Street Soccer USA to host third annual Times Square Cup on July 12
NEW YORK, N.Y. (Via Street Soccer USA) – Street Soccer USA (SSUSA) – the national non-profit organization utilizing soccer to teach life and job skills to at-risk and homeless youth and adults across the U.S. – will host the third annual Times Square Cup on Sunday, July 12 in partnership with New York City’s Department of Homeless Services.
More than 30 teams (ages 16 and older) will compete in front of 125,000 spectators throughout the day in a pop-up stadium on the 42nd/43rd St. Plaza in the heart of Manhattan. Also, 10 youth and adult teams from SSUSA’s social programs will participate in the tournament.
As the only team sport event hosted in Times Square, the goal is to raise awareness for Street Soccer USA’s sport for social change programs expanding across the “Big Apple” and throughout America.
“Sports are a great way to empower people to learn the skills they need to do well in school and to find and maintain employment,” says Carlos Menchaca, New York City Council Member. “We are proud to support Street Soccer USA and this event that is all about empowerment and skill building.”
Since its inception, SSUSA has reached over 3,000 at-risk and homeless youth and adults through partnership with over 20 social service partner agencies. The program has seen impressive results with more than 75 percent of participants connecting jobs and furthering education or employment within a year of joining.
Players will be outfitted in inspirational jerseys by leading apparel brand UNIQLO. SSUSA’s messaging is highlighted through custom crests on team jerseys and define why program participants play the game. They include change, character, confidence, dignity, empowerment, family, hope, independence, integrity, loyalty, opportunity, peace, possibility, pride, respect, strength, structure, support and unity.
“Soccer and our program curriculum focus on teamwork to be successful and our partners are stepping up in a big way this year to support the Times Square Cup,” says Lawrence Cann, Founder of SSUSA. “We are fortunate to celebrate sport for social change in a stunning and unique setting for the third year in a row.”
One of North America’s most iconic professional soccer teams – the New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League — will be entering a staff and supporters team as well as appearances by its first team players.
“We are honored to be participants once again in this event,” said Cosmos Chief Operating Officer Erik Stover. “As our official charity partner, we always look to support Street Soccer USA as extensively as possible and help them raise awareness for at-risk and homeless youths and adults.”
The tournament features two 52 foot by 72 foot street soccer courts with four foot walls and 12 foot by four foot goals. Games are high-paced and average 9.8 goals per match. Teams from Brazil, Italy, Mexico and across the U.S. will battle for “Street Soccer Championship” of New York City.