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
-- 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”)
program with 13 Boys & Girls Clubs in Phoenix. California State Soccer Association – South
(“Cal South Referee Participation Initiative”)
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
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
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
Provide training, equipment, and mentoring to youth soccer players and their parents to become referees. New Mexico Youth Soccer Association
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
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
US Power Soccer
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
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
Outreach to the Wind River Indian Reservation, with the goal of lasting competitive programming and club membership.