U.S. Soccer grassroots grants double to more than $2.4 million in 2020

U.S. Soccer’s board of directors has approved more than $2.4 million in 2020 Innovate to Grow Fund grants -- more than double the amount awarded for 2019 -- to 27 federation members to support programs showing promise in building soccer at the grassroots level.

In the program’s third year, U.S. Soccer received a record 53 applications from 38 federation members, totaling $6.7 million in funding requests. Seventeen of the recipients are first-time Innovate to Grow Fund recipients.

U.S. Soccer approved $2,462,701 in the 2020 application cycle to support 27 projects, compared to $1,173,311 for 17 projects in 2019 and $737,969 to 13 members in 2018.

To be considered for grant funding, proposed programs must meet certain criteria:

-- The program must be new and different from current efforts.
-- The program must demonstrate capability to grow participation.
-- The program must demonstrate potential to scale in other markets.
-- The program must align with U.S. Soccer Player Development Initiatives.
-- The member must also be financially invested in the program.

The 2019-2020 Innovate to Grow Fund grants:

Alabama Soccer Association (“Across Borders Recreation League”)
Cross-border U-9 to U-12 league with matches within 60 mi of member clubs.

Alaska State Youth Soccer Association (“Passing the Ball Program”)
Pop-up outreach program to remote areas including life lessons, and coaching and referee education and other support for communities wanting to start soccer programs.

Arizona Soccer Association (“ASA/Boys & Girls Club Phoenix Futsal”)
Establish futsal program with 13 Boys & Girls Clubs in Phoenix.

California State Soccer Association – South (“Cal South Referee Participation Initiative”)
Affiliate members refer a minimum of three new referees per year and Cal South provides all tools, education, and Grassroots certification.

California Youth Soccer Association – North / Connecticut Junior Soccer Association (“Get on the Bus”)
After-school program including a rec soccer league, tutoring, personal development, and free participation and transportation.

Florida State Soccer Association (“Soccer After Youth”)
Create new U-20 or U-23 divisions for players aging out of youth program as well as those who play in unaffiliated leagues.

Georgia State Soccer Association (“Community Clinics”)
Deliver monthly community clinics (through Atlanta United) in low-income Hispanic communities to connect them with high-level coaching, scouting, and integration with Georgia South.

Idaho Youth Soccer Association (“IYSA Referee Retention and Recruitment Initiative”)
Develop a Referee Advocate Program to improve retention of first- and second-year referees and improve recruitment of referees aged 19-40.

Illinois Youth Soccer Association (“College Women’s Coaching Initiative”)
Increase the number of female coaches by offering free coaching education on college campuses.

Iowa Soccer Association (“Coaching Education: Coaching for All Project”)
Target coaches from non-member programs and underserved populations for free Grassroots coaching education.

Massachusetts Adult State Soccer Association (“Lusa American-Cape Verdean Tournament”)
Host a Portuguese-Cape Verdean tournament with teams from MA and RI to showcase the benefits of affiliation and develop a cross-border league.

Minnesota Youth Soccer Association (“Referee-Coach Relationship”)
Provide training, equipment, and mentoring to youth soccer players and their parents to become referees.

New Mexico Youth Soccer Association (“ITG Non-traditional Soccer Growth Plan”)
Procure equipment to host community registration events and regional futsal tournaments.

North Carolina Youth Soccer Association (“Coaching Education Outreach Grow Program”)
Provide coaching education for unaffiliated organizations.

Oklahoma Soccer Association (“Life Changes and Wellness Soccer Outreach Program”)
Work with an after-school youth organization to introduce soccer to at-risk youth, with ultimate goal of establishing member club in community.

Oregon Youth Soccer Association (“Bridge the Gap”)
Outreach and support to underserved Latino communities with the goal of integrating Hispanic clubs and leagues into OYSA.

SAY Soccer (“Training Confident and Competent Youth Referees”)
Camp-based program to train teenage referees, held with player camps to give immediate practice.

South Texas Youth Soccer Association (“South Texas Club Accreditation”)
Provide organizational development support to member clubs, including resources and tools to improve club environments.

US Adult Soccer (“Building a Bridge”)
Partner with state associations to facilitate the transition from youth to adult soccer by providing three years of cost-free play and assistance in finding adult playing opportunities.

US Association of Blind Athletes (“Blind Soccer”)
Develop recreational 5-a-side soccer for youth and young adults, develop skilled coaches and provide infrastructure to build interest and participation in the sport.

US Club Soccer (“Coach Education Initiative for Current Players”)
Launch an accessible, comprehensive program to encourage and guide high school and college players into the coaching education pathway.

US Power Soccer (“Coaches Certification”)
Institute a training curriculum and annual training sessions for coaches.

Virginia/DC Youth Soccer Association (“Accelerating the Participation of Women in Coaching”)
Deliver Grassroots, D, and C courses for women and girls aged 16-plus at no cost to participants.

Washington Youth Soccer Association (“Atletico”)
Implement a competitive soccer program enabling underserved Latino youth players to participate in a high-level player development program.

Washington Youth Soccer Association (“Let Her Coach”)
Deliver Grassroots and D courses to women on college campuses.

Wisconsin Youth Soccer Association (“Female Coaching Education”)
Facilitate female-only coaching education (Grassroots and D) at no cost to participants.

Wyoming Soccer Association (“SOW Soccer”)
Outreach to the Wind River Indian Reservation, with the goal of lasting competitive programming and club membership.
1 comment about "U.S. Soccer grassroots grants double to more than $2.4 million in 2020".
  1. Ric Fonseca, February 12, 2020 at 11 p.m.

    Ok... kudos to the Foundation!  However I must comment on the various grants while they are, I am sure well deserved, I am puzzled or should I say, it doesn't surprise me to note that out of all of the grants, only two (unless I misread the programs) were granted to two neighboring youth associations - Washington and Oregon - to enhance the unserved Latino youth groups' Latino players.I find it odd to eventhink or just chuckled as to the dearth of other state youth associations not having submitted an application to obtain funds from the foundation, especially from my region in SoCalifornia that very probably has the largest number of unaffiliated youth soccer leagues.
    Yet, while Cal South did submit their application, it was - admitedly correct - a program with which to increase the number of referees, yet nothing was apparently, submitted to enhance the number of affiliated Latino players.
    It is a vexing problem to note this apparent "deficiency" given the ambarrassing US Soccer finds itself by not including someone, or several Latino representatives to one of its most "important" committees.  So, as possibly disjointed as this may read/sound, is it a wonder that this lack of Latino inclusion is not just an embarrassing and vexing problem owned by US Soccer, but IS accross the board a national embarrassing problem?  Well, then pilgrims, it is very possible that there weren't many unaffiliated Latino leagues that suvbmitted their application, but pon the other hand, was information on the Foundation made available to them through their state associations?  My guess to this vexing question is probably not, given my former experience with my state youth association, that was extremely and adamant in not even approaching local unaffiliated youth leagues, Latino or not, to affiliate, and while that was then, why do I suspect that this being now things "would be different?"  Anyhow, just saying and so PLAY ON!!! 

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