Three city parks eyed for mini soccer pitches donated by U.S. Soccer Foundation

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Photo via U.S. Soccer Foundation/Facebook

A trio of Baltimore City parks could soon be equipped with mini soccer fields–well, more like courts, really–paid for by the U.S. Soccer Foundation.

The D.C.-based soccer philanthropy and advocacy organization plans to fund and build three $60,000 “mini-pitches” at Desoto Park in Southwest Baltimore’s Morrell Park neighborhood, the Farring-Baybrook Recreation Center in Brooklyn and Betty Hyatt Community Park in Washington Hill, according to the city’s spending board agenda for tomorrow.

“The mini-pitch will provide an accessible and dedicated space for public recreational activities and soccer in each community,” the agenda reads in part.

A spokeswoman for the foundation, the country’s largest charitable soccer organization, says all three sites “have been proposed by the Foundation in partnership with the Parks & Rec department.”

The donations would come as part of the nonprofit’s “Safe Places to Play” program. The foundation has partnered with sports-lighting firm Musco Lighting on a modular soccer field design, roughly the size of a basketball or tennis court, for underserved areas around the country. They come with lighting to allow for after-hours play, plus storage and benches.

The foundation is partnering with MLS teams, corporations and others to install 1,000 of them by 2026.

“We’re creating these mini-pitches right in the neighborhoods where kids live and go to school so they are easy for kids to access,” U.S. Soccer Foundation president and CEO Ed Foster-Simeon said in a statement last week.

The spokesperson said more than 200 pitches have already debuted around the country. That tally includes a D.C. United-themed one that opened in D.C.’s Petworth neighborhood last year.

This story has been updated.

Ethan McLeod
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