New Yorkers rising up together to meet unprecedented challenges is in the fabric of this great city.
Through the COVID-19 crisis, we’ve seen countless examples of the community-minded selflessness and resilience associated with New York City and we’ve been inspired by those who have raised a hand and stepped up to help their fellow citizens.
In this spirit, we are setting out to reflect what’s truly undeNYable about our city and the people who make up our extended NYCFC family, all doing whatever it takes today to be back together again tomorrow through the sport we love.
undeNYable is a series of weekly themed stories here on NYCFC.com, holding up members of the NYCFC family who’ve shown the meaning of "For The City", coming through for their fellow New Yorkers when it has mattered most.
New York City native Jenny Lando has been a proud supporter of New York City Football Club since discovering the Club on a commercial during the 2014 Men’s World Cup. While her love of the sport dates back to well before 2014, when a Club in her city was established it became the start of a new chapter in the Landos’ family life.
Jenny began playing soccer with Manhattan Kickers when she was just eight years old, and eventually went on to play in high school. After a string of surgeries, her soccer career was cut short, but when her children were born and old enough to play, they started playing around the neighborhood.
Although her children went on to pursue other activities beyond soccer, their interest piqued in the beautiful game once again during the 2014 World Cup when a local Queens restaurant would theme their menu around which country was playing throughout the week. Over time, her children grew more and more interested in learning the country flags, rules of the game, and were surprised to find out that their mom once played soccer. “They got fascinated by all the scars on my knees and got worried when players would go down on the field.” While watching those World Cup games together, a commercial for New York City FC would serve as the inciting incident for a passionate relationship with NYCFC which spans to this day.
Jenny remembers: “We went home, and they told their Papa that this is what we were going to do. We were going to buy tickets to go see the team play in New York City.” Because her husband wasn’t the biggest soccer fan, NYCFC games would become an opportunity for mother-daughter quality time. “When we purchased the season tickets, we only got two so I would only bring one of my daughters at a time to the games.”
It was around this time Jenny learned about The Third Rail, the official independent supporters’ group for New York City FC. After attending her first meeting she immediately joined, especially after being introduced to The Light Rail, a family friendly supporters division of The Third Rail.
“For me, just knowing that there was a whole group of people who were already thinking about children and families in the supporters section made me feel that this was something that was the right choice, that my family could fit in at the games.” Jenny continued, “Then everything that NYCFC started doing to welcome people as supporters, it just felt like New York for me.”
Growing up in downtown Manhattan, Jenny remembers soccer as a rich part of New York City’s history because of its diverse population. “Soccer is universal,” Lando affirmed, “There wasn't ever a time that soccer wasn't a part of New York City.”
As avid supporters from the jump, Jenny and her daughters sought to attend all events hosted by NYCFC and players. But when a 21+ player meet and greet event kept her kids at home, they came up with an idea. “They made me take a photograph of them with all of the NYCFC gear we had happened to acquire already. They made me bring it to the players to show them,” Jenny recalled. When it came time for her to meet former NYCFC defender Jeb Brovsky, Jenny showed him the picture he asked if he could keep it. Jenny continued: “Apparently he had the photo in his locker in Yankee Stadium for a while. For my kids, that was the end, he was their favorite player. We got number five on everything.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic things have looked different for The Third Rail, but fortunately, social media and discussion boards allow supporters to stay connected. Looking back on it, Jenny never expected to make so many friends and memories for her and her family when she became a supporter back in 2014. “I had no idea that I would still be a season ticket holder and that the club would be holding my interest as long as it has. I think a lot of that is due to the friends I made in the supporters but also the friendships I’ve made with some of the players as well.”