Washington, D.C.  – The U.S. Soccer Foundation presented three awards at its 12th annual Urban Soccer Symposium to celebrate achievements of individuals and organizations in the sports-based youth development network. In its second year, the 2018 Urban Soccer Symposium Awards were presented in three categories: influence, innovation, and impact.

“We are proud to present the second annual Urban Soccer Symposium Awards to the Seattle Housing Authority’s Yesler Redevelopment, South Bronx United, and Mayor Bill de Blasio for their exceptional achievements in the sports-based youth development community,” said Ed Foster-Simeon, President & CEO of the U.S. Soccer Foundation. “We are delighted to acknowledge some of the best practices in the field and recognize meaningful change and innovation driven by community-based sports initiatives across the country.”

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio received the 2018 Influence Award, which was awarded to an individual holding public office who has leveraged his or her position to support, advocate for, and champion sports-based youth development efforts in underserved communities. Mayor de Blasio was recognized for his role in assisting the Foundation’s efforts to establish the first of many public-private partnerships, the New York City Soccer Initiative. The Initiative is comprised of a $3 million investment to build and maintain mini soccer pitches – 10 of which opened this past year – and to provide free programming for New York City school children with a focus on healthy lifestyles, active living, and mentorship. The program will serve 10,000 young New Yorkers over five years through after-school soccer and mentoring programs, such as soccer clinics, festivals, youth summits, and night leagues to promote safe, active, and connected communities.

Seattle Housing Authority’s Yesler Redevelopment received the 2018 Innovation Award for utilizing imaginative tactics and original programming to create positive social change in underserved communities. As part of its strategic policy, Seattle Housing Authority (SHA) launched a Race and Social Justice Initiative to address effects of years of institutional racism, a problem many urban areas face. Its 360-degree thinking led SHA to develop native programming for residents of Yesler Terrace—the first housing development in the state and the first racially desegregated housing community in the city. It has also engaged in collaborative thinking with other program providers, like RAVE Foundation and Sounders FC, to provide a platform for soccer to be integrated into the existing and developing cultural framework of this iconic and historic downtown Seattle neighborhood. The jewel of Yesler Terrace is in locating all new residential buildings around a best-in-the-city park, the literal heart of the neighborhood, supporting programming for all residents, and creating a safe place for kids to play. One of the core values of this redevelopment has been social equity. Speaking to that value, and adjacent to conversation circles, public art, a massive play area, and spray park, RAVE Foundation built an “unrentable” small soccer field. In addition to the field, SHA funded art programs with an artist-in-residence for kids. In collaboration with RAVE, SHA developed the GOALS for Art Program where students worked with that artist and Sounders FC goalkeeper, Stefan Frei, over a series of weeks to add their design ideas to the goals that will ultimately be created and installed on their field at Yesler Terrace.

South Bronx United received the 2018 Impact Award for its work to use sport to enact measurable and sustainable positive change within an underserved community for at least five years. Founded in 2009, South Bronx United combines soccer with academic enrichment, college preparation, mentoring, health and wellness education, immigration legal services, and other forms of support to help more than 1,100 at-risk and immigrant youth and their families. In a community with the nation’s highest poverty rate and a 50 percent high school graduation rate, 100 percent of youth in the South Bronx United Academy program have graduated high school, and 94 percent have enrolled in college within the past six years.

The awards were presented during the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s 2018 Urban Soccer Symposium, the nation’s premier event where executive directors, mentors, and program administrators learn and exchange best practices in sports-based youth development to bolster impact in underserved communities.

Award nominees were identified through a nomination process.  In total, 21 nominations were submitted for the Innovation, Impact, and Influence Awards. The 2018 Urban Soccer Symposium Committee, comprised of leaders in the sports-based youth development movement, voted on the Innovation and Impact categories. The Foundation’s Government Relations team assisted the committee in identifying the winner of the Influence Award.


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. For more information, visit www.ussoccerfoundation.org or follow us on Twitter at @ussoccerfndn and Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ussoccerfoundation.


Media Contact:

Jennifer Arnold, 202.872.6662, jarnold@ussoccerfoundation.org




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

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  • 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 (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.

  • 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.

  • 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, 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


    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, 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 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.


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