U.S. SOCCER FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES IT’S EVERYONE’S GAME, A NATIONAL EFFORT TO INCREASE ACCESS TO SOCCER PROGRAMMING

CHICAGO, IL – The U.S. Soccer Foundation is launching a national campaign, It’s Everyone’s Game, aimed at dramatically expanding its impact on children across the country through soccer-based programs. To kick off the campaign, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the Chicago Park District and the Chicago Fire Soccer Club will announce their support for the initiative by committing to build 50 soccer play spaces in underserved neighborhoods in the next five years. The project is made possible by a $3 million gift from the Kenneth C. Griffin Charitable Fund and a substantial contribution from the Hauptman family and Chicago Fire Soccer Club. In partnership with communities, municipalities and corporate partners across the country, the Foundation is pledging to reach one million children annually and build 1,000 soccer courts, called mini-pitches, by 2026. 

Former U.S. National Team stars Kristine Lilly, Staci Wilson, Cobi Jones and Brian McBride will also be on hand at the event to commit their support to the It’s Everyone’s Game campaign. McBride is also a former Chicago Fire player. 

Our Soccer for Success program shows that soccer can be the difference between a child who thrives and a child who falls through the cracks,” said Ed Foster-Simeon, President & CEO, U.S. Soccer Foundation. “Yet far too many children across the country do not have access to soccer programming or the opportunity to engage with a coach who can help them develop critical life skills that support their development on and off the playing field. The premise of our work is simple: We train coach-mentors. We make sure there are fields to play on. And we support after-school soccer programs in underserved communities that are offered free to participants. By eliminating barriers and creating opportunities, we help the kids who need us most to not only play soccer, but also to be healthier, more active, and more confident.” 

It’s Everyone’s Game will result in a dramatic expansion of the Foundation’s proven work in improving physical and social youth development through soccer. Since after-school programming around Soccer for Success started in 2009, the Foundation and its partners have positively impacted over 100,000 children in more than 180 underserved communities around the country, helping them embrace an active, healthy lifestyle while nurturing their personal growth through team-building and mentorship. 

According to a recent evaluation of Soccer for Success by American Institutes for Research (AIR), 88 percent of participants work better on a team, 86 percent stay away from anti-social behaviors and 72 percent try harder in school. Internal research validates these findings. Eighty-three percent of children at greater risk for health issues improved or maintained their health. The Department of Justice also cited the program’s unique ability to engage and retain youth who may not enter or stay in a traditional mentoring relationship. 

Mayor Emanuel and the Chicago Park District, in partnership with Chicago Fire Soccer Club, are making a major commitment to expand access to soccer play spaces in underserved neighborhoods across the city. In addition, the Mayor’s Office and Chicago Park District will work with the Foundation, schools and other community-based organizations to expand Soccer for Success

“These new soccer pitches will give young people across Chicago state-of-the-art places to play and learn one of the world’s most exciting and popular games,” said Mayor Emanuel. “This partnership provides a great opportunity for our youth to stay active, and gain teamwork and leadership skills that will serve them on and off the field throughout their lives.”

“I am thrilled to support the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s efforts to provide children across Chicago greater opportunities to play soccer,” said Ken Griffin, Founder and CEO, Citadel. “I’ve enjoyed soccer for over 30 years, first as a player and more recently as a coach, where I’ve seen the game teach children the importance of teamwork, the benefits of practice and the joy of competition.” 

“These mini-pitches will transform the everyday lives of Chicagoland children, and further grow the passion for soccer across our city,” said Andrew Hauptman, Owner and Chairman, Chicago Fire Soccer Club. “I’m very proud that the Chicago Fire Soccer Club is partnering with the U.S. Soccer Foundation, Mayor Emanuel, Ken Griffin, and the Chicago Park District in order to make such an important and positive impact throughout our community. This initiative perfectly complements the extensive community programming that the Fire has developed and runs throughout Chicago.” 

Major industry and corporate partners will help bring It’s Everyone’s Game to communities across the country. National partners who are partnering with the Foundation include adidas, Major League Soccer, Musco Lighting and Target. 

“Major League Soccer is committed to improving the communities where we live and play our games by supporting initiatives that enrich and educate youth and promote inclusion at all levels of the sport,” said JoAnn Neale, Chief Administrative & Social Responsibility Officer, Major League Soccer. “We’re proud to partner with the U.S. Soccer Foundation to provide access to soccer and grow the game through Soccer for Success programming.” 

“Musco has been a longtime partner of the U.S. Soccer Foundation and has lent support to its mission for nearly two decades,” said Jeff Rogers, Vice President of Sales, Musco Lighting. “Soccer for Success is a great program to benefit thousands of young people across the country who need and deserve an opportunity to have access to coach mentors and safe places to play in their communities, and we are proud to support the Foundation’s  It’s Everyone’s Game campaign in making this happen.” 

Through its partnership with adidas, the U.S. Soccer Foundation will be able to provide participants with the equipment and materials necessary to succeed on and off the field. In addition, adidas will support the campaign by participating in the launch event and providing access to pro-athletes and a dedicated coaching staff who will use the sport of soccer to positively impact these players’ lives. 

Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) recently pledged $6 million to support the Foundation’s mission to improve lives and communities through soccer by building 100 mini-pitches in communities across the country. 

Other metropolitan areas that have taken steps to joining in It’s Everyone’s Game include: Baltimore, MD; Columbus, OH; Hendersonville, TN; Houston, TX; Kansas City, MO; Louisville, KY; Miami, FL; Nashville, TN; Newark, NJ; North Miami, FL; Oklahoma City, OK; Orlando, FL; Philadelphia, PA; Reno, NV; Rochester, NY; San Bernardino, CA; Tucson, AZ; and Washington, DC. 

Additionally, the City of New York recently opened the first 10 of 50 mini-pitches as part of a public-private partnership to build and maintain fields in underserved areas. 

In early 2017, Mayor Emanuel joined the U.S. Soccer Foundation, Major League Soccer and the Chicago Fire Soccer Club officials to open the two mini-pitches in Chicago’s Gage Park neighborhood, where today’s event will be held. The pitches were also supported by MLS WORKS (MLS’ community outreach initiative), Southern New Hampshire University and the Chicago Park District. The pitches support local youth programming, including the Chicago Fire Soccer Club’s P.L.A.Y.S Program and the Chicago Police Department’s new Community Engagement through Sports initiative. 

It’s Everyone’s Game at its core represents access and inclusion. As an extension of this ethos, the Foundation will be unveiling customized pitch crests for each partner city as symbols of local engagement between the broader soccer community and It’s Everyone’s Game. The uniquely-designed campaign pitch crests will be available on the campaign website for participants to share on social media channels using #EveryonesGame. 

For more information about It’s Everyone’s Game, how to stay updated on the campaign, and ways to get involved, visit itseveryonesgame.org

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. Follow us on Twitter at @ussoccerfndn and Facebook at facebook.com/ussoccerfoundation

Media Contact 
Jennifer Arnold 
U.S. Soccer Foundation 
202.872.6662 
jarnold@ussoccerfoundation.org

JOIN US

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

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

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.

  • APT

    APT

    APT (Advanced Polymer Technology), the Foundation’s Partner for Acrylic Coating Products, is a global leader in high performance sports surfaces. APT provides people around the world with safe, reliable, performance enhancing surfaces. APT’s Laykold Masters acrylic surfacing system will be the official surface of an estimated 500 mini-pitches. For more information on APT, please visit www.sportsbyapt.com.

  • AstroTurf

    AstroTurf

    For athletes and soccer enthusiasts, AstroTurf® is redefining how synthetic soccer fields are built and perform. The brand offers advanced, state-of-the-art synthetic turf systems with proprietary engineered technologies. A growing number of clubs, high schools, colleges, professional sports teams and municipalities continue to select AstroTurf’s LigaTurf-branded products for their premium quality, technical superiority, and safety. To learn more, visit the company’s recently redesigned website, www.astroturf.com/soccer. – See more at: https://ussoccerfoundation.org/article/astroturf-partners-with-the-u.s.-soccer-foundation-as-a-national-partner-for-field-building-program#sthash.FL8E8bAM.dpuf

  • 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.

  • Hunter

    Hunter

    Hunter Industries, the Foundation’s National Partner for Irrigation Equipment, is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of irrigation equipment for turf, landscape and soccer fields.  Hunter Industries’ focus is on landscape irrigation with a significant part of its business centering on the proper care and maintenance of sports turf. For more information, please visit hunterindustries.com. Please contact Lynda Wightman, 406-273-3073, lynda.wightman@hunterindustries.com with any questions regarding the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s grants program.

  • Johnson & Johnson

    Johnson & Johnson

    Johnson & Johnson, the Foundation’s grant partner, is dedicated to supporting the next generation of female leaders by providing greater access to girls’ youth soccer programming in underserved communities nationwide. As the world’s largest and most broadly based healthcare company, Johnson & Johnson strives to create healthier communities, and put a healthy mind, body and environment within reach of everyone, everywhere. For more information, please visit www.jnj.com.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

SHARE YOUR SUPPORT ON SOCIAL

Tweet or post on Facebook and show the world
that you believe in the power of soccer.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter