Two soccer mini-pitches honoring USMNT star Tyler Adams were officially unveiled Wednesday at Pulaski Park. Students from Poughkeepsie City School District’s soccer teams celebrated the opening of the new mini-pitches by playing in an inaugural scrimmage. Athletes of the local professional soccer team, the Hudson Valley Hammers, served as guest coaches.
The mini-pitches were made possible through a personal contribution from Tyler Adams and contributions from the U.S. Soccer Foundation, Target, the City of Poughkeepsie, and Dutchess County.
Tyler’s family was on site to celebrate the opening of the mini-pitches and shared a video message to attendees from Tyler, who is currently preparing for this year’s FIFA 2022 World Cup.
“Building two new mini-pitches in Pulaski Park is such a unique way to give back to the game and to the community where I first started,” said USMNT player Tyler Adams. “Through these pitches, more children in Poughkeepsie can learn values that they will take with them well beyond their playing careers – the same values that I learned through my support system. Thanks to my family’s support and to all partners involved in this amazing process and creating an environment where kids can blossom.”
“Working with Tyler and his family on this project has been an absolute joy since the moment we started having conversations about bringing mini-pitches to Poughkeepsie,” said Ed Foster-Simeon, President & CEO of the U.S. Soccer Foundation. “Tyler and his family are committed to ensuring that children in the area have safe places to play the game. For them, this is all about the community. We are delighted to help bring this project to fruition and we know that it will have a positive impact on children for years to come.”
Mayor Rolison said, “We are pleased to see the opening of the mini-pitches, a collaborative project that went from concept to completion within a matter of months. We thank our partners the U.S. Soccer Foundation and Dutchess County for their financial and staff support to help see this project to fruition. The mini-pitches are part of a much broader, multimillion dollar initiative by the city to make upgrades to the park system, and it’s fulfilling to see these projects getting completed for our residents to enjoy.”
Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro said, “Dutchess County has made historic investments in our children – from our forthcoming Youth Opportunity Center to our innovative Path to Promise and countless others – and we’re proud to partner with our own Tyler Adams, the U.S. Soccer Foundation and the City of Poughkeepsie on these mini-pitches, which kids of all ages and abilities will enjoy. We thank our fellow collaborators for sharing our vision for young people, throughout the county and the city, and we look forward to soccer players honing their skills on these first-class facilities for years to come.”
This mini-pitch project builds on more than 100 mini-pitches the U.S. Soccer Foundation and Target have installed together since 2018 and marks the latest development in the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s It’s Everyone’s Game national movement to ensure children in underserved communities can enjoy the health and youth development benefits of the game. To date, the U.S. Soccer Foundation has installed more than 500 mini-pitches nationwide. The goal is to install 1,000 by 2026.