Austin FC, 4ATX Foundation, Major League Soccer’s social responsibility platform MLS WORKS, and U.S. Soccer Foundation unveiled on Saturday a new soccer mini-pitch in Uvalde, Texas at Jardín de los Heroes Park. The organizations teamed up to create a place where their neighbors in the Uvalde community can gather and connect through soccer.
To celebrate the opening of the mini-pitch, the organizations hosted a ribbon-cutting event on Saturday, followed by pickup soccer for 20 local young players.
“As a Club, we remain united in our support for the Uvalde community,” said Austin FC President Andy Loughnane. “We hope that this mini-pitch will give a very deserving community a new opportunity to experience the joy that soccer can provide and transform the park into a space where young people can play for many years to come.”
The Uvalde mini-pitch is the latest development in the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s It’s Everyone’s Game national movement to ensure children in underserved communities can enjoy the health and youth development benefits of the game. To date, the U.S. Soccer Foundation has installed more than 500 mini-pitches nationwide - with more than 300 of those in collaboration with MLS and its clubs - with the goal of installing 1,000 by 2026.
“We’re thrilled to be opening the sixth mini-pitch that 4ATX Foundation has helped install – and the third within 2022 alone – along with the City of Uvalde and MLS WORKS,” said Alex Bard, Senior Director, Safe Places to Play at the U.S. Soccer Foundation. This pitch in particular is special because we are in a position to go beyond words of support and provide tangible solutions which bring joy to the children and families in Uvalde.”
The Uvalde mini-pitch marks the sixth mini-pitch in Central Texas which Austin FC and 4ATX Foundation have helped install in collaboration with U.S. Soccer Foundation, joining 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 futsal court opened in southeast Austin in November 2019.
Earlier this year, 4ATX Foundation and Swish Dental sponsored fall soccer camp registration fees for 725 young players in Uvalde, ensuring they could participate in the camps cost-free.