U.S. Soccer Foundation Celebrates 700th Mini-Pitch

On Monday, April 15, at Sandstone Ridge Park in North Las Vegas, the U.S. Soccer Foundation opened its 700th mini-pitch—a significant milestone in the organization's goal of creating 1,000 new mini-pitches on the road to the FIFA World Cup 26. The mini-pitch was opened in partnership with soccer legend, NBC sports analyst, and former USMNT Goalkeeper Tim Howard and the City of North Las Vegas.

Mini-pitches are small, customized, hard-court surfaces suited for both organized soccer and pick-up games. Ideal for urban areas and other communities where space is at a premium, mini-pitches increase soccer and physical activity time, improve community safety perceptions and strengthen communities.

“While soccer is having its moment in the spotlight in the leadup to the 2026 Men’s World Cup, we want millions of kids to have their moment, too,” said Ed Foster-Simeon, president and CEO of the U.S. Soccer Foundation. “Today marks a huge milestone in ensuring that our game delivers positive outcomes for youth living in under-resourced communities.  With the opening of our 700th mini-pitch, we know that hundreds of thousands of youth now have safe places to play and enjoy the many health and youth development benefits of soccer who might not have otherwise had an opportunity to do so.”

Survey data collected by the U.S. Soccer Foundation show that mini-pitches provide many benefits to the community:

  • 99% say that people in their community are more active after installation of a mini-pitch.
  • 98% say that their community feels safer after installation of a mini-pitch.
  • 96% say that their mini-pitch is accessible to all.
  • 91% say their mini-pitch serves as a community hub.

Mini-pitches are also making the world’s most popular sport and its lifelong benefits more accessible to communities in a time when the game’s popularity is growing on the road to 2026. More than 30% of mini-pitch users are new to soccer, and communities report that five times more soccer is played at sites after the installation of a mini-pitch.

The mini-pitches can be found in hundreds of communities across the country. Mini-pitches in New York City, Miami, and Los Angeles are also sites for the foundation’s Just Ball League, which creates opportunities for league play at the neighborhood level and prioritizes fun, inclusion and belonging. The hyper-local approach reduces the need for transportation and lowers costs, two of the main barriers to participation in sport for children in under-resourced communities. More than 15,000 youth are currently participating in the league across the three cities.

To learn more about mini-pitches, visit https://ussoccerfoundation.org/programs/safe-places-to-play/.