HOUSTON DYNAMO OWNERS TEAM UP WITH DAMARCUS BEASLEY, U.S. SOCCER FOUNDATION TO FUND 15 SOCCER MINI-PITCHES IN UNDERSERVED COMMUNITIES

December 3, 2019
U.S. Soccer Foundation

HOUSTON, TX (Dec. 3, 2019) – Today, Houston Dynamo owners Jake Silverstein and Ben Guill announced a commitment to create 15 soccer mini-fields, known as mini-pitches, across the Greater Houston area over the next five years.

The new mini-pitches are expected to provide thousands of Houston youth with a safe place to play organized soccer and pick-up games. The mini-pitches will each include lights to extend the hours of play and will be open for the entire community to enjoy. The first three mini-pitches are expected to open beginning in spring 2020.

“I want every kid in Houston to have the opportunity to play and learn about this beautiful game in a safe, welcoming environment,” Jake Silverstein, who spearheaded the partnership, said. “Some of my best memories and most treasured lifelong friendships came from playing youth sports, and every child in Houston—including, maybe, the next DaMarcus Beasley—should be able to grow up believing that the countless doors and opportunities soccer can open are available to them.”

“Part of our responsibility as leaders in Houston and in the Houston soccer community is to create meaningful athletic and educational opportunities in our great city,” Ben Guill said. “We have the ability to help young people throughout Houston experience the joy of playing this wonderful game with their friends in a safe place.”

The U.S. Soccer Foundation will work with Jake Silverstein, Ben Guill, Dynamo legend DaMarcus Beasley, and local partners to identify underserved areas where there is currently limited access to safe places to play. Because of their smaller size and hardtop surface, mini-pitches are ideally suited for urban areas with minimal green space and are excellent ways to provide safe play spaces for children in those areas. The small, hard-surfaced pitches are similar in size to a basketball court are equipped with soccer goals.

“One of the biggest barriers to playing our game is the lack of a safe place to play,” said Ed Foster-Simeon, President & CEO of the U.S. Soccer Foundation. “These new mini-pitches will ensure that more Houston children and their families have a place to play soccer right in their neighborhood. They will also ensure that more children can benefit from all that playing soccer offers, including developing heathier habits and working as a team.”

Beasley and key community members will also be engaged in the development of customized soccer and wellness programming, with an emphasis on communities with the greatest need and locations that are open for public use.

This initiative showcases Houston’s goal of becoming the preeminent soccer city in the United States in support of the Houston 2026 World Cup Bid Committee and is part an overall vision for Houston that seeks to create and maintain 30 mini-pitches and expand the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s Soccer for Success program in the area. The Houston vision is being pursued in partnership with the Houston 2026 World Cup Bid Committee as part of its “Grow the Game” strategy. Mr. Guill serves on the board of directors for the Houston 2026 World Cup Bid Committee.

These 15 mini-pitches are part of 1,000 pitches the U.S. Soccer Foundation plans to install by 2026 as part of the national It’s Everyone’s Game movement to create greater access to the sport and its benefits in underserved communities nationwide. More than 250 mini-pitches are already open for use in communities across the country.

ABOUT THE HOUSTON DYNAMO   
The Houston Dynamo are a Major League Soccer club that has won two MLS Cup championships, one Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and four conference championships in its first 14 seasons and has qualified to represent the United States in international competition seven times. The Dynamo have advanced to the Conference Championship series seven times in 14 years, the most of any Major League Soccer team since 2006; and the club’s four appearances in the MLS Cup Final are tied for the most in the league during that time span. The team trains on the Memorial Hermann Championship Field at Houston Sports Park (HSP), the premier training facility in Southeast Texas, and plays at BBVA Stadium in downtown Houston. For more information, log on to www.HoustonDynamo.com or call (713) 276-7500.   

ABOUT THE U.S. SOCCER FOUNDATION
The U.S. Soccer Foundation’s programs are the national model for sports-based youth development in underserved communities. Since its founding in 1994, the Foundation has established programs proven to help children embrace an active and healthy lifestyle while nurturing their personal growth beyond sports. Its cost-effective, high-impact initiatives offer safe environments where kids and communities thrive. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Soccer Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization. For more information visit www.ussoccerfoundation.org or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

ABOUT THE W.J. SILVERSTEIN FAMILY TRUST
The W.J. Silverstein Family Trust is the private Foundation of the Silverstein Family, which focuses on improving health, mindfulness, and well being. The philosophy of William James is a guiding principle of the WJSFT.

ABOUT CYNTHIA AND BEN GUILL
Cynthia and Ben Guill, and their children, through the Guill Family Foundation, support educational, medical and health initiatives throughout Houston.

Media Contacts:
Jennifer Arnold, U.S. Soccer Foundation, jarnold@ussocerfoundation.org, 202-872-6662
Zac Emmons, Houston Dynamo, zemmons@houstondynamo.com, 281-799-3325

Our Partners

  • adidas

    adidas, the Foundation's Safe Places to Play - Mini-Pitch Partner, supports providing children in underserved communities with safe play spaces nationwide. adidas strives to be the globally leading and most popular sporting goods brand. Dedicated to innovation,  adidas embraces creativity and seeks to be socially responsible in all facets of its brand. For more information, please visit adidas.com.

  • All Sports Enterprises, Inc.

    All Sports Enterprises, Inc. is the U.S. Soccer Foundation's preferred artificial turf supplier and installer. Whether you are building a new, or renovating an existing facility, All Sports Enterprises, Inc. has the materials and professional installation crews to outfit your entire complex. With over 30 different manufacturers to choose from, All Sports Enterprises, Inc. will assist you in selecting the right products for the right application. Its intallation crews are experienced, certified, and will work with you and your staff to make sure your project is a complete success.


  • APT

    APT (Advanced Polymer Technology), the Foundation’s Partner for Acrylic Coating Products, is a global leader in high performance sports surfaces. APT provides people around the world with safe, reliable, performance enhancing surfaces. APT’s Laykold Masters acrylic surfacing system will be the official surface of an estimated 500 mini-pitches. For more information on APT, please visit www.sportsbyapt.com.

  • AstroTurf

    For athletes and soccer enthusiasts, AstroTurf® is redefining how synthetic soccer fields are built and perform. The brand offers advanced, state-of-the-art synthetic turf systems with proprietary engineered technologies. A growing number of clubs, high schools, colleges, professional sports teams and municipalities continue to select AstroTurf’s LigaTurf-branded products for their premium quality, technical superiority, and safety. To learn more, visit the company’s recently redesigned website, www.astroturf.com/soccer. - See more at: https://ussoccerfoundation.org/article/astroturf-partners-with-the-u.s.-soccer-foundation-as-a-national-partner-for-field-building-program#sthash.FL8E8bAM.dpuf

  • CHA

    CHA Sports, the Foundation's Supplier for Soccer Facility Design and Planning Services, provides community partners with expertise in soccer facility design. CHA Sport's full service approach allows the company to build world-class projects without breaking budgets. For more information, please visit chacompanies.com

  • Hunter

    Hunter Industries, the Foundation's National Partner for Irrigation Equipment, is one of the world's leading manufacturers of irrigation equipment for turf, landscape and soccer fields.  Hunter Industries' focus is on landscape irrigation with a significant part of its business centering on the proper care and maintenance of sports turf. For more information, please visit hunterindustries.com. Please contact Lynda Wightman, 406-273-3073, lynda.wightman@hunterindustries.com with any questions regarding the U.S. Soccer Foundation's grants program.

  • Johnson & Johnson

    Johnson & Johnson, the Foundation’s grant partner, is dedicated to supporting the next generation of female leaders by providing greater access to girls’ youth soccer programming in underserved communities nationwide. As the world’s largest and most broadly based healthcare company, Johnson & Johnson strives to create healthier communities, and put a healthy mind, body and environment within reach of everyone, everywhere. For more information, please visit www.jnj.com.

  • Kwik Goal

    Kwik Goal, the Foundation’s Official Supplier for goals, seating, boundary equipment, training equipment and coaching accessories, will be supporting a variety of Foundation programs and initiatives including: Soccer for Success, National Training and the Safe Places to Play program. Over thirty years ago, Kwik Goal was founded on the revolutionary concept of providing transportable goals for coaches at all age levels. Since that time, Kwik Goal has continued to focus on helping coaches and soccer programs create safe and dynamic learning environments by supplying high quality, safety tested soccer goals, field equipment and training equipment to the domestic and international market. For more information, please visit Kwikgoal.com.

  • MLS WORKS

    MLS WORKS, Major League Soccer's community outreach initiative, is dedicated to addressing important social issues and serves as a platform for both League and club philanthropic programs. MLS WORKS seeks to establish Major League Soccer as a leader for improving the lives of people through sport. MLS WORKS is committed to improving the communities where we live and play our games by executing national programs and legacy projects, charitable giving campaigns, and undertaking various initiatives in underserved communities.

  • MTJ Sports

    MTJ Sports is honored to be a corporate partner with the U.S. Soccer Foundation and its Safe Places To Play program. We believe in working with our customers as a true business partnership. We cultivate & drive healthy relationships through our core business values and provide premier turnkey services for sports surfaces & equipment from design & manufacturing all the way through the installation process. For more information please visit our website at www.mtjsports.com or contact our president, Mats Jonmarker, directly via email at mats@mtjsports.com.

  • Musco

    As a proud corporate partner of the U.S. Soccer Foundation, Musco is dedicated to helping the major charitable arm of American soccer create new opportunities through high-quality sports lighting. Their Total Light Control—TLC for LED™ technology is engineered as a system with lighting, structural, and electrical components designed to work together for streamlined installation and long-term reliability. TLC for LED delivers superior field lighting while eliminating glare and spill from impacting surrounding neighborhoods. And Musco’s long-term warranty covering parts and labor means U.S. Soccer Foundation partners don’t have to handle any maintenance on their system, or pay for it, for 25 years. Visit https://ussoccerfoundation.org/grants/ to learn more about the grant program and application process.

  • SCORE Sports

    SCORE Sports, the preferred provider of shin guards to the Foundation’s Soccer for Success program, is a family-owned and operated business specializing in sports equipment, uniforms and apparel. SCORE is an industry leader and has been involved in the sports community for over 40 years. SCORE outfits athletes with high-quality uniforms that SCORE develops, designs and manufactures in the U.S. SCORE takes pride in working with various non-profit groups and causes to give back to athletes who may need some extra support to play the game they love. SCORE is environmentally cautious with the materials it uses for its products and does its part in minimizing our environmental footprint. SCORE proudly offers a wide variety of products to provide customers with a one-stop shop for all your soccer needs. For more information, please visit scoresports.com.

  • Soccer.com

    Soccer.com, the Foundation's National Partner for Soccer Equipment and Uniforms, was founded in 1984 to provide high quality soccer gear at reasonable prices through its nationally circulated catalog. Soccer.com embodies a passion for the game that extends to the people who play, coach and support soccer. For more information, please visit soccer.com.

  • Sport Court

    Sport Court®, the Foundation's Supplier for Futsal Surfaces, has been the industry leader in modular athletic flooring for over 30 years. With more than 50,000 installations worldwide, and the largest and most experienced network of authorized dealers, Sport Court® delivers innovative, durable, high-performance solutions for a variety of sports and activities. For more information, please visit sportcourt.com. Please contact Lauren Gillian at lgillian@sportcourt.com for any questions regarding Sport Court's corporate partnership with the U.S. Soccer Foundation.

  • Target

    Target announced a national partnership with Safe Spaces to Play in 2017, along with a million commitment to build 100 new soccer play spaces with the U.S. Soccer Foundation by 2020. This is the latest initiative in the Minneapolis-based retailer’s multi-dimensional approach to the sport of soccer, bringing the game to more kids and families across the country, and unlocking access and increasing involvement at all levels.

  • TGI Worldwide

    TGI Worldwide, the Foundation’s National Partner for Visual Branding (Signage, Event Décor, Pageantry, Sponsorship Activation), Perimeter Field Board Systems, Creative Services and Event Operations is proud to support a variety of initiatives and programs throughout the United States. Headquartered in the U.S., TGI is an internationally recognized sports marketing company delivering high profile Visual Branding, Live Event Management, LED, and cutting edge Digital Sports Applications to enrich the experience at major events and deliver commercial impact for sponsors and partners. The company has a 20-year history in providing its various solutions for many top-tier domestic and international events, organizations, teams and companies, with proven success and turn-key solutions across 1000+ events, 160+ cities and 50+ countries globally.

    For more information on our services, please visit https://www.worldwidetgi.com or contact Mike Squire at msquire@worldwidetgi.com / Phone: 312-371-5852.

  • World Soccer Shop

    Launched in 2001, World Soccer Shop is an online soccer retailer based in Birmingham, Alabama. It carries one of the world’s widest selections of officially-licensed products from the sport’s top brands and teams. World Soccer Shop is passionate about soccer and endeavors to spread the beautiful game around the world, especially to those in areas of need. For more information, please visit www.worldsoccershop.com.

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