2017 was an exciting year for the U.S. Soccer Foundation. From announcing new partnerships and bringing Soccer for Success and Safe Places to Play to new communities to launching our national campaign, It’s Everyone’s Game, the Foundation has continued to grow and positively impact underserved communities across the country. Join us in looking back on some of our favorite moments from 2017.
A Refreshed Look
After more than 20 years, the Foundation unveiled an updated logo that included a new font and colors, but still maintains the elements of our original logo. Our updated logo launched at the beginning of our spring event season – beginning with the Urban Soccer Symposium.
Stars Align at the Urban Soccer Symposium
The 11th annual Urban Soccer Symposium was held in April and featured U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis, and former U.S. National Team stars Shannon Boxx, Jay DeMerit, Joy Fawcett, and Carin Jennings-Gabarra as keynote speakers. Each shared stories about successes and challenges from their professional careers, and emphasized the importance of making the game accessible to all kids.
The Classic Scores Again
The 5th annual Capital Soccer Classic was held on May 23rd, under the bright lights of historic RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C.
During the Congressional Soccer Game, Democrats and Republicans faced off on the pitch and showed how Congressional staff from both parties, and the greater community, can come together for a fun, friendly game of soccer. The event also showcased the support of the life-changing youth development programs offered by the U.S. Soccer Foundation.
The Foundation and FC Barcelona Head to Capitol Hill
In July, FC Barcelona joined us on Capitol Hill for our panel discussion, “How Access to Sport Revitalizes Communities.” The event, co-hosted by the Congressional Soccer Caucus, included Ed Foster-Simeon, our President & CEO, Jordi Cardoner, First Vice President of FC Barcelona, Juliano Belletti, former FC Barcelona star and current club Ambassador, and Tom Farrey, Executive Director of the Aspen Institute. Participants shared how their organizations are using sports to enhance communities.
New York City Soccer Initiative Opens First 10 Pitches
In July 2016, the Foundation announced the launch of the New York City Soccer Initiative (NYCSI), a public-private partnership that will build and maintain 50 soccer fields and expand afterschool programming for thousands of youth in underserved neighborhoods across all five boroughs.
In October, the Foundation celebrated the opening of the first ten NYCSI fields. The Foundation was joined in New York City by First Lady McCray, the Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC, New York City Football Club, adidas, and Etihad Airways for the ceremonial ribbon cutting and soccer scrimmage to break in the new field at P.S. 083 Luis Munoz Rivera in Harlem. Throughout the afternoon, New York City FC and partners hosted local soccer festivals at additional NYCSI pitches, one in each of the five boroughs.
Soccer for Success Continues to Grow
Throughout 2017, the Foundation worked with over 50 program partners across the country to run Soccer for Success in 180 communities. Together, we provided Soccer for Success to more than 40,000 youth across the country.
Jérôme Boateng Visits Soccer for Success
Soccer for Success participants, coach-mentors, and parents from our program partner, El Monte Community Building Initiative, received a special visit from German National Team and Bayern Munich star, Jérôme Boateng, during a Soccer for Success practice. Boateng participated in the Soccer for Success practice with the kids and then shared his advice on the importance of learning how to stay motivated.
In November, our President & CEO, Ed Foster-Simeon, was featured at The Atlantic’s Power of Purpose: The Corporate Responsibility Summit and discussed the impact companies make when they invest in the field of sports-based youth development.
Did You Hear? It’s Everyone’s Game
On December 6th, the Foundation launched It’s Everyone’s Game – our national campaign to build 1,000 mini-pitches and provide soccer programming to 1 million kids annually by 2026. It’s Everyone’s Game will dramatically expand the Foundation’s nationally recognized after-school program, Soccer for Success, and create new Safe Places to Play for youth and community members living in underserved communities.
To kick off the campaign, the Foundation was joined in Chicago by our national and local partners, former U.S. National Team stars, and Foundation supporters who committed their support to help the Foundation provide access to the game for all children.
What a year 2017 was. We look forward to reaching more communities and creating further opportunities to access the game of soccer in 2018. Sign-up now to stay up to date with the latest Foundation news, programs, and events.