CLARK FOUNDATION, MLS 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.

ABOUT MLSPA
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.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Jennifer Arnold, U.S. Soccer Foundation
jarnold@ussoccerfoundation.org; (202) 872-6662

Sarah Elbert, A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation
Sarah.elbert@clarkfoundationdc.org; (301) 657-7176

Elizabeth Harley, Major League Soccer Players Association
eharley@mlsplayers.org; (301) 388-5971

JOIN US

Join the U.S. Soccer Foundation in the movement to improve lives through soccer.

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OUR PARTNERS

adidas

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 adidas.com.

CHA

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 chacompanies.com

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 SportsMatter.org.

GEICO

GEICO

GEICO is committed to impacting local communities through Educational programs, Community Development projects and Equity & Inclusion initiatives. To date, GEICO has donated to 7,000+ charities and averaged between $6 and $8 million in annual giving over the last two decades. To learn more about GEICO’s commitment to the community please visit www.geico.com/about/in-the-community.

Genesis Gives

Genesis Gives

Genesis Gives is a corporate social responsibility initiative from Genesis Motor North America. Expanding on the brand’s commitment to the highest standards of performance and its athletic elegance design identity, Genesis Gives supports nonprofit organizations with the goal of improving access to, and performance in, youth sports and STEAM education in under resourced communities.

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 Kwikgoal.com.

Miami Children's Trust

Miami Children's Trust

The Children’s Trust supports Soccer for Success programming in South Florida. The Children’s Trust is a dedicated source of revenue established by voter referendum to improve the lives of children and families in Miami-Dade County.

MLS WORKS

MLS WORKS

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

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 https://ussoccerfoundation.org/grants/ 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 scoresports.com.

Soccer.com

Soccer.com

Soccer.com, 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. Soccer.com embodies a passion for the game that extends to the people who play, coach and support soccer. For more information, please visit soccer.com.

 

 

 

Target

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.

Telemundo

Telemundo

The U.S. Soccer Foundation and Telemundo are joining efforts to advance soccer as a means for helping children in underserved communities reach their full potential, including supporting the Foundation’s signature Soccer for Success youth program, which provides free or low-cost soccer programs during and after school at more than 250 sites nationally. Telemundo will also serve as the first official and exclusive Spanish-language media partner of the U.S. Soccer Foundation. For more information visit https://www.telemundo.com/el-poder-en-ti.

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 https://www.worldwidetgi.com or contact Mike Squire at msquire@worldwidetgi.com / 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 www.worldsoccershop.com.

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