Celebrating Year Three of NYCSI

The New York City Soccer Initiative turned three this month as the newest Safe Places to Play mini-pitch was unveiled at Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The first of its kind, the initiative focuses on utilizing mini-pitches to expand free soccer programming for thousands of children in New York through our Soccer for Success program, and through NYCFC and City in the Community Foundation programs for children. 

Partners of the initiative — including the U.S. Soccer Foundation, adidas, the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, New York City Football Club, and Etihad Airways – gathered to celebrate the creation of the first 30 of 50 Safe Places to Play mini-pitches across the city. 

Check out some of our favorite moments from the celebration below!

We kicked off the day with the mini-pitch unveiling in sunny Queens. 

Partners and kids from the community shared their excitement about the project. “We’re thrilled to celebrate the opening of the next 10 mini-pitches as part of the New York City Soccer Initiative alongside a dedicated group of partners who have expanded access to the game to thousands of New Yorkers over the past three years,” said Ed Foster-Simeon, President & CEO of the U.S. Soccer Foundation. “These new safe places to play will ensure more youth have the opportunity to participate in programming where they can develop critical life skills that will help them succeed on and off the pitch.”

First Lady Chirlane McCray joined us and shared, “When we invest in recreational spaces for our children, it is more than designating a play space; we energize entire communities and bring neighbors together for positive and healthy social experiences. Together, we are building stronger communities, and helping young people develop habits that will promote wellness throughout their lives.”

“It is truly incredible to see what can be accomplished when the right partners come together under common cause – in this case to create gathering places that encourage joyful play, strengthen a sense of community, and bring energy to underutilized spaces across this great city,” said Toya Wiliford, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City. 

The community celebrated with the mini-pitch unveiling, DJ, and photo exhibit showcasing submissions from kids in the community. Eighteen-year old Kweku Brew won the contest with his work on soccer culture in the Bronx. 

And of course, we held a scrimmage to officially open the new mini-pitch! Special guests and NYCFC players Alex Ring, Justin Haak, and Maximiliano Moralez jumped in on the action as well.

It was a great day to celebrate with the community and partners and we look forward to creating more play spaces across the city! 

Over five years, New York City Soccer Initiative partners will build and maintain 50 Safe Places to Play mini-pitches and engage thousands of New York City youth in free soccer programming through the Foundation’s Soccer for Success program and through NYCFC and City in Community Foundation programs for children. Learn more about the partnership here


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Join the U.S. Soccer Foundation in the movement to improve lives through soccer.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


  • adidas


    adidas, the Foundation’s Safe Places to Play – Mini-Pitch Partner, supports providing children in underserved communities with safe play spaces nationwide. adidas strives to be the globally leading and most popular sporting goods brand. Dedicated to innovation,  adidas embraces creativity and seeks to be socially responsible in all facets of its brand. For more information, please visit adidas.com.

  • CHA


    CHA Sports, the Foundation’s Supplier for Soccer Facility Design and Planning Services, provides community partners with expertise in soccer facility design. CHA Sport’s full service approach allows the company to build world-class projects without breaking budgets. For more information, please visit chacompanies.com

  • The DICK'S Sporting Goods Foundation

    The DICK'S Sporting Goods Foundation

    DICK’S Sporting Goods and The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation believe that participation in sports makes people better. Since 2014, DICK’S and The DICK’S Foundation have pledged more than $100 million to support youth sports teams and leagues in need.  Through our Sports Matter initiative we strive to increase awareness for underfunded youth athletics nationwide and provide much-needed support through equipment, uniform and monetary donations. For more information on Sports Matter, visit SportsMatter.org.

  • Kwik Goal

    Kwik Goal

    Kwik Goal, the Foundation’s Official Supplier for goals, seating, boundary equipment, training equipment and coaching accessories, will be supporting a variety of Foundation programs and initiatives including: Soccer for Success, National Training and the Safe Places to Play program. Over thirty years ago, Kwik Goal was founded on the revolutionary concept of providing transportable goals for coaches at all age levels. Since that time, Kwik Goal has continued to focus on helping coaches and soccer programs create safe and dynamic learning environments by supplying high quality, safety tested soccer goals, field equipment and training equipment to the domestic and international market. For more information, please visit Kwikgoal.com.



    MLS WORKS, Major League Soccer’s community outreach initiative, is dedicated to addressing important social issues and serves as a platform for both League and club philanthropic programs. MLS WORKS seeks to establish Major League Soccer as a leader for improving the lives of people through sport. MLS WORKS is committed to improving the communities where we live and play our games by executing national programs and legacy projects, charitable giving campaigns, and undertaking various initiatives in underserved communities.

  • Musco


    As a proud corporate partner of the U.S. Soccer Foundation, Musco is dedicated to helping the major charitable arm of American soccer create new opportunities through high-quality sports lighting. Their Total Light Control—TLC for LED™ technology is engineered as a system with lighting, structural, and electrical components designed to work together for streamlined installation and long-term reliability. TLC for LED delivers superior field lighting while eliminating glare and spill from impacting surrounding neighborhoods. And Musco’s long-term warranty covering parts and labor means U.S. Soccer Foundation partners don’t have to handle any maintenance on their system, or pay for it, for 25 years. Visit https://ussoccerfoundation.org/grants/ to learn more about the grant program and application process.

  • SCORE Sports

    SCORE Sports

    SCORE Sports, the preferred provider of shin guards to the Foundation’s Soccer for Success program, is a family-owned and operated business specializing in sports equipment, uniforms and apparel. SCORE is an industry leader and has been involved in the sports community for over 40 years. SCORE outfits athletes with high-quality uniforms that SCORE develops, designs and manufactures in the U.S. SCORE takes pride in working with various non-profit groups and causes to give back to athletes who may need some extra support to play the game they love. SCORE is environmentally cautious with the materials it uses for its products and does its part in minimizing our environmental footprint. SCORE proudly offers a wide variety of products to provide customers with a one-stop shop for all your soccer needs. For more information, please visit scoresports.com.

  • Soccer.com


    Soccer.com, the Foundation’s National Partner for Soccer Equipment and Uniforms, was founded in 1984 to provide high quality soccer gear at reasonable prices through its nationally circulated catalog. Soccer.com embodies a passion for the game that extends to the people who play, coach and support soccer. For more information, please visit soccer.com.




  • Target


    Target announced a national partnership with Safe Places to Play in 2017, along with a $6 million commitment to build 100 new soccer play spaces with the U.S. Soccer Foundation by 2020. This is the latest initiative in the Minneapolis-based retailer’s multi-dimensional approach to the sport of soccer, bringing the game to more kids and families across the country, and unlocking access and increasing involvement at all levels.

  • TGI Worldwide

    TGI Worldwide

    TGI Worldwide, the Foundation’s National Partner for Visual Branding (Signage, Event Décor, Pageantry, Sponsorship Activation), Perimeter Field Board Systems, Creative Services and Event Operations is proud to support a variety of initiatives and programs throughout the United States. Headquartered in the U.S., TGI is an internationally recognized sports marketing company delivering high profile Visual Branding, Live Event Management, LED, and cutting edge Digital Sports Applications to enrich the experience at major events and deliver commercial impact for sponsors and partners. The company has a 20-year history in providing its various solutions for many top-tier domestic and international events, organizations, teams and companies, with proven success and turn-key solutions across 1000+ events, 160+ cities and 50+ countries globally.

    For more information on our services, please visit https://www.worldwidetgi.com or contact Mike Squire at msquire@worldwidetgi.com / Phone: 312-371-5852.

  • World Soccer Shop

    World Soccer Shop

    Launched in 2001, World Soccer Shop is an online soccer retailer based in Birmingham, Alabama. It carries one of the world’s widest selections of officially-licensed products from the sport’s top brands and teams. World Soccer Shop is passionate about soccer and endeavors to spread the beautiful game around the world, especially to those in areas of need. For more information, please visit www.worldsoccershop.com.


Tweet or post on Facebook and show the world
that you believe in the power of soccer.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter