Area Agencies Partner To Open East Boston Mini-Pitch

Boston Scores and Salesian Boys & Girls Club announced that thanks to leadership gifts from the family of Mark & Sarah Williamson, the U.S. Soccer Foundation, Major League Soccer Players Association, and Musco Lighting, they will open a newly constructed soccer “Mini-Pitch” this month on the grounds of the Club at 150 Byron Street. Ribbon cutting ceremonies are scheduled for Friday, June 30, at 11 a.m.

Mini-pitches are protected play spaces ideal for pick-up games, skills development, and informal play. The East Boston mini-pitch will include lighting to allow for play to continue into the evening. The mini-pitch is the first program space to be activated as part of a $15 million investment by Boston Scores in the Salesian Boys & Girls Club that will also include a multi-field soccer complex, playground, community garden, outdoor classroom, shaded sitting areas, field house, renovated classrooms, meeting spaces, and parking.

The mini-pitch and broader renovation project are focused on increasing access to the game and improving the health and well-being of local youth. “Through soccer, students learn about teamwork, leadership, and commitment,” said Mark Williamson who also serves on the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s Board of Directors. “I am proud to partner with Boston Scores and the Salesian Boys & Girls Club to help support the Foundation’s priorities and to bring the sport of soccer to hundreds of youth across our community.” In addition to the Williamson Family donation, MLSPA & Musco Lighting, longtime partners of the U.S. Soccer Foundation, have joined with the Foundation to support the mini-pitch project. The U.S. Soccer Foundation installs mini-pitches which serve as community hubs to create opportunities for play at the neighborhood level while removing barriers, such as transportation and cost, that often prohibit children in underserved communities from playing the game.

“The MLSPA is thrilled to be a part of the mini-pitch project in East Boston,” said MLSPA Executive Director Bob Foose. “Increasing access to the sport is a cause that our players care deeply about, and we are proud to join forces with the U.S. Soccer Foundation and Musco Lighting to ensure Boston youth have a safe space to play.”

Soccer for Success, the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s after-school program implemented in Boston through Boston Scores, has been found to improve health outcomes and social and emotional well-being. In fact, 88% of participants work better on a team, 86% stay away from anti-social behavior, and 83% have improved health outcomes. “Soccer is a perfect vehicle to deliver positive health and youth development outcomes that improve lives and strengthen communities. I couldn’t be more excited that this mini-pitch will help improve lives for families in East Boston,” said Ed Foster-Simeon, President & CEO of the U.S. Soccer Foundation. According to surveys, 99% of those living in communities with mini-pitches say that people in their community are more active after the installation of a mini-pitch, 98% say that their community feels safer after installation of a mini-pitch, and 91% say that their mini-pitch serves as a community hub.

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  or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Boston Scores is an independent 501(c)3 non-profit organization and an affiliate of America SCORES. The organization has provided programs in East Boston and across the City for over 20 years, partnering with Boston Public Schools to provide urban youth in grades K-12 with after-school soccer and team-based enrichment programs to build character and essential life skills. They help the youth they serve develop a sense of belonging and to achieve their full potential. For more information visit or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

The Salesian Boys and Girls Club of East Boston was founded in 1945 when the Salesians of Don Bosco opened the Oratory on Paris Street. In 1970 they affiliated with the Boys Club of America, expanded to the Boys and Girls Club, and moved to their current location at 150 Byron St. in 2009.

They proudly serve youth in East Boston, Revere, Winthrop, Lynn, Chelsea, and other surrounding areas by providing a safe space to learn and grow through high quality programs and well taught instructors. With a tradition of Reason, Religion, Kindness & Active Presence, they have prepared thousands of youths to reach their full potential and become role models in the community. For more information visit or follow us on Facebook.

The Major League Soccer Players Association (MLSPA) serves as the voice and collective bargaining representative for all former, current and future Major League Soccer players. Formed in April 2003, the MLSPA ensures protection of the rights of all MLS players, while also promoting their best interests and amplifying their voices. The MLSPA is a democratic organization run by and for players, and ultimate control over the MLSPA rests with the players. To learn more please visit

Since 1976, Musco has specialized in the design and manufacture of sports and large-area lighting with innovations in light quality, glare reduction, and light control responsible to the needs of facility owners, users, neighbors, and the night sky. Musco’s TLC for LED™ system technology delivers a level of light control and uniformity that can’t be matched, and is the solution of choice for neighborhood fields, collegiate and professional stadiums and arenas, international speedways, and global events such as the Olympic Games. Musco backs its LED solutions with a long-term warranty covering parts and labor, eliminating maintenance concerns and costs for its customers.

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