, the South American trio are following Gov. Andrew Cuomo's stay-at-home orders together at the 32-year-old Moralez's house just outside the city in White Plains, N.Y., Castellanos tells Argentine outlet Clarin.
The South American contingent also includes Moralez's wife, two children and dog, and Medina's girlfriend.
“In my apartment I didn’t have anything to train with and Maxi here has the space and a gym,” Castellanos told Clarin. “I thank him because he invited me to spend [the quarantine] with his family.”
As one of NYCFC's Designated Players, Moralez can afford some other luxuries — particularly space — that the younger duo don't have at their apartments. And with the collective living situation, it's all a little reminiscent of a popular reality TV show.
“We say that we’re in the Big Brother house,” Castellanos said. “Luckily there’s a ping-pong table and an arcade … He has a big backyard and we can play foot-tennis and other activities. We listen to music, we play cards and board games. And to have fun, we add stakes: for example, loser has to make breakfast. We try to keep things light.”
Doing so is a welcome distraction from what the 21-year-old striker knows is a very sobering situation.
“It’s sad to see New York like this," Castellanos told Clarin. "It’s a city that always has a lot of cars and people everywhere 24 hours a day and now its streets are empty. Seeing it like this makes me crazy. I couldn’t believe that I was living here and that there was no one around. But that’s good, because people took action [and stayed home].”
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