Over a year ago, MLS WORKS, the league’s charitable arm, set out on a mission to create 20 mini-pitches to correspond with each of the 20 teams across the league. And with the completion of the final mini-pitch in Montreal a few weeks ago, the group has reached their goal.
Through their partnership with the US Soccer Foundation, Southern New Hampshire University, adidas, and Canada Soccer, MLS WORKS was able to provide safe recreational areas for children in underserved communities. These mini-pitches help to encourage healthy and active lifestyles within local communities, and also support the growth of soccer throughout the U.S. and Canada.
In October of 2015, the Philadelphia Union unveiled their mini-pitch at Stetser Elementary School on Widener University’s campus in Chester. The mini-pitch was one of the first in the league to be constructed and serves many roles for the surrounding Chester community. Participants in the Union Foundation’s Soccer for Success program utilize the pitch throughout their season, as well as other members of the Chester community and students at Stetser Elementary.
Across the league, Soccer for Success has documented close to 26,000 hours of structured play and thanks to the league’s 20 for 20 mini-pitch initiative, over 13,000 youth have been provided with free after-school soccer programs.