YMCA of Greater Kansas City Teams Up with U.S. Soccer Foundation
The YMCA of Greater Kansas City announced April 26, 2023, that it is teaming up with 15 other YMCAS across the USA and the U.S. Soccer Foundation to increase access to soccer in advance of the FIFA World Cup 2026™. The goal of the joint campaign, The Road to 2026: Making an Impact in Local Communities, is to provide access to soccer and its health and wellness benefits to at least 1 million youth.
The U.S. Soccer Foundation and the YMCA of Greater Kansas City, alongside other participating Ys, will provide soccer programming for young people that helps develop physical, social, and emotional skills and expand safe places for them to play soccer across the country. The collaboration will include Ys offering the Foundation’s Soccer for Success after-school program and Just Ball League, where appropriate, as well as the installation of mini pitches. The Foundation and Ys will also work together to train coaches in high-quality mentorship and youth development principles to foster positive, inclusive, and safe experiences for youth.
“This joint campaign provides an opportunity to drive the change that really matters in communities—improved health and well-being of young people,” said Ed Foster-Simeon, President & CEO of the U.S. Soccer Foundation. “While the world’s largest soccer event is coming back to the U.S., what is most important is that we can use that excitement and momentum around soccer to make a transformational impact on youth and communities that will last for generations to come.”
"The partnership between the Y and U.S. Soccer Foundation is a natural fit with our shared commitment to improving health outcomes for youth of all backgrounds," said Mark Hulet, Interim President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Kansas City. "As we look forward to Kansas City serving as a host city for the 2026 World Cup, teaming up with the U.S. Soccer Foundation is a perfect opportunity to increase access for our local youth to play soccer and build excitement among the next generation of athletes."
In addition to the YMCA of Greater Kansas City, the 15 other participating Ys include:
- Greater Austin YMCA
- Greater Philadelphia YMCA
- Hockomock Area YMCA
- YMCA of Greater Boston
- YMCA of Greater Cincinnati
- YMCA of Greater Houston
- YMCA of Greater New York
- YMCA of Greater Seattle
- YMCA of Metro Atlanta
- YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas
- YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles
- YMCA of the North
- YMCA of San Francisco
- YMCA of San Diego
- YMCA of Silicon Valley
About the U.S. Soccer Foundation
The U.S. Soccer Foundation’s programs are the national model for sports-based youth development in underserved communities. Since its founding in 1994, the Foundation has established programs proven to help children embrace an active and healthy lifestyle while nurturing their personal growth beyond sports. Its cost-effective, high-impact initiatives offer safe environments where kids and communities thrive. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Soccer Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization. For more information visit www.ussoccerfoundation.org or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.