The Philadelphia Union in collaboration with the U.S. Soccer Foundation, MLS WORKS, adidas and Southern New Hampshire University unveiled a new mini soccer pitch today at Stetser Elementary School in Chester. The new pitch aims to provide the community a safe place to play and enjoy soccer.
The new mini-pitch comes in part of the 20 for 20 Mini-Pitch Initiative, which aspires to bring a mini soccer pitch to an underserved community in conjunction with each of the 20 MLS clubs.
"At the foundation we believe that soccer can be used as a conduit for transformational change in the lives of our children,” said Philadelphia Union Foundation board member James Korman. "Whether through our own programs or collaborations with like-minded organizations, it is our aim to create a tangible positive impact on the children in Chester."
After the pitch was officially dedicated to the Chester community, Philadelphia Union players Maurice Edu, Brian Carroll, Mike Lahoud, Zach Pfeffer, and served as coaches in a small-sided game with local youth from the Chester Upland Soccer for Success program.
Soccer for Success is the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s free afterschool program that uses soccer as a tool to combat children’s health issues and juvenile delinquency.
“Alongside a truly remarkable team of partners, we are honored to be able to offer a safe place for our communities' children to play this wonderful game,” Philadelphia Union Executive Vice President Dave Rowan said. “We also believe this opportunity is about more than just soccer as we hope youth participation and education of what it means to be a part of a team can take place at this facility. We thank our partners and commend the Philadelphia Union Foundation to make this all possible."
The first of the 20 mini-pitches was unveiled in July in association with the Colorado Rapids. Since then, the New York Red Bulls and D.C. United have also unveiled their mini-pitches.
The new mini soccer pitch is now open to the public and is located at 808 E. 17th Street in Chester, Pa.