World Footy: 50 playing fields for New York City

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    NYCFC kicks in to spread soccer to kids

    NYCFC players celebrate after scoring a goal.

    Even before New York City FC had played its first MLS game last season, the team talked about wanting to be good neighbors and ingrained in the community.

    NYCFC is teaming with mayor Bill de Blasio, the Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC, the US Soccer Foundation and adidas to launch the New York City Soccer Initiative. The public-private partnership will build and maintain 50 soccer fields over the next five years, all in underserved neighborhoods throughout the city.

    “These new soccer fields will be essential in keeping our young New Yorkers safe, active and connected with the community. With this partnership, we are tackling inequalities in all its forms – including in our parks and outdoor spaces,” said de Blasio, who attended NYCFC’s inaugural home game last season and hosted several players for a children’s fitness event at Gracie Mansion.

    “In the city of immigrants, with so many different languages and cultures, the New York City Soccer Initiative will be one of the great tools we use to unify young New Yorkers. My thanks to the Mayor’s Fund, the US Soccer Foundation, New York City Football Club and adidas for coming together and building a meaningful program.”

    The program will invest $3 million in fields across all five boroughs, and provide afterschool programming for an estimated 10,000 kids.

    “Community has been an integral part of this Club since the very beginning,’’ said NYCFC president Jon Patricof. “We’ve seen through the work of our extensive community programs that soccer has the ability to change lives. This initiative will give access to pitches and help us deliver our programming to thousands of New York City school kids in every borough, and we’re thrilled to be a part of it.”

    NYCFC, which leads the Eastern Conference at 8-6-6 for 30 points, plays at Montreal on Sunday.
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