New York/New Jersey Host Committee Names U.S. Soccer Foundation as Legacy Strategy Partner for FIFA World Cup 26™
Partnership will help accelerate Foundation’s efforts to create safe places to play and engage New York and New Jersey youth in soccer by 2026
New York, NY – Today, the New York/New Jersey Host Committee announced that the U.S. Soccer Foundation will serve as its Legacy Strategy Partner leading up to and after the FIFA
World Cup 26™.
The U.S. Soccer Foundation will work with the NY/NJ Host Committee in designing and implementing programs that use soccer to achieve positive outcomes for youth living in the region’s underserved communities by:
- Creating 26 new safe places to play by installing mini-pitches in under-resourced communities across New York and New Jersey;
- Engaging at least 25,000 youth from under-resourced communities in soccer programs that build physical, social, and emotional well-being skills and increase access to soccer; and
- Training at least 1,000 coaches as mentors in youth-serving organizations across New York and New Jersey.
The U.S. Soccer Foundation is a national leader in using the sport of soccer to improve the health and well-being of youth and its programs are proven to help children embrace active and healthy behaviors while nurturing their personal growth beyond sports.
“Joining together with the U.S. Soccer Foundation is an amazing opportunity to kick off our legacy work as Host City that will ensure the game continues to improve the lives of this region’s young people,” said Lauren LaRusso, New York New Jersey 2026 World Cup Host Committee Manager and General Counsel. “As New York and New Jersey prepare to welcome fans and players from around the globe to the world’s largest sporting event, we are ecstatic that, in tandem, we are also fostering the love of the game for youth in our own community.”
“We are thrilled to partner with the NY/NJ Host Committee to ensure that this global event leaves a positive and lasting impact for youth in New York and Jersey,” said Ed Foster-Simeon, President & CEO of the U.S. Soccer Foundation. “We are looking forward to using the beautiful game to strengthen communities by improving the health and well-being of our youth. When the fanfare is over, the legacy of our efforts can benefit youth and families across the region for
generations to come.”
The U.S. Soccer Foundation is a legacy of the World Cup U.S.A. in 1994 and has played an outsized role in the growth of the game in the United States including supporting the launch of Major League Soccer, investing in every iteration of the women’s professional league, providing the seed money for the 1999 Women’s World Cup, and assisting the bid that resulted in the 2026 FIFA World Cup™ returning to the U.S.
Now, the Foundation’s mission is to provide under-resourced communities with access to innovative play spaces and evidence-based soccer programs that instill hope, foster well-being, and help youth achieve their fullest potential.
By 2026, the Foundation aims to engage 1 million children in its proven programs and install 1,000 mini-pitches in communities across the United States. This partnership with the NY/NJ Host Committee will assist in the greater national effort and build on work the U.S. Soccer Foundation has done to date in the region. As part of the New York City Soccer Initiative, the U.S. Soccer Foundation has installed 50 mini-pitches across all five boroughs between 2016 and 2021. In New Jersey, the U.S. Soccer Foundation has installed 25 mini-pitches with partners. The U.S. Soccer Foundation has also engaged more than 55,000 in its Soccer for Success program and newly created Just Ball League in New York City and New Jersey since 2016.
Nationally to date, the U.S. Soccer Foundation has positively improved the health and well-being of 500,000 children living in underserved communities through its proven programs and installed more than 600 mini-pitches across the U.S.
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 active and healthy behaviors 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, Facebook, and Instagram.
VP, Marketing & Communications, U.S. Soccer Foundation