The Black Players for Change, in conjunction with Musco Lighting and the U.S Soccer Foundation, announced 12 community mini-pitches will be build over the course of the next year.
The pitches, to honor the founding 12 executive board members of the organization, are part of a long-term partnership between the organizations aimed at breaking down systemic barriers that have kept children of color from playing soccer.
“We are committed to investment at all levels of our game, especially at the grassroots level,” said former MLS forward Quincy Amarikwa, the co-founder and director of relationships and strategic partnerships for BPC. “These mini-pitches address a real barrier — lack of access to a safe place to play — that leaves too many Black youth from having a path to build equity in our game. Partnering with U.S. Soccer Foundation and Musco is the first real step in creating real, tangible assets, invested in local communities to serve as a launching pad for future investment, creating dividends of impact over the long term.”
The organizations have pledged to raise and invest more than $1.8 million to complete the first 12 mini-pitches. Their locations will be announced in the coming weeks. Each of the founding members will visit his hometown community for the grand opening of the mini-pitch, helping to elevate Black voices in the community. Pictures of prominent Black athletes will surround each mini-pitch.
“We’re thrilled to come together with the U.S. Soccer Foundation and Musco Lighting to create this opportunity,” said Toronto FC defender Justin Morrow, the co-founder and executive director of the Black Players for Change. "This is only the beginning of our efforts to grow the game in Black communities and we look forward to scaling nationwide in order to ensure equitable access to soccer for the next generation.”