NEW SOCCER MINI-PITCH UNVEILED AT LUIS MUNOZ MARIN SCHOOL TO PROVIDE RECREATION AND LIFE SKILLS DEVELOPMENT FOR NEWARK YOUTH

October 26, 2018
U.S. Soccer Foundation

NEWARK, N.J.--An innovative new soccer mini-pitch system was unveiled at Newark’s Luis Muñoz Marin School on Thursday, marking the fourth mini-pitch opened this year in Newark. The opening is part of a five-year partnership with the New York Red Bulls, Newark Public Schools, U.S. Soccer Foundation and Wells Fargo to increase access to safe places to play across the city by creating 20 new soccer mini-pitches. As part of this initiative, more than 2,500 Newark youth will be engaged in Soccer for Success, the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s after-school soccer program that delivers positive health and youth development outcomes. The program will operate on many of these new sites.

"I want to thank the U.S. Soccer Foundation, the New York Red Bulls, Wells Fargo and all of our partners for investing in our schools and students and changing the face of schoolyards across the city," said Newark Superintendent of Schools Roger León. "The new soccer pitches will allow our students to engage in physical fitness, learn the tenets of teamwork, and have fun. Partnerships that benefit our students are an essential part of our success as a district."

Area families, members of Major League Soccer’s New York Red Bulls, Newark City officials, and representatives from the Luis Muñoz Marin School officially opened the new pitch alongside the U.S. Soccer Foundation, Wells Fargo, and Musco Lighting at an event yesterday.

"Today is another significant step in our commitment to providing mini-pitches for the children of the Newark Public Schools," said Marc de Grandpre, General Manager, New York Red Bulls. "Thanks to the generosity of our valued partners, the U.S. Soccer Foundation and Wells Fargo, along with the support from Musco Lighting, the students of Luis Marin Muñoz Middle School will have an innovative mini-pitch that includes full lighting for safety and extensive storage for convenience. This venue will further their passion for our beautiful game."

Mini-pitches have also been created at Belmont Runyon School, BRICK Avon Academy, and Rafael Hernandez School this year.

“Wells Fargo is proud to partner with local and national organizations on this important investment in the City of Newark,” said Gino Cammarota, Northeast Treasury Merchant Services Manager at Wells Fargo. “Being involved in organized sports at a young age provides so many valuable life lessons and this program will positively reach so many Newark students as well as other community members.”

The mini-pitch system at Luis Muñoz Marin Middle School features a complete system design that incorporates fencing, lighting, and goals. The system was developed to assist the U.S. Soccer Foundation with its national movement, It’s Everyone’s Game, which endeavors to build 1,000 mini-pitches in cities across the country by 2026 and engage one million young people annually through the Foundation’s Soccer for Success program.

“We’re grateful to have such valuable partners here in Newark who are committed to providing local youth with safe places to play,” said Ed Foster-Simeon, President & CEO of the U.S. Soccer Foundation. “We’re also excited to unveil the first mini-pitch prototype developed by one of our key national partners, Musco Lighting. Their devotion to the It’s Everyone’s Gamemovement is evident in their innovative approaches to providing children with safe places to play past daylight hours.”

Newark is the third municipality nationwide to make a major commitment to building safe places to play and expand sports-based youth development programs for its youth as part of this larger national movement.

National partners, including adidas, Major League Soccer, Target, and Musco are lending critical support to ensure the movement’s success.

To overcome logistical issues working with a multitude of contractors, suppliers and municipal agencies across different markets—and to avoid construction delays and site relocations—engineers at Musco developed a prototype of a comprehensive mini-pitch system.

“The U.S. Soccer Foundation’s mission of positively impacting the lives of up to a million young people in the next decade is something we believe in very strongly,” said Joe Crookham, President of Musco. “These community pitches will be a place for local youth to learn, grow, develop confidence and teamwork, and have fun. We want to do everything we can to help with this important endeavor.”

The Foundation and its partners have plans for multiple mini-pitch openings in more than a dozen cities across the country over the next several years.

About New York Red Bulls
The New York Red Bulls are one of 22 teams in Major League Soccer (MLS). They are one of the ten charter clubs of MLS, having competed in the league since it's founding in 1996. They currently play home matches at Red Bull Arena (RBA) in Harrison, New Jersey. RBA, a state-of-the-art 25,000-seat stadium, is widely regarded as the top soccer-specific stadium in North America. The club is owned by the Austrian beverage company Red Bull GmbH for which the team is named. The New York Red Bulls offer one of the nation's premier youth soccer development programs. The club provides grassroots training programs to all ages and skill levels, and also offers elite players a pathway from those programs to the Regional Development School, then on to the academy teams and, ultimately, to the Red Bulls professional team.

About Newark Board of Education
The Newark Board of Education is New Jersey's largest school district with 62 schools and nearly 37,000 students, serving children in Pre-K through high school. On February 1, 2018 the Newark School District was returned to local control following 22 years of being under state control. On July 1, 2018, Roger León became the first Superintendent of the Newark Board of Education following the return of local control to the school district and the first Hispanic to serve as Superintendent in the district's history.

About 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.

About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.9 trillion in assets. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, investment and mortgage products and services, as well as consumer and commercial finance, through 8,050 locations, 13,000 ATMs, the internet (wellsfargo.com) and mobile banking, and has offices in 38 countries and territories to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 265,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 26 on Fortune’s 2018 rankings of America’s largest corporations. News, insights and perspectives from Wells Fargo are also available at Wells Fargo Stories.

About Musco Lighting
Since 1976, Musco has focused on the design and manufacture of sports and transportation/infrastructure lighting systems, from hometown Little League® fields to professional sports stadiums and ports around the globe. Offering permanent and temporary lighting systems for new and retrofit projects, we bring first-hand knowledge and experience with the many issues that impact players, spectators, neighbors, television broadcasts, and staff.

Contacts

U.S. Soccer Foundation
Jennifer Arnold, 202-872-6662
jarnold@ussoccerfoundation.org
or
New York Red Bulls
Christina Giunta Quarino, 973-776-8842
christina.giunta@newyorkredbulls.com
or
Newark Public Schools
Tracy Munford, 973-733-7338
t1munford@NPS.K12.NJ.US
or
Wells Fargo
Stephanie Ahenkora, 908-370-4061
Stephanie.Ahenkora@wellsfargo.com
or
Musco Lighting
Eduardo Zamarripa, 641-676-2652
Eduardo.zamarripa@musco.com

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.

  • 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.

  • 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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