CHICAGO (June 9, 2021) – As part of U.S. Soccer’s One Nation social responsibility platform, the Federation has announced Libby Stockstill as Game Ambassador for the U.S. Men’s National Team’s upcoming friendly vs. Costa Rica at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah.
Stockstill is a youth soccer coach striving for change and will be recognized as U.S. Soccer’s first One Nation Game Ambassador during Wednesday’s match. One Nation Game Ambassadors are selected for their impact in the areas of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging in the local community.
“We’re proud to announce Libby as our first One Nation Game Ambassador,” said U.S. Soccer Director of Diversity & Human Resources Angie Mason. “As our National Teams travel across the country for games, it’s an exciting opportunity for us to recognize the important work happening to drive diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging in local communities. Libby’s efforts in Salt Lake City have made an indelible impact and we’re excited to recognize her as we aim to engage more with those driving change in each city we visit.”
A firm believer in the positive power of soccer, Stockstill has been using the sport to give back to her under-resourced community. At the age of 20, she co-founded the Utah Development Academy (UDA) with the goal of providing kids in her area the opportunity to play soccer on a competitive club team.
While there was previously no competitive club on Salt Lake City’s west side, UDA has striven to break down economic barriers and is now home to over 450 players on 30 teams, with more than 75 percent of participants living below the poverty line and over 90 percent belong to a minority group. The club expanded to include girls within three years of its founding thanks to Stockstill’s hard work stretching funds and adding volunteer partners. Many UDA alumni return to the club to give back as coaches.
“I’m very flattered and I accept this recognition on behalf of all the people who have put in this work to build UDA. I hope that I can show them my gratitude for everything they’ve done to help me connect these girls with our program,” Stockstill said. “This is the work of so many partners and so many girls and their parents around Salt Lake City, I feel like I’m just a part of it. I’m the one doing a lot of the running around but there are so many people contributing to this initiative that we have. I’m very grateful for the opportunity to work with these incredible young people and to my colleagues who work with me to make this happen.”
Stockstill’s impact reaches far beyond the playing field. She’s built an afterschool homework club at UDA while helping many of her athletes reach their potential and go to college. While only 63 percent of students graduate high school on the west side of Salt Lake City, all but one player on UDA’s inaugural three teams earned their diplomas and Stockstill is working with the last to obtain her GED. After growing up in a bilingual home, Stockstill also serves as a Spanish translator for many UDA families.
Stockstill has built the UDA program on a completely volunteer basis while working full-time and going to graduate school. She currently holds her U.S. Soccer D and Grassroots Licenses and is applying for a C License course.