The New York Cosmos announced on Thursday that Street Soccer USA (SSUSA) will be their official charity partner. During games, Cosmos players will wear the SSUSA logo on their jersey sleeves to help promote awareness for issues of homelessness and poverty in New York. The thoughtful and nuanced partnership aspires to be a model for how professional sports franchises can leverage their resources through non-profit partners to strengthen the community as a whole.
“Our partnership New York Cosmos recognizes the shared values of our organizations to enrich lives of New Yorkers through the sport of soccer,” said Lawrence Cann, Founder of Street Soccer USA. “We use soccer to teach a curriculum of life and job skills to help our youth and young adult participants achieve outcomes in education and employment. The Cosmos’ genuine connection to the New York grassroots community helps unite the entire community behind our goal of creating a more level playing field for all.
“By combining the organization’s financial, intellectual, and human capital, Street Soccer USA can meet its social service targets more efficiently and the New York Cosmos are able to be a leader in facilitating social change through soccer.”
As part of this partnership, the Cosmos will join the Street Soccer USA NYC Board and assist in the funding of a Street Soccer Pitch and Program for the New York Metra Area. Some locations currently in the planning phases are Elmont, NY, Red Hook, The Bronx, East New York, and Bushwick. The club will also offer coaching training to SSUSA staff and potentially collaborate on community park investment, while Street Soccer USA will provide training to Cosmos Staff in its soccer for social change methodology. In addition, the Cosmos will sponsor a scholarship at the annual Domestic Violence Luncheon.
“Street Soccer USA is a wonderful organization dedicated to mentoring homeless youth and adults who need their support,” Cosmos Chief Operating Officer Erik Stover said. “We’re grateful that we’re in a position to help those in need and assist SSUSA with our experience in soccer.”
Street Soccer USA will be the Cosmos’ featured Charity of the Match twice during the 2015 NASL season. The specific matches they accord with will be announced in the coming weeks. During these games, the Cosmos and SSUSA will jointly hold fundraisers to support the charity at Hofstra University’s Shuart Stadium. There will also be an exclusive game-worn jersey raffle to be held each night, with all proceeds benefiting SSUSA.
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