U. S. Soccer Foundation
The U.S. Soccer Foundation was established in 1995 to manage the surplus funds generated by the 1994 FIFA World Cup held in the United States.Under the guidance of its Board of Directors, the Foundation has taken a leading role in supporting the continuous development of the sport at all levels. Over $45 million in grants, financial support and loans have been made to help develop coaches, players and referees, especially those in economically disadvantaged urban areas.
But the Foundation is much more than simply a grant-making body. The myriad activities range from the Passback Program, a nationwide soccer uniform and equipment collection and distribution program in partnership with Eurosport and Western Union, which is a grassroots initiative designed to assist soccer players in disadvantaged communities by providing them with new or gently used soccer equipment.
In addition to Passback, the Foundation has joined forces with FieldTurf to build a total of 50 All Conditions Fields. These modern, synthetic grass soccer fields are produced by FieldTurf and are a major milestone in resolving the shortage of soccer fields nationwide. New All Conditions Fields have been built in California, Delaware, Illinois, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Virginia and Washington, D.C.; the first of which was the renovation of the famed Metropolitan Oval in Queens, New York, which was unveiled in the spring of 2002.
Among the other concepts managed by the Foundation is the Soccer United Recovery Fund, which was established in September 2005, in partnership with Eurosport, to help rebuild soccer programs and facilities in Gulf Coast communities affected by the three massive hurricanes of 2005. The Fund has distributed more than $250,000 in Recovery Fund Program grants to over two dozen soccer organizations in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. The Foundation has long supported urban soccer programs, including the development and expansion of the innovative America SCORES model since its inception in Washington, D.C. over a decade ago. Summits for the leaders of national urban soccer programs have helped foster a collaborative partnership for the development of more soccer opportunities for youth in urban and economically disadvantaged communities nationwide. Furthermore, the Foundation has brought together non-profit organizations that directly support soccer programs and projects as a means of sharing funding resources and other technical expertise with grassroots leaders who are interested in establishing new programs or obtaining financial support for their programs.
The Foundation also provides support and resources to the soccer community through cooperative programs and services offered through the Foundation's Partners Resource Center (PRC). The PRC enables Community Partners to receive preferred pricing and expert advice from soccer industry leaders in the areas of soccer equipment, field development and more.
As part of the Foundation's work in Washington, D.C., it has joined with a bipartisan group of Members of Congress to establish and support the Congressional Soccer Caucus. The mission of the Caucus is to encourage legislation, activities and events that promote the game and issues affecting the greater soccer community.
Since 1995, the Foundation has awarded more than $22,000,000 to soccer clubs and organizations in all 50 states, including the District of Columbia. Constituents, large and small, may apply for a grant via the Foundation's website: ussoccerfoundation.org. Grant recipients are announced each spring by the Foundation's Board of Directors. Though the initial concept was to provide funds solely through the Annual Grants process, the Foundation has expanded its actions to include extraordinary grants for player development and other large-scale projects, and fully-collateralized lines of credit to aid activities such as the startup for the 1999 and 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup in the United States.