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Orange County Soccer Club Partners with The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation, U.S. Soccer Foundation, and the City of Santa Ana to Install & Program Soccer Mini-Pitch at Delhi Park

By Orange County SC Communications, 10/08/21, 9:30AM PDT

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Irvine, CA – Orange County Soccer Club, in partnership with The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation and the U.S. Soccer Foundation, broke ground today on a new miniature outdoor hard-surface soccer court (mini-pitch) at Delhi Park in Santa Ana.

“We are thrilled that the communities of Santa Ana will now have access to a new, beautiful mini-pitch to provide additional safe spaces for soccer and outdoor play. Santa Ana’s Delhi Park is a perfect location for this new mini-pitch and we appreciate all of the hard work the City of Santa Ana devoted to bringing this idea to fruition,” said Jeff Garner, President of Business Relations, Orange County SC. “OCSC, Orange County’s professional soccer team playing in the USL Championship, is dedicated to bringing additional soccer resources and exposure to Santa Ana, providing opportunities in the sport to the youth of the communities of Northern Orange County.  This mini-pitch, along with regular OCSC programming, will serve as a safe gathering place to promote community health and wellness.”

This mini-pitch was generously funded by The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation and its installation has been supported by the Orange County SC and U.S. Soccer Foundation. The City of Santa Ana worked closely with these organizations to help make this wonderful new park amenity come to fruition.  The City’s Parks, Recreation and Community Services Agency provided the land for the mini-pitch, cleared and prepped the property, and is pouring the concrete base.

The Orange County SC plans to work with the U.S. Soccer Foundation and other partners to install several other mini-pitches to provide underserved communities in Orange County with a safe place to play soccer. Orange County SC and the OCSC Foundation intend to provide regular clinics at the mini-pitches in order to encourage soccer play and fitness, as well as to identify local talent to provide them an opportunity to play for OCSC’s professional youth academy and even try out for its first team. In addition, Orange County SC plans to host youth tournaments at the mini-pitch multiple times each year. 

“We’re excited that together with our partners, we can bring this new mini-pitch to the Santa Ana community,” said Sarah Pickens, Associate Vice President of Programs at the U.S. Soccer Foundation. “This safe place to play and the free programming that will be offered on it will help make our sport and its benefits more accessible and inclusive, regardless of gender or background.”

“I’m grateful to the Orange County Soccer Club, The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation and the U.S. Soccer Foundation for sharing this new soccer mini-pitch with the Santa Ana community,” said Santa Ana Mayor Vicente Sarmiento.  ”Soccer is an extremely popular sport among our youth, adults and families, and any new resource that encourages healthy activities is welcome in our city.”

"We’re proud to partner with the U.S. Soccer Foundation and the Orange County Soccer Club to provide a new mini-pitch to the Santa Ana community ,” said Aimee Watters, Executive Director, The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation. ”At DICK’S we know that sports matter and are excited to give local youth athletes the opportunity to play soccer.”

“With the addition of this brand new mini-pitch, the OCSC Foundation will be able to provide free soccer programming to our local communities, furthering our mission of using soccer as an umbrella to promote health and wellness,” said Lisa Keston, Executive Director, OCSC Community Foundation.

Orange County SC is currently in discussions with a number of communities throughout Orange County to introduce additional mini-pitches in 2021, 2022, and beyond. The club is also planning to host clinics, tournaments, and community events at its mini-pitches once installation is complete.


ABOUT THE DICK’S SPORTING GOODS FOUNDATION

The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation is a tax exempt 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation with a mission to inspire and enable sports participation. It was created by DICK’S Sporting Goods, Inc. as a private corporate foundation to support DICK’S charitable and philanthropic activities.

ABOUT ORANGE COUNTY SOCCER CLUB:

Orange County Soccer Club is Orange County’s only professional soccer team that is part of the United Soccer League (USL) the fastest-growing Division II professional soccer league in the world. The USL is comprised of 35 teams across the United States. The team plays its home games at the Orange County Great Park’s Championship Soccer Stadium located in Irvine, CA. Nestled in the heart of the Great Park, Championship Soccer Stadium has a capacity of more than 5,000 for Orange County SC matches. Orange County SC was one of 12 founding members of the USL during its inaugural 2011 season. The preceding club, Orange County Blues, won the 2015 Western Conference Regular Season Championship and reached the Western Conference Semi-Finals of the USL Playoffs in back-to-back seasons. Team owner and Chief Investment Officer of LARO Properties, James Keston, purchased and re-branded the team in 2017. Keston, who actively oversees all operations of the team, is dedicated to providing a pathway to professional soccer and a world-class soccer organization that focuses on the fans, players, and youth clubs of Orange County. In December 2019 Orange County SC entered into a strategic partnership with Rangers FC from the Scottish Premier League. 

For more information about Orange County Soccer Club and to experience professional soccer in the OC visit: http://www.orangecountysoccer.com.  For more information about the United Soccer League visit: http://www.uslsoccer.com

ABOUT U.S. SOCCER FOUNDATION 
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 www.ussoccerfoundation.org or follow us on
Twitter and Facebook.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Chad Romiti

PR Manager

Orange County Soccer Club

949-647-GOAL

[email protected]

Jennifer Arnold

AVP, Marketing & Communications

U.S. Soccer Foundation

202-872-6662

[email protected]

[email protected]

724-273-5552

The DICK’Ss Sporting Goods Foundation

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