Kids play on the new LEGO mini-pitch in Albuquerque, NM
Let soccer do what soccer does.

Together, we can give millions of kids from underserved communities safe places to grow, thrive and build confidence for life.

AYSO to Integrate U.S. Soccer Foundation’s Coach-Mentor Training into its Coaching Education

AYSO Coaches to be trained in social and emotional skills and positive youth development best practices

Washington, D.C. – Today the U.S. Soccer Foundation and American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) announced a collaboration to train AYSO Coaches in positive youth development practices and social and emotional skills. Through this partnership, AYSO will integrate the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s Coach-Mentor Training into its coaching education resources with the goal to train 15,000 youth coaches by June 2025. The two organizations will also work together to develop a strategy to continue to scale this training in subsequent years.

“As part of our 2019 Aspen Institute Project Play Champion recognition, AYSO committed to social and emotional learning. We are excited to continue this initiative with the U.S. Soccer Foundation. Gone are the days when Xs and Os can fulfill our vision of enriching children’s lives. AYSO is fully committed to providing a more holistic experience for players and families and the Coach-Mentor Training supports this effort,” stated Scott Snyder, AYSO Director of Sport Development.

“AYSO provides a valuable entry point for youth across the country to get their first experience in soccer. The commitment to ensure their exceptional volunteer coaching community has the tools and framework to address the full young person is inspiring. We are dedicated to working with AYSO to continue to foster invaluable soccer experiences for the youth they serve,” said Dr. Katlin Okamoto, Director, Coach-Mentor Training, at the U.S. Soccer Foundation.

In January, AYSO educators joined the U.S. Soccer Foundation Coach-Mentor Training Facilitator Team and will be bringing trainings to attendees at AYSO Expos this spring nationwide.

In addition, AYSO will work with its member coaches to offer online and in-person training options alongside the U.S. Soccer Foundation. Through the Foundation’s Coach-Mentor Training, coaches learn how to integrate mentorship into coaching practices, how to manage behaviors with empathy, and how to develop and harness the social and emotional skills of young people.

The Coach-Mentor Training also teaches coaches how to work effectively with youth in and from under-resourced communities and create a positive team culture that reflects the diversity of youth they serve, which is critical when coaches work with young people of varying racial, gender, and socioeconomic backgrounds.

The Coach-Mentor Training is based on the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s 25 years of experience as a leader in sports-based youth development.

In addition to AYSO, the U.S. Soccer Foundation has partnered with a variety of soccer organizations at all levels of the game including Orlando City SC and Orlando Pride, Major League Soccer, Chicago Fire Foundation, Black Star, Gallaudet Soccer, and the U.S. Youth Soccer Grassroots Symposium.


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 or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.


About AYSO

Established in 1964, AYSO is a national nonprofit organization that develops and delivers quality youth soccer programs, which promote a fun, family environment based on AYSO’s Six Philosophies: Everyone Plays®, Balanced Teams, Open Registration, Positive Coaching, Good Sportsmanship, and Player Development. For more information, visit