Better Together

Better Together

These days, to compete typically describes the act of outdoing a competitor to achieve recognition, an award, or other gains. Brendan Grady, executive director of Soccer for Success at Chester Upland Youth Soccer, chooses to identify instead with the Latin root of the word, competere, which means “to strive together.”

One could say that this philosophy drove Brendan, JT Dorsey of the JT Dorsey Foundation, and Justin Spencer-Linzie of Philadelphia Freedom Valley YMCA to unite their Soccer for Success participants, families, and coach-mentors for Unity Day, a city-wide soccer day for local Soccer for Success programs. The event took place on the final day of Philadelphia’s Unity Cup, a World Cup-style tournament that brings the city’s diverse and immigrant communities together through soccer.

“We all kind of brainstormed and thought, ‘How cool would it be to bring our programs together through unity and Soccer for Success in correlation with the Unity Cup theme and mission of what’s been going on in the area?’” Justin explains. “It just made perfect sense with what we all are trying to accomplish through Soccer for Success for the various kids in our programs.”

For Brendan, JT, and Justin the collective goal was to bring their communities together to demonstrate the power of Soccer for Success. On the day of the event, participants from all three organizations arrived at Chester Upland Youth Soccer’s field to participate in games and activities, spend time with family, and learn from others.

Unity Day

“You’d be surprised how segmented our local communities can be,” according to Justin, “so expanding their knowledge and perspectives to different communities like Chester was something that they found pretty exciting.”

“The ultimate goal is for more kids to become interested in soccer,” says Brendan. “I think we have an opportunity as coach-mentors to use that interest in the game to then influence and work on improving…and translating the lessons from the game into life.”

Brendan, JT, and Justin hoped that, in addition to meeting and learning from fellow Soccer for Success community members, Unity Day would provide an opportunity for parents, participants, and coach-mentors to recognize that they are all part of a larger soccer movement.

Unity Day

“We wanted to try and bring the kids together so that they could see they’re part of something just larger than what happens at their locations, and even in their area,” says JT. “We talk a lot about how many kids are affected by the program, but they don’t ever get to see that necessarily.”

Amanda, a site director for the Philadelphia Freedom Valley YMCA, believes that Soccer for Success is “more than what we see; it’s nationwide…The fact that I’m able to be part of this in Camden and Burlington is like I am part of a change.”

For Justin, Unity Day is “powering the brand of Soccer for Success as an impactful community program that can make a difference in underserved communities. Through collaboration in programs like Soccer for Success,” he continues, “you see what happens when community leaders like JT and Brendan put their minds to it and bring folks together for an amazing opportunity like this.”

Since event day, Brendan, JT, and Justin have received a myriad of positive feedback, with some families eager to learn when the next joint game day will take place. Little do those families know, the trio already has plans in the works.

“Just looking ahead to the future, I think there’s a real opportunity, especially in the Philadelphia area…that this could be the start of a Soccer for Success series where we do this on a more regular basis,” Brendan explains. “It’s something that would really capture the interests of the players who want opportunities to compete more often and, at the same time, we could frame it in a way that we reinforce the values of what Soccer for Success is about.”

Unity Day

“This definitely laid the groundwork for what something of this magnitude and capacity could look like [in terms of] working in collaboration and using everyone’s resources for the greater good of Soccer for Success,” Justin adds. “It definitely brings a cohesiveness with the mindset that our communities are part of a bigger movement and that they’re not as isolated in the issues they face as they might think they are.”

If anything can be learned from this collaboration, it is that we are better together.

Soccer for Success participants, coach-mentors, and families, like those of Chester Upland Youth Soccer, the JT Dorsey Foundation, and Philadelphia Freedom Valley YMCA show us that it doesn’t matter who you are or where you are from – soccer is everyone’s game. Join us in the movement at


Hola nesesito información en español mi número de teléfono es8033632971 por favor comunicarse con migo quiero inscribir a mi hijo y no se como hacerlo gracias

Karla Gonzalez - February 6, 2019

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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

  • 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

  • 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, - See more at:

  • 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

  • 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 Please contact Lynda Wightman, 406-273-3073, 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

  • 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.

  • 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 or contact our president, Mats Jonmarker, directly via email at

  • 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, 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

  • 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 Please contact Lauren Gillian at 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 or contact Mike Squire at / 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

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