Los Angeles, CA — Ahead of Los Angeles Football Club’s first home match at the new Banc of California stadium, adidas, the Los Angeles Unified School District, and the U.S. Soccer Foundation joined the Club in unveiling a new mini-pitch at Menlo Avenue Elementary on Saturday. The project demonstrates the partners’ collective mission to empower youth and communities across Greater Los Angeles by expanding access to the world’s game.
This mini-pitch opening in South Los Angeles marks the latest development in the Foundation’s It’s Everyone’s Game national movement to help children in underserved neighborhoods benefit from all that the game of soccer has to offer. In addition to providing a safe and accessible place for kids to play, the mini-pitch will support local youth programming at Menlo Avenue Elementary.
“Sport is an essential component of any healthy community and we are proud to partner with organizations that use soccer to bring about positive social change in communities across the country,” said Ed Foster-Simeon, President & CEO of the U.S. Soccer Foundation. “With the addition of this pitch at Menlo Avenue Elementary, more children and community members will have a safe place to play the game, pursue a healthy lifestyle, and develop skills that will help them on and off the pitch.”
“We at adidas believe that through sports, we have the power to change people’s lives,” said Aaron Maines, Director of Sports Marketing with adidas Soccer. “Following similar announcements in New York City and Chicago in the past two years, we are incredibly excited to be bringing our partnership with the U.S. Soccer Foundation to the City of Los Angeles. Together and with the support of LAFC, we are eager to see these mini-pitches become an integral part of our communities and to the growth of the sport in North America.”
“I appreciate the U.S. Soccer Foundation, Los Angeles Football Club Foundation and adidas for collaborating with L.A. Unified to create futsal spaces on our campuses,” said L.A. Unified Board Member Dr. George J. McKenna III. “Los Angeles is a city that offers a myriad of opportunities and recreational attractions, but can certainly benefit from even more safe places and spaces for our children to play.”
“L.A. Unified is very excited to have a new professional soccer team in Los Angeles,” said Mark Hovatter, L.A. Unified Chief Facilities Executive. “We are especially appreciative that the U.S. Soccer Foundation, Los Angeles Football Club, and adidas are partnering with us to connect more of our students with the world’s most beautiful game. As a coach of my eight-year-old daughter’s soccer team, I truly believe the more we expose our youth to soccer, the better our world will be.”
At the unveiling, Tom Penn and John Thorrington of the Los Angeles Football Club, U.S. Soccer Foundation President & CEO Ed Foster-Simeon, adidas Soccer Director of Sports Marketing Aaron Maines, and L.A. Unified Chief Facilities Executive Mark Hovatter provided short remarks about the impact the mini-pitch will have on the local community.
After the opening remarks, Menlo Avenue Elementary students participated in a ‘first kick’ and soccer activities to break in the new pitch.
This mini-pitch is one of 1,000 safe places to play the U.S. Soccer Foundation plans to build with partners across the country by 2026 with It’s Everyone’s Game. For more information on the movement, how to stay updated and ways to get involved, visit itseveryonesgame.org.
About the 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. For more information visit www.ussoccerfoundation.org or follow us on Twitter at @ussoccerfndn and Facebook at www.facebook.com/ussoccerfoundation.
About adidas Soccer
adidas is the global leader in soccer. It is the official sponsor / official supplier partner of the most important soccer tournaments in the world, such as the FIFA World Cup™, the FIFA Confederations Cup, the UEFA Champions League, the UEFA Europa League, the UEFA European Championships and Major League Soccer. adidas also sponsors some of the world’s top clubs including Manchester United, Real Madrid, FC Bayern Munich, Juventus and AC Milan. Some of the world’s best players also on the adidas roster are Leo Messi, Paul Pogba, Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema, Roberto Firmino, Thomas Müller, Luis Suárez, James Rodríguez, Diego Costa, Mesut Özil, Renato Sanches and Julian Draxler.