Clark Foundation, MLA Players Association, Target, and U.S. Soccer Foundation Announce D.C. Soccer Initiative to Increase Access to Soccer Across the District
10 mini-pitches to be completed at DC Public Schools in the next year
Washington, D.C. – The A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation, the MLS Players Association, Target, and U.S. Soccer Foundation today announced the launch of the D.C. Soccer Initiative—an effort to expand access to soccer at DC Public Schools across the District. Through the initiative, 10 soccer mini-pitches will be installed at DC Public Schools over a 12-month period. Three of those mini-pitches have already been completed at Hart Middle School, Plummer Elementary School, and Sousa Middle School. The next seven mini-pitches will be completed in 2022.
“We are honored to continue our support of DC Public Schools by working with the U.S. Soccer Foundation to improve the places where students learn and play,” said Joe Del Guercio, President and CEO of the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation. “Investing in our children is one of the most important things we can do to strengthen our community.”
“We’re a national organization, but there is something truly special whenever our work benefits children here in our home base of Washington, D.C.,” said U.S. Soccer Foundation President & CEO Ed Foster-Simeon. “Thanks to the generous support of our D.C.-area partners at the Clark Foundation and the MLSPA, in addition to the continued support of Target, we’re thrilled to create more safe places to play across the city and to use our game to help kids cultivate critical life skills that they can use on the pitch, in school, and in life.”
“The MLSPA is proud to be a part of the D.C. Soccer Initiative as a continuation of its longstanding partnership with the U.S. Soccer Foundation,” said MLSPA Executive Director Bob Foose. “Our players are passionate about increasing access to the sport, and mini-pitches are a perfect way to provide children with a safe place to play that’s right in their community.”
“At DC Public Schools, we know the positive impact of athletics and physical education in helping inspire and empower students,” said Chancellor Lewis D. Ferebee. “Thank you to our committed partners for investing in positive outcomes for our students. I am proud of the community effort to expand access to athletic learning spaces across DC Public Schools, and look forward to seeing our families and community enjoy these facilities.”
At some of the mini-pitches, the U.S. Soccer Foundation will also run its nationally recognized soccer program, Soccer for Success, in partnership with DC SCORES. Since the 2012-2013 season, the U.S. Soccer Foundation and DC SCORES have served over 9,000 children in the program. During the 2020-2021 season, DC SCORES ran Soccer for Success at 45 sites across the city.
“At DC SCORES we consistently see that opportunity is crucial to youth development. We support every opportunity that gives kids a chance to play, and applaud the U.S. Soccer Foundation, The A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation, the MLS Players Association, and Target for creating another,” says DC SCORES Executive Director Katrina Owens.
The D.C. Soccer Initiative is the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s latest city-wide mini-pitch initiative. Other city-wide initiatives have come to New York City, Chicago, Newark, Houston, Los Angeles, and Oklahoma City.
The 10 mini-pitches help the U.S. Soccer Foundation reach its goal of installing 1,000 pitches by 2026 as part of its national It’s Everyone’s Game movement to create greater access to the sport and its benefits in underserved communities nationwide. More than 450 mini-pitches are already open for use in communities across the country.
ABOUT THE A. JAMES & ALICE B. CLARK FOUNDATION
The A. James & Alice. B Clark Foundation partners with grantees who build practical, immediate and concrete connections between effort and opportunity, and focuses its investments in the following areas: educating engineers to solve society’s toughest problems, improving the lives of veterans and their families, and providing members of the DC community the best opportunity to thrive.
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 www.mlsplayers.org.
ABOUT 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 and Facebook.
Jennifer Arnold, U.S. Soccer Foundation
email@example.com; (202) 872-6662
Sarah Elbert, A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation
Sarah.firstname.lastname@example.org; (301) 657-7176
Elizabeth Harley, Major League Soccer Players Association
email@example.com; (301) 388-5971