On September 14th, NYCFC opened the 17th of 20 mini-pitches in the MLS 20 for 20 Initiative. The 20 for 20 program provides 1 mini-pitch for each MLS team and creates safe places for children to play soccer at a local partner in underserved communities around the country. The program is supported by MLS Works, Southern New Hampshire University, US Soccer Foundation and adidas.
NYCFC's partner location was PS 49 Willis Ave. School in The Bronx. This is the 2nd mini-pitch opened by NYCFC in the Port Morris/Mott Haven area; the first being in a separate 50 mini-pitch initiative with the City of New York.
The Third Rail offered additional support to the program by taking donations to purchase school supplies for the students who are in grades K-5. We raised just under $500 and 100% of proceeds were used to buy pens, pencils, notebooks, etc for the students. We were both shocked and proud to learn from ,Southern New Hampshire University Vice President of Marketing and Recruiting, Scott Durand that The Third Rail is the first supporters group to be involved in this program directly or indirectly! It was an eye-opening moment and we're very happy to be of service to our community and team. Thank you to everyone who donated money to the cause. We greatly appreciate your generosity.
After the opening remarks from PS 49 Principal Frank Hernandez and NYCFC President Jon Patricof, the children played a few small side games and we were quite impressed with some of the young players' ability. Despite the 91 degree heat, the children had a great time running up and down the pitch with Mehdi Ballouchy and Shannon Gomez.
Check out a few photos from the event below: