On Thursday the Hudson River Park Trust, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, the U.S. Soccer Foundation and Nike Soccer came together to celebrate the Hudson River Park's Pier 40 Courtyard Field Grand Opening.
The grand opening of the new outdoor, multi-sport artificial turf field in the courtyard of Hudson River Park's Pier gave New York City students a chance to test out the new field and learn a couple of tricks about the game of soccer.
New York Governor George Pataki, along with Chris Martin, the Hudson River Park Trust's spokesperson, presented the field to the public and explained the journey they took to make the project of restoring Lower Manhattan Piers happen. Following the presentation of the field, Governor Pataki helped kick off the festivities by illustrating his scoring skills and netting a couple of goals with U.S. national team and FC Dallas star Eddie Johnson.
Not only was the event a celebration for the opening of the Courtyard Field, but it a clinic as well. With the help of Johnson and MetroStars forward Ramon Bailey, students were able to participate in drills focusing on dribbling, passing and scoring.
As the students first arrived at the Courtyard Field they were greeted by officials and then separated into groups. Once separated into groups, the students moved from station to station working on becoming more comfortable with the soccer ball. At every station, students were able to test out their skills and come head to head with Bailey and Johnson.
The students that participated in the event not only left with a new appreciation for the sport of soccer, but also learned that in order to become successful in the sport, they must be focused and have the drive to succeed.