CHICAGO (Nov. 11, 2021)-- As part of its “One Nation” social responsibility platform, a series of U.S. Soccer community programs, presented by Allstate, will take place in the lead-up to the U.S. Men’s National Team’s World Cup qualifying match vs. Mexico, presented by Allstate, in Cincinnati.
The USA takes on its biggest rival to mark the halfway point of its 14 match march through the “Octagonal,” the Final Round of World Cup qualifying in the Concacaf region. In the run up to and during the game, these community engagement initiatives look to drive positive impact around the Queen City in the areas of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging.
COACH FOR COMMUNITY
U.S. Soccer will partner with Ohio South Youth Soccer to run a free Coach for Community event. The on-field session will be held at the Laurel Playground in Cincinnati on Nov. 13.
In the United States, many youth coaches do not have access to adequate training. U.S. Soccer has established the Coach for Community program to serve not only as an introduction to teaching the game, but also to improve sporting experiences within communities, particularly in underserved areas that may lack access and training for coaches, players and volunteers.
Coach for Community participants will learn about creating a positive, fun and player-centered environment using U.S. Soccer’s Play-Practice-Play methodology. U.S. Soccer and Ohio South Youth Soccer welcome individuals (coaches, volunteers, parents, etc.) of all levels who are interested in coaching children and helping make youth soccer a better experience to register here.
Each individual that attends the Coach for Community clinic will also receive a $25 voucher to access one of U.S. Soccer’s Grassroots License Courses, free of charge.
ONE NATION COMMUNITY YOUTH PROGRAM
Together with FC Cincinnati, U.S. Soccer presented the One Nation Community Youth Program, a virtual sports industry career panel designed to inspire local young adults to dream big and pursue their goals. The program was held on Wednesday, Nov. 10, aiming to show high school students that they can achieve great things no matter their background, with the goal to broaden their career horizons and build professional skills.
The Community Youth Program career panel featured a diverse slate of sports industry professionals working in Cincinnati across a variety of off-the-field functions:
Corey Hawthorne - Director of Promotional Events and Player Relations, Cincinnati Reds
Trevor Phillips - Director of Community Ticketing, FC Cincinnati
Alana Meraz - Fan Experience Coordinator - U.S. Soccer
Kate Solomon - Vice President of Community Relations, FC Cincinnati
Mary Teeter - Senior Director of Development, U.S. Soccer
U.S. Soccer will recognize social media dream builder Charlie “Rocket” Jabaley as its One Nation Game Ambassador in Cincinnati. Game Ambassadors are selected for their impact in the areas of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. Charlie Rocket’s Dream Machine Tour travels across the country helping hundreds of people to live their dreams, helping individuals launch music careers, art studios, clothing lines and more.
This fall, Charlie helped launch the music career of singer King Kell, a 21-year-old barista who was facing homelessness in North Carolina. Since, Kell has performed at the Life is Beautiful festival in Las Vegas and been mentored in the studio by musician Aloe Blacc. Now, King Kell will perform the National Anthem before the kick-off of USA-Mexico on Friday.
U.S. Soccer honored its first series of Game Ambassadors during the USMNT and U.S. Women’s National Team’s June matches. During the October international window, U.S. Soccer recognized storyteller, racial justice educator and organizer Virginia Cumberbatch in Austin, Texas and Columbus Speaks advocacy platform co-founder Tyler Phillips in Columbus, Ohio.
U.S. Soccer is partnering with KultureCity to make the gameday experience sensory inclusive. KultureCity is a leading non-profit recognized nationwide for using its resources to revolutionize and affect change in the community for those with sensory needs, not just those with autism. In an effort to enhance their gameday experience, fans with sensory needs will be able to check out sensory bags at no cost during the match.
U.S. Soccer has also partnered with Vote.org to drive voter registration for important state and local elections, highlighting the initiative with in-game video board graphics and stadium announcements.
The World Cup qualifier in Cincinnati will see the return of CHAMP - a custom Volkswagen telepresence robot that allows young soccer fans facing hardship to virtually participate in pregame ceremonies.
Seven-year-old U.S. Soccer fan Anthony will use CHAMP to accompany the USMNT on the field for the National Anthem on Friday night. From Southern California, Anthony was diagnosed with leukemia when he was just two years old and after a grueling three-and-a-half years of treatment and physical therapy, has returned to the soccer field this summer with his brother Sarkis.