For the first time in a decade, the city has a championship of its own to celebrate, after the New York City Football Club (NYCFC) won the MLS Cup on Saturday.
What You Need To Know
- NYCFC won the MLS championship with a dramatic win over the Portland Timbers on Saturday
- It is the club's first MLS Cup
- NYCFC is the first New York-based team to win a championship since the Giants' Super Bowl win in 2012
“We know what it means to the fans, the expectations, what kind of city this is,” said Sean Johnson, the team's captain and goalkeeper. "It is a sports city, and to win a championship here with this team, with the support of our ownership group, our fans, it is unreal."
Like most New York champions before them, Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday presented members of the team with keys to the city during a ceremony at City Hall. Blue and white confetti rained on the champions and their loyal fans as they celebrated their first championship in the club’s history:
Sam Perman was one of the three thousand fans that flew out to Portland, Oregon and witnessed NYCFC’s victory in person. He says while soccer may not be the first sport that comes to mind when you think New York sports, this championship put his team on the map.
“Elated is a great word to use, just incredible," Perman said. "The 36 hours that I was in Portland was crazy. I am so glad I was able to bring a championship back to New York.”
Jonathan Salas went to Portland with the NYCFC fan group Los Templados.
He got the MLS Cup tattooed on his calf the night before the ceremony at City Hall:
“It was like the greatest moment of our lives," Salas said. "Seven years building up for this, for this moment and we finally got the cup. It was amazing.”
The team was founded seven years ago, in a league that less than 30 years old.
Ceasar Riera brought his three-month-old baby boy to the ceremony. He says he will be a NYCFC fan for life:
“For me this is a big thing, this is a special day," Riera said. "So I decided to bring my son so he can be a part of this and he can grow up with the team.”
The ceremony was a first for de Blasio, too: NYCFC became the first New York-based team to win a championship during his time in office. Of course, the women’s national soccer team won the World Cup twice during his tenure and had parades in the city to celebrate.
With days left in his administration, de Blasio joined 14 previous mayors who had seen at least one New York sports championship.