U.S. Soccer Foundation programs were a main highlight throughout the week of MLS All-star. On MLS All-Star Community Day, we unveiled a new Safe Places to Play mini-pitch with our partners adidas, MLS WORKS, Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) and San Jose Earthquakes. In partnership with SNHU, community members had the opportunity to ‘juggle’ a soccer ball in support of local Soccer for Success programming through a new initiative, Kickstart. For each juggle, a dollar was donated to the Foundation. Over 20,000 juggles took place! Additionally, soccer legend Brian McBride was out all week with our partner Allstate collecting equipment for Passback.
The U.S. Soccer Foundation was selected to be a RWJF Sports Award Finalist! Learn more about the finalists here.
Mark your calendars – The 2017 Urban Soccer Symposium will take place on April 27-30, 2017 in Washington, DC. If you’re interested in presenting at the event, please follow this link for more information. We can’t wait to see you there!
You may be taking a break this summer, but we’re full steam ahead in creating new Safe Places to Play. We’ve completed many projects across the country, transforming underutilized spaces into new play spaces for children in underserved communities. Check out some of our highlights.
Linden Park, Columbus, OH: This mini-pitch project is part of our 20-for-20 Mini-Pitch Initiative in partnership with adidas, MLS Works, Columbus Crew, and Southern New Hampshire University. The children loved playing amongst themselves and some members of the Crew at the grand opening in June.
The SEED School of Washington, DC, Washington, DC: In partnership with D.C. United, Soccer Shots, and Kwik Goal, this play space was a once-unused muddy field, and is now a can’t miss feature of the school’s complex.
Davis Park, Gresham, OR: The new play space in Oregon is officially open for play. This mini-pitch was completed in partnership with the City of Gresham, Soccer Shots, the MLS Players Union, and Kwik Goal.
New projects are sprouting up nationwide, as the Foundation and its partners continue to make an impact by creating amazing new play spaces. As we shared in July, our recent public-private partnership, the New York City Soccer Initiative , is a collaboration between Mayor Bill de Blasio and the Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC, the New York City Football Club, and adidas. This public-private partnership will build and maintain 50 soccer fields in underserved neighborhoods across the five boroughs of New York over the next five years, and make sure that youth mentoring programs exist on all new spaces.
Check out this New York Times article to learn more about the initiative. We can’t wait for the kids to play!
After an educational and inspirational Soccer for Success National Training, 150 community leaders are certified to train Soccer for Success coach-mentors in their local communities! Thanks to all of the trainers for creating change in your communities – you are all-stars! Follow this link for more photos from the event.
We are excited that an independent evaluation of Soccer for Success determined that our evidence-based program is an effective group mentoring program, and meets the key benchmarks outlined by MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership! Follow this link to learn more about the study.