The Urban Soccer Symposium: Where Leaders Learn

It’s hard to believe that, in just a few short weeks, I’ll be attending my 7th Urban Soccer Symposium. I still remember the first year I attended in 2013. I immediately felt like I belonged. It reminded me a lot of our annual Soccer Shots convention. People were excited to be at the Symposium, eager to connect, learn, and share. You can feel that energy around you at this event.

That’s, in part, because the Urban Soccer Symposium hosts some of the most exciting, thought-provoking, and educational speakers in the nation, which is why Soccer Shots has continued to serve as a presenting sponsor for this event year after year.

We also stay involved with the Symposium each year because of the passionate attendees who are making a difference in the lives of thousands of children and families across the U.S. Non-profit leaders who attend this event are purpose-driven, care deeply about their cause, and work hard to serve their communities. In most cases, they also work in challenging environments with limited resources tackling very difficult issues.

The Urban Soccer Symposium is a means of meeting others who share the same passion, face similar challenges and, yet, have also made strides and accomplished so much. It is a resource for these leaders that recharges batteries, presents new perspectives, and equips them to continue to positively impact their communities.

By helping encourage, educate, and network with these leaders, we are proud that our contribution is, in turn, helping to make an impact on the respective teams, children, and families in hundreds of communities across the country.

The energy from event attendees, presenters, and speakers alike is why I think we see people return year after year, and why we also see new and enthusiastic faces. The Symposium offers a source of encouragement, camaraderie, and information. I’ve talked to numerous individuals and all of them are enthusiastic participants seeking to connect with other organizational leaders.

Not only do attendees learn from their colleagues during impactful breakout sessions, they are also audience to some of the biggest names in the game – Jill Ellis, Kristine Lilly, Abby Wambach, Kasey Keller, Edson Buddle, Jay DeMerit, Shannon Boxx, the list goes on. To be able to learn from one’s peers is one thing; to be able to go a step further and learn from some of soccer’s greats and, subsequently, be able to implement these lessons back home is what makes this event extraordinary.

As we approach the 13th annual Urban Soccer Symposium, I’m eager to learn and be inspired by compelling and top-notch speakers, as I am every year. The Symposium is truly a one-of-a-kind event for community leaders who are using soccer to positively impact youth across the country and I can’t wait to see what this year has in store.

Justin Bredeman is CEO of Soccer Shots Franchising. Since 2011, Soccer Shots and the U.S. Soccer Foundation have been partners with a shared mission of using soccer as a conduit to impart life lessons, develop healthy habits, and do so through high-character, well-trained coaches. In that time, the two organizations have shared experiences as national organizations seeking to positively impact youth and their families through the platform of soccer and built mini-pitches in places like Denver, Houston, Washington, D.C., and Portland. Soccer Shots has been a presenting sponsor for the Foundation’s Urban Soccer Symposium for over half a decade.

The Urban Soccer Symposium, presented by Soccer Shots, hosts individuals from across the nation who are interested in improving the sports-based youth development field. Interested in attending? Learn more here.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Johnson & Johnson

    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

    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


Tweet or post on Facebook and show the world
that you believe in the power of soccer.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter