- Tournament brings together over 300 youth from all five boroughs and provides free access to soccer to hone their skills and play the beautiful game
* New York, NY* – The New York City Soccer Initiative (NYCSI) partners -- Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, New York City Football Club (NYCFC), the U.S. Soccer Foundation, adidas, and Etihad Airways – will host the second annual free NYCSI Community Cup, a celebratory 5v5 tournament that will bring together young people aged 8-11 from all five boroughs to compete on the 50 blue mini-pitches that have been constructed by the partners all across the City.
This year’s free tournament will take place over two weekends. Last weekend, Saturday June 24, marked the beginning of the tournament’s programming with coaching and skills-building clinics. The second weekend will commence the tournament’s matches, starting on Saturday, July 1. The tournament will culminate in a knockout stage at 11am ET on Sunday, July 2 at Triborough Bridge Playground in Queens to determine the champions of this year’s NYCSI Community Cup.
NYCSI Community Cup is being overseen by New York City Football Club’s nonprofit foundation, City in the Community (CITC). The Club recruited over 300 kids from across the city and formed 30 teams that will represent their communities. Additionally, Young Leaders from the Club’s Youth Leadership program have been hired to be coaches, referees, and organizers for the tournament. The participating neighborhoods and communities include:
- The Bronx: Soundview, Mott Haven, Melrose, Castle Hill, Morris Heights, Williamsbridge
- Brooklyn: Canarsie, Crown Heights, Brownsville, Coney Island, Bed Stuy, Bushwick
- Manhattan: Harlem, East Harlem, Lower East Side, Washington Heights, Chinatown, Inwood
- Queens: Astoria, Corona, South Jamaica, Jackson Heights, Far Rockaway, East Elmhurst
- Staten Island: Stapleton, Mariners Harbor, Park Hill, Port Richmond, St. George, Tottenville
This year’s NYCSI Community Cup is an expansion from last year’s inaugural tournament. The first edition of the tournament served over 200 New York City youth from all five boroughs, forming 25 neighborhood teams. Last year’s final included teams representing Astoria, South Jamaica, Washington Heights, Chinatown, Crown Heights, Melrose, Park Hill, and the first-ever NYCSI Community Cup Champions Mott Haven.
The Community Cup initiative is an extension and continuation 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 to launch their own initiatives to create mini-pitches and expand access to free, high-quality programs, and its first 50 pitches were completed in November 2021. NYCSI partners have also committed to constructing 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.
“Sports are our great equalizer – a space to start new bonds, bring communities together, and unite all walks of life,” said Deputy Mayor for Strategic Initiatives Ana Almanzar. “I am thrilled New York City, the global capital of the world, is once again hosting the globe’s most popular, soccer, with the Community Cup. Good luck to all the participants and may the best team win!”
“NYCFC is committed to providing free soccer programming through all five boroughs, and the Community Cup has quickly become an important marquee event for the Club,” said Brad Sims, NYCFC CEO. “This event is a major part of our ongoing community work and perfectly displays our values – breaking barriers, fostering teamwork, promoting inclusivity, and making soccer more accessible to New Yorkers.”
“We’re thrilled to see the 50 NYCSI mini-pitches continue to be used for free play and programs for thousands of young New Yorkers including for this second annual Community Cup,” said Ed Foster-Simeon, President & CEO of the U.S. Soccer Foundation. “Together with our partners, we’re making soccer and its benefits available to more young people and families.”
“We are eager to see the culmination of this incredible partnership in the second annual Community Cup,” said April Rivera, adidas Director Key City Activation. “Supporting programs like NYCSI is core to bringing our belief to life, through sport, we have the power to change lives.”
“Etihad is a proud supporter of soccer worldwide, and we appreciate the valuable role that sport plays in the community. New York has always been an important destination for Etihad, and we are honored to be able to give back to the city through the New York City Soccer Initiative's Community Cup for the second year in a row. We wish all the players and teams an enjoyable experience and thank our partners who have made this tournament possible” said Simon Newton-Smith, Etihad Airways Vice President of the Americas.
“NYC Parks is thrilled to once again host the New York City Soccer Initiative’s Community Cup, which provides an exciting opportunity for kids in all five boroughs to compete in soccer matches and take part in free skills clinics,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue. “Through its 50 mini-pitches, NYCSI’s programming plays an important role in promoting active lifestyles for children and bringing communities together through sports.”