New spaces will provide increased access to soccer programs and pick-up play

Central Falls, RI – Project GOAL announced today that two new mini-pitches are being installed in Central Falls on Ledge Street, a few blocks from the organization’s headquarters. The Mini-Pitch System™ modular sports solution is already in place and the surfacing will be completed in early 2021. The full project is scheduled to be complete by April.

The two mini-pitches will provide more opportunities for youth to not only play soccer, but also serve as a place where children, families, and community members can come together in the spirit of teamwork, empowerment, and physical activity. They will include lights, thanks to support and design by Musco Lighting, that will allow for increased hours of play, which is critical during the winter months.

The new mini-pitches will be used for Project GOAL’s after-school program and be open and available for community members to use for pick-up play.

“Project GOAL has been an amazing organization to have in our community and we thank them for their work in Central Falls,” said Mayor James A. Diossa. “We are thrilled to see these two mini-pitches coming to our community which will bring great opportunities for outdoor activities for our youth and families.”

“Project GOAL is very excited to have the continued support of the U.S. Soccer Foundation, the City of Central Falls, and all of our partners in helping bring the mini-pitches to our students and this community. We are very fortunate to have so many who have helped to make this dream a reality,” said Executive Director and Co-Founder, Darius Shirzadi.

Project GOAL provides free, coeducational tutoring and mentoring led by accredited teachers after school two times per week. The organization inspires academic success through the reward of soccer and, by focusing on their academics for 90 minutes, participants earn an equal amount of time to play soccer. Through the soccer program, participants receive high-level training from licensed coaches.

Over the years, many collegiate and pro soccer players have volunteered at Project GOAL, including Michael Parkhurst, Jeff Larentowicz, Scott Caldwell, Julian Gressel, and Damian Rivera, a Project GOAL alum, who have all helped bring this project to fruition.

“I’ve volunteered at Project GOAL for the last three years, and I love what they do,” said Scott Caldwell, member of the New England Revolution and a Project GOAL Mentor. “Providing educational support for their students and an opportunity for them to improve their game, Project GOAL is a program that everyone can get behind. A Mini-Pitch in Central Falls will provide opportunities and access to the students, and it will help the program take the students’ games to the next level.”

“Rhode Island has long held a special place in my heart, having spent several treasured years playing soccer at Brown University and then for the New England Revolution,” said Jeff Larentowicz, member of Atlanta United and a former Project GOAL Mentor. “Having built these Mini-Pitches in other parts of the country, we know the impact it can have on a community and a young player’s life. My former teammates and I couldn’t be happier to share this opportunity with Project GOAL and the future soccer stars of tomorrow.”

The new mini-pitches were made possible thanks to individuals and a number of local and national organizations including: Baycoast Bank, Bayside FC Premier Club, Kick it Forward, Major League Soccer Players Association (MLSPA), Meridian Custom Homes, Musco Lighting, Tufts/Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare, U.S. Soccer Foundation, and University Orthopedics.

“Over the years many of our players have been fortunate to have the opportunity to experience first-hand the impactful work undertaken by Project GOAL,” said Bob Foose, Executive Director of MLSPA. “The MLSPA is thrilled to be part of this project, as part of its longstanding partnership with the U.S. Soccer Foundation, as we seek opportunities to use soccer to help children in under-served communities.”

“The two new Mini-Pitch Systems at Central Falls are a perfect example of what can happen when you have community involvement and support to bring public and private partners on board for a great project,” said Jeff Rogers, President at Musco Lighting. “The catalyst behind that was Project GOAL. We are excited to support the organization in its mission to use soccer to make a difference and we congratulate them on their efforts.”

“We are excited to work alongside our longtime partners at the MLSPA and Musco Lighting to support these two new mini-pitches in Central Falls,” said U.S. Soccer Foundation President & CEO Ed Foster-Simeon. “Now more than ever, it’s important that children have access to safe places to play and high-quality soccer programs that transform lives. These new mini-pitches will provide just that.”

“My involvement in Kick It Forward is a result of my time volunteering with Project GOAL and for me, without one, there wouldn’t be the other,” said Ben Brackett of Kick It Forward, an Iowa-based organization aimed at developing athletic and life skills in youth soccer players, providing them with powerful resources to live healthy lives, and promoting social change. “When combined with my time as a Brown Bear (Class of ‘07), I’m extremely proud to be a part of this collaboration. Providing places like this for people to play is the future of the game, and I’m excited to see what it brings to the community.”


Founded in 2004, Project GOAL (Greater Opportunity for Athletes to Learn) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization inspiring academic achievement through the passion and power of soccer. As a coeducational after school initiative, Rhode Island middle school youth receive the academic enrichment necessary to achieve and exceed grade level proficiency while building a foundation of social responsibility, teamwork and collaboration in the classrooms and on the field through the reward of soccer training. For more information visit


The Major League Soccer Players Association serves as the voice and collective bargaining representative for all former, current and future Major League Soccer Players. Formed in April 2003, the Players Association ensures protection of the rights of all MLS Players, while also promoting their best interests and amplifying their voices. The PA is a democratic organization run by and for players, and ultimate control over the PA rests with the players. To learn more please visit


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 or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.



Darius Shirzadi, Project GOAL Inc; 401-258-2300

Elizabeth Harley, MLS Players Association, 301-388-5971

Jennifer Arnold, U.S. Soccer Foundation; 202-872-6662


  • 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


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