New York- New York City Football Club (NYCFC) and New York City Soccer Initiative (NYCSI) partners—including the First Lady of New York City Chirlane McCray and First Team coaches and players from New York City Football Club (NYCFC)—celebrated the completion of the five-year initiative with the unveiling of a final mini-pitch at P.S. 184 Shuang Wen in Chinatown, Manhattan.
In addition to a Wednesday morningribbon cutting, NYCSI partners announced a new commitment to create an additional 26 new mini-pitches in lead up to 2026 World Cup and the creation of NYCSI Community Cup—a free 5v5 tournament across 50 NYCSI mini-pitches for youth from all five boroughs.
Comments from officials and NYCFC players that attended the ribbon cutting ceremony:
Pep Guardiola, Manchester City FC Head Coach:
“I’ve spent a lot of time in New York City during my career. It’s a City I love deeply and over the years, I’ve been lucky enough to see firsthand New Yorkers’ passion for football. Young people want to play and need a place to play. The fact that there are now 50 new football pitches throughout New York City because of NYCFC and our Group is amazing and will make a big difference in the lives of young people. I have said it for many years, I believe there is an incredibly bright future for football in the U.S. and amazing projects like this one will play a part in helping to produce the next generation of young American talent.
Ronny Deila, NYCFC Head Coach:
“When I moved to New York two years ago, the passion this city has for football was clear to me from day one. I’m now proud to call myself a new New Yorker and be part of this initiative that has created 50 safe spaces and programming through mini-pitches across the five boroughs. As we get closer to the 2026 World Cup and as the city’s love for football continues to grow even further, these pitches will serve more communities than ever before and be a part of this city forever. Seeing young people enjoying these pitches is what football is all about.”
Brad Sims, NYCFC CEO:
“Since our inauguration, we have been working to build a Club that is part of the fabric of this great City and one that will leave a lasting, tangible and positive impact across the five boroughs. Along with our incredible partners, we’ve made a significant step in realizing this vision by completing this ambitious 50-pitch project that will provide safe spaces for all New Yorkers to learn and play soccer. After just five years, we are tremendously proud to fulfill our promise, see these 50 pitches already having a huge impact on local communities and to know that they will forever be a part of New York City.”
Sean Johnson, NYCFC Team Captain and Goalkeeper:
“Providing kids across the boroughs access to a safe space to play the game in a way that really brings communities and people of different walks of the world together is an amazing accomplishment, and I know this is just the beginning. NYCSI being one of the first in the space to create that access, and now seeing how important and impactful it is, is something to be proud of. It’s something that’s easy to model in other cities and to see it now widespread across the country by other clubs and cities is amazing.”
ABOUT MAYOR’S FUND TO ADVANCE NEW YORK CITY
The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization working with 50 City agencies and offices, 300 institutional funders, and 100 community-based partners. The Mayor’s Fund works in partnership with the business and philanthropic communities to advance initiatives that improve the lives of residents in all five boroughs. It seeks to seed promising, evidence-based models; evaluate the efficacy of new public programs and policies; bring innovative solutions to scale; and respond to the emerging needs of the city by building public-private partnerships. First Lady of New York City Chirlane McCray is chair of the Mayor’s Fund Board of Directors. In addition, the Mayor’s Fund has an Advisory Board of prominent civic and business leaders to advise and assist the Board of Directors.
ABOUT U.S. SOCCER FOUNDATION
The U.S. Soccer Foundation’s programs are the national model for sports-based youth development in underserved communities. Since its founding in 1994, the Foundation has established programs proven to help children embrace an active and healthy lifestyle while nurturing their personal growth beyond sports. Its cost-effective, high-impact initiatives offer safe environments where kids and communities thrive. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Soccer Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization. For more information, visit www.ussoccerfoundation.org or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
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