New Play Spaces in Atlanta

Last summer, the city of Atlanta celebrated soccer in the form of its new stadium, home to Atlanta United FC. This summer, the city has another reason to celebrate soccer.

With the backdrop of MLS All-Star week and as a part of the effort to build 100 Safe Places to Play by 2020, Target and the U.S. Soccer Foundation unveiled the first of 10 Atlanta mini-pitches on Monday at Anderson Park with a ceremonial first kick, dedication ceremony, and community day.

Members of the local community gathered with Target team members, leaders from Major League Soccer, MLS All-Star players, the U.S. Soccer Foundation, and the Atlanta Parks & Recreation Department to celebrate the first of 10 new community play spaces that will open across Atlanta throughout the month of August. With a live DJ at the event, community members were able to participate in All-Star themed soccer activities, interact with MLS All-Star players, eat food from local food truck vendors, and participate in giveaways.

During the dedication ceremony, U.S. Soccer Foundation President & CEO, Ed Foster-Simeon, spoke to the importance of creating places where everyone can play. “Communities need safe places for their children to play,” he said. “I have no doubt in my mind that, one day, a child who is playing on one of these mini-pitches will be interviewed on television at an All-Star game or MLS game and say ‘I got my start on a neighborhood pitch.’”

Senior Vice President of Marketing at Target, William White, echoed these sentiments. “For me personally as an Atlanta native,” William said, “I am really excited about what we are doing here today – supporting the community. And so, it is an honor for me, on behalf of Target, to unveil this soccer pitch.”

Pete, father of 10-year-old John, is glad that the local community has a new play space with more to come. “I think it’s great that [Target and the U.S. Soccer Foundation] are creating little fields for folks that maybe don’t have access to the soccer clubs that others might,” he says. “It’s an easy game to play – all you need is a ball.”

The event also allowed attendees to reflect on the growth of the sport in their own backyards. “Ten years ago, I didn’t see many people playing soccer,” says Mateo, father to 12-year-old Miguel. “But now, it’s everywhere.”

Kirk, who runs the soccer program at Wade Walker Park YMCA, agrees. “It’s just catching on like wildfire and I think it’s awesome.”

Parents, players, and community members alike eagerly await the opening of the rest of the Atlanta mini-pitches over the next several weeks. “I think the notion of having these kinds of venues to play soccer is extremely important in the neighborhoods because you’ve got to have grassroots efforts [and] something that’s free to really get the kids interested in soccer,” says Kirk.

The rest of the mini-pitches will open across Atlanta throughout the month of August during events led by Target team members.

Adams Park (two mini-pitches)
Anderson Park
Center Hill Park
Isabel Gates Webster Park
Lawrenceville Boys & Girls Club
South Bend Park
Southside Park (two mini-pitches)
Thomasville Park

These 10 mini-pitches in Atlanta represent the latest development in the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s movement to make soccer #EveryonesGame. It is with partners like Target, along with adidas, Major League Soccer, and Musco Lighting, that we are able to work towards our goals of building 1,000 Safe Places to Play and engaging one million children annually in Soccer for Success by 2026. Learn more at


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  • 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

  • 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

  • The DICK'S Sporting Goods Foundation

    The DICK'S Sporting Goods Foundation

    DICK’S Sporting Goods and The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation believe that participation in sports makes people better. Since 2014, DICK’S and The DICK’S Foundation have pledged more than $100 million to support youth sports teams and leagues in need.  Through our Sports Matter initiative we strive to increase awareness for underfunded youth athletics nationwide and provide much-needed support through equipment, uniform and monetary donations. For more information on Sports Matter, visit

  • Kwik Goal

    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



    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 to learn more about the grant program and application process.

  • SCORE Sports

    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

  •, 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. embodies a passion for the game that extends to the people who play, coach and support soccer. For more information, please visit




  • Target


    Target announced a national partnership with Safe Places to Play in 2017, along with a $6 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

    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 or contact Mike Squire at / Phone: 312-371-5852.

  • World Soccer Shop

    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


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