New York Red Bulls, U.S. Soccer Foundation, NYC Parks unveil new Lower East Side pitch
NEW YORK, N.Y. (Via New York Red Bulls) – Representatives from the New York Red Bulls, U.S. Soccer Foundation and NYC Parks gathered yesterday with members of the community at the East Side Community High School on the Lower East Side of Manhattan to celebrate the opening of a state-of-the-art mini-soccer pitch.
The pitch is the first tangible product of the new partnership between the Red Bulls and U.S. Soccer Foundation. The partnership, formed in March, aims to invest in safe places to play and innovative sports-based development programs for youth in the New York City area with support from NYC Parks.
“It means a lot,” said Mark Federman, Principal of the East Side Community High School. “Our students know that the school cares a lot about them. They know that the afterschool program, the Beacon and DYCD program care a lot about them, but for them to hear that the Red Bulls have invested in this field, that Connor [Lade] and Drew [Jean-Baptiste] have come out here, that other players have come out here, that [the organization] continues to give us resources, are going to be running clinics, that [the organization] took us out to a game, that you are investing in the school, and it’s not just a one-shot deal… the relationship that [the organization is] building, and that you are interested in them as students, as students, it means the world to them… that their neighborhood soccer team cares about them in this way, to invest in them, it’s every kid’s dream.”
The pitch was installed last week by members of the Red Bulls staff. Tuesday’s Ribbon Cutting ceremony included remarks from community leaders, and representatives from U.S. Soccer Foundation, NYC Parks and the Red Bulls. Guests in attendance include Mitchell Silver from the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, Monique Flores, Director, University Settlement, Councilwoman Rosie Mendez, District 2, New York City Council, and Susan Stetzer, District Manager, Manhattan Community Board 3.
“This is a perfect example of what we’re trying to do,” said Joseph Stetson, Red Bulls Vice President of Communications and Marketing. “We’re trying to develop, engage and inspire our community through soccer. What a great partnership, with the U.S. Soccer Foundation, the [New York City] department of parks and recreation, and the East Side High School and community to build this mini-pitch and give kids a safe and accessible place to play soccer. The Soccer for Success program is an afterschool program that is going to make this year-round, sustainable program. It’s a reflection of what we want to do in the community.”
Now that the pitch is installed, the U.S. Soccer Foundation, along with the Department of Youth and Community Development, will provide Soccer for Success after school programming. The Soccer for Success program has proven successful at changing health outcomes for youth.