First round of MLS, Fussball Herren, USA Cup game NYCFC versus Atlanta United MLS official ball seen on the pitch during first round game of MLS Cup between NYCFC and Atlanta United on Yankee stadium. NYCFC won 2 - 0 and progressed to semifinal of MLS Cup. They will play New England Revolution for the place in Eastern Conference final. New York New York United States Copyright: LevxRadin

New York City FC was founded in 2013 when the City Football Group decided to have a team in the Major League Soccer, which also owns the English football club Manchester City, and Yankee Global Enterprises, owners of the New York Yankees, an American professional baseball team. Then in the coming years, they suffered a lot. They had a lot of ups and downs in the league, and in the end, now they have got the results of the ambitions they were dreaming of. They won the first Conference title and first MLS Cup against Portland Timbers in a penalty shootout 2-4 after the game ended in a 1-1 all draw after extra time.

New York City played its first game in 2015 as the twentieth overall expansion team of the league. It is the first franchise based in the city, and the second in the New York metropolitan area, after the New York Red Bulls, with whom they contest the Hudson River Derby. Since 2015, the club has primarily played their home games at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.

On the eve of their first MLS Cup final, Ferran Soriano, the chief executive of City Football Group, pointed out the team’s growth in the past years. “We are here for the long term,” said Ferran Soriano, whose growing network of football clubs around the world includes not only Manchester City of the Premier League and New York City FC but also nine other teams in 11 countries. “And the long term is not five years. It’s not 10. It’s 50.”

“We’re very happy to be in the final — very happy,” Soriano added. “It’s a symbol to what we have achieved. But in reality, the work has been steady year after year.”

Last year, the club announced a project for the city, making football more accessible for the community. The project was called ‘For The City’. An ambitious commitment for New York. It is a five-year initiative to make football more accessible for every community in New York City ahead of the World Cup in 2026.

The goal is to raise $5 million over 5-years for City in the Community (CITC) NY foundation to fund free community programs and safe spaces to play, all areas of the Club, from players to partners to staff to fans, will contribute to this unified cause. Working with community partners, ‘For The City’ aims to double the number of youth served through CITC football programs, growing the number of participants from 5,000 to 10,000 annually.

City Football Group is planning something big for the city and the club. The authorities of MLS also mentioned it. “This is a long game for the City Football Group,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber said. “They’re thinking about their investment in Major League Soccer over a generational time frame.”