Today, the New York City Soccer Initiative (NYCSI) partners — Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, reigning MLS Champions New York City Football Club (NYCFC), the U.S. Soccer Foundation, adidas, and Etihad Airways — launched the NYCSI Community Cup, a celebratory 5v5 tournament that will bring together young people from all five boroughs to compete on the 50 blue mini-pitches that have been constructed by the partners all across the city in the last five years.
The free tournament will take place over two weekends, starting with coaching and skills-building clinics on June 4. The second weekend will commence the five-on-five matches, starting on June 11. The tournament will culminate in a knockout stage at 11 a.m. on June 12 at Flushing Meadows Corona Park to determine the champions of the first-ever NYCSI Community Cup. The Community Cup will also offer programming throughout both weekends, including free coaching and refereeing and skill clinics with the goal of promoting participation and inclusivity on NYCSI’s mini-pitches.
NYCSI Community Cup is being delivered by City in the Community (CITC) – the foundation proudly supported by NYCFC – and its partners. CITC will recruit and serve more than 200 kids from across the city and form 25 teams that will represent their 25 communities. Additionally, CITC Young Leaders and volunteers from the community will help staff and support the events and programming throughout both weekends.
The Community Cup initiative picks up on the heels of NYCSI, a first-of-its kind $3 million initiative launched in 2016 to create and maintain 50 mini-pitches across the city and expand free soccer programming to the next generation of New Yorkers. The initiative helped spur other cities – including Chicago and Newark, N.J. – to launch their own initiatives to create mini-pitches and expand access to free, high-quality programs. The 50th pitch was constructed last fall at PS 184 Shuang Wen and all 50 sites are open for play to the public. NYCSI partners have also committed to installing an additional 26 mini-pitches across the city in the lead up to the FIFA World Cup 2026, which will be hosted across the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
“The completion of our 50th pitch last fall was one of the proudest moments I have been a part of since joining NYCFC,” said NYCFC CEO Brad Sims. “At the very core of our club is a commitment to serving the people of New York City, and this first-ever NYCSI Community Cup is an incredible way of doing that. Continuous programming on these mini-pitches that focused on inclusivity and accessibility to the sport we love is as foundational to our 50-pitch project as constructing the spaces. I am proud to see this tournament come to fruition and bring together young people from across our entire city.”
To learn more about NYCSI and find a mini-pitch near you, visit nyc.gov/site/fund/initiatives/