2024 Season

4ATX Foundation and Partners Unveil New Mini-Pitch in Lockhart


Austin FC’s nonprofit arm 4ATX Foundation, joined Soccer Assist and partners U.S. Soccer Foundation, St.David’s Foundation, Lockhart ISD and the City of Lockhart in unveiling a new soccer mini-pitch at Corporal Jason K. Lafleur Soccer Complex in Lockhart, Texas on Saturday, May 25. The organizations teamed up to transform an underutilized basketball court at the park into a state-of-the-art soccer mini-pitch.

“4ATX is thrilled to support Soccer Assist and partners to bring another mini-pitch to Central Texas,” said 4ATX Foundation Executive Director Kaitlin Mauro. “We know this mini-pitch will be a space where Lockhart families can come together over a shared love of soccer for many years to come.”

To celebrate the opening, the organizations hosted an event for young players to enjoy the mini-pitch for the first time, featuring food, music, and a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Click to download photography of the mini-pitch grand opening (Credit Austin FC)

"Youth athletic facilities serve as more than just fields and courts; they are crucibles of character, resilience, and growth. They foster teamwork, discipline, and determination, molding our youth into tomorrow's leaders.” said Lockhart Superintendent, Mark Estrada. “We are so thankful for this new space, recognizing its pivotal role in shaping not just athletes, but well-rounded individuals ready to tackle life's challenges head-on."

“This Lockhart pitch is special. My family has always loved this community,” said Soccer Assist Founder, Aaron Rochlen. “Being a part of the team that brought this court from an idea to reality, brings a smile to my face only rivaled by a trip to one of the town’s legendary smokehouses.”

“We’re thrilled to join another partnership with Soccer Assist, 4ATX Foundation, and St. David’s Foundation to bring a mini-pitch to the greater Austin area,” said President & CEO of the U.S. Soccer Foundation, Ed Foster-Simeon. “The Lockhart mini-pitch is already providing a safe place for kids to play and enjoy the many benefits of soccer. We are grateful to the entire community for supporting the project and using the game of soccer for good.”

The Lockhart mini-pitch is the 710th mini-pitch that U.S. Soccer Foundation has installed across the nation, with the goal of installing 1,000 by 2026. The mini-pitch initiative is part of their national movement to ensure children in underserved communities can enjoy the health and youth development benefits of the game.

“A safe and accessible place to play is not a luxury, but a vital necessity for our mental and physical well-being,” said Senior Program Officer with St. David’s Foundation, Abena Asante. “We are thrilled to work alongside innovative partners who believe in the power of sports to create play equity and to see the soccer mini-pitch in Lockhart come to life where kids and families can embrace social connection, physical activity and have fun.”

The Lockhart mini-pitch marks the ninth mini-pitch in Central Texas which 4ATX Foundation has helped install in collaboration with U.S. Soccer Foundation, joining the Akins Early College High School mini-pitch in October 2023, Murphy Park mini-pitch in June 2023, Jardin de los Heroes Park mini-pitch opened in Uvalde in December 2022, the Northeast Early College High School mini-pitch opened in north Austin in September 2022, the Bastrop Middle School mini-pitch opened in Bastrop in April 2022, the Civitan Neighborhood Park mini-pitch opened in southeast Austin in December 2021, the Wooldridge Park mini-pitch opened in north Austin in October 2020, and the Dove Springs Recreation Center mini-pitch opened in southeast Austin in November 2019.

“This project is a testament to the power of teamwork, made possible through the dedication and collaboration of the Lockhart community—including our City Council, City Staff, and Lockhart ISD—with financial assistance from 4ATX Foundation, Soccer Assist Foundation, St. David’s Foundation, and the U.S. Soccer Foundation. We recognize the vital need for activities that engage and inspire our local youth, and this mini pitch is a step toward providing a safe and positive space for them to thrive.” said Mayor of Lockhart, Lew White. “Additionally, this initiative honors the namesake of our sports complex, U.S. Army Cpl. Jason K. LaFleur, who had a passion for playing competitive soccer. By creating this space, we are not only fostering community spirit, but also keeping Cpl. LaFleur’s memory alive through the sport he loved.”

To see a map of all of the mini-pitches in Central Texas which 4ATX Foundation has helped install in collaboration with U.S. Soccer Foundation and other partners, visit www.austinfc.com/minipitches. To see where U.S. Soccer Foundation has installed mini-pitches across the United States, visit www.ussoccerfoundation.org/map/.