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.

Soccer Mini-Pitch Honoring Senator Judith Zaffirini Opens in Laredo

A new mini-pitch installed in honor of Senator Judith Zaffirini was officially unveiled at the newly renamed Senator Judith Zaffirini Park (formerly Ochoa Park) in Laredo yesterday. The Senator Judith Zaffirini Mini-Pitch was funded by U.S. Soccer Foundation board member Carlos Zaffirini through the Audrey & Carlos Zaffirini Family Foundation. Funding from the City of Laredo Parks & Recreation Department and discretionary funds from District 4 were also used to install a concrete pad to support the installation of the mini-pitch.

“Soccer plays an important role in our community, and this mini-pitch will make sure more children have the facilities and resources to play and develop important skills that will serve them for the rest of their lives,” said Carlos Zaffirini, U.S. Soccer Foundation board member. “I want to thank the U.S. Soccer Foundation and the City of Laredo for their partnership. I’m proud to be able to fund this mini-pitch named in honor of my mother because it will represent her steadfast commitment to opening doors for the next generation.”

“We are thrilled to celebrate this beautiful new mini-pitch in Laredo because it will be a source of great fun and joy for our youth and their families,” said Senator Judith Zaffirini. “Playing soccer on this state-of-the-art facility will enable Laredoans to enjoy healthy, wholesome fun while strengthening relationships. What’s more, the competitive, collaborative, preparatory, team-building and leadership skills the players will develop should help them throughout their lives in countless ways, including at home and in their careers. I’m especially grateful to my beloved son, to the U.S. Soccer Foundation, the City of Laredo and Council Member Albert Torres for making this possible.”

At the grand opening event, local youth from United Independent School District and Laredo Independent School District joined the Zaffirini family, Mayor Dr. Victor D. Treviño, Council Member Alberto Torres, Jr., and President & CEO of the U.S. Soccer Foundation Ed Foster-Simeon for an official “first kick” and scrimmages on the new pitch. Attendees and their families were also able to participate in games, partake in other activities, and enjoy food from local vendors.

“We are thrilled that more young people in Laredo will now have a new safe place to play soccer, build relationships with their peers, and have access to our game,” said Ed Foster-Simeon, President & CEO of the U.S. Soccer Foundation. “This new mini-pitch was made possible thanks to Carlos Zaffirini. I am so grateful to have Carlos on our Board of Directors. He not only helps drive our strategy at the national level but is committed to using our game to improve lives locally, as evidenced by this new mini-pitch. We are thrilled to celebrate this new mini-pitch with Zaffirini family today.”

“Promoting activity in our community and especially in our youth is vital to promoting and improving mental health and happiness,” said City of Laredo Mayor Dr. Victor Treviño. “The opening of the new mini-pitch facility will allow our youth to develop strong bonds in a safe environment. As the City will continue to promote these types of activities, I want to thank Senator Judith Zaffirini and Carlos Zaffirini for their integral and continuous advocacy of these policies and quality of life projects.”

“Today’s highlight is the opening of the Judith Zaffirini Soccer Mini-Pitch. We are excited to bring this project to an area of town that didn’t have this amenity and will serve a great purpose,” said District 4 Council Member Alberto Torres, Jr. “I wholeheartedly thank the U.S. Soccer Foundation and The Audrey & Carlos Zaffirini Family Foundation for their generosity and commitment to the Laredo community. The dedication and naming of the state of the art mini-pitch and community park in honor of Senator Zaffirini is very much deserving for her many years if public service and devoted time to making a positive change in Laredo and the State if Texas.”

Carlos Zaffirini joined the U.S. Soccer Foundation board of directors in June 2023. He is the President and CEO of AHCV, a healthcare finance consulting company with offices in Washington, D.C.; Austin; Nashville; Tallahassee; and Laredo.

To access event photos and video, click here.

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.