Yesterday, Clifton Middle School was host to a special soccer party and grand opening of a new mini-pitch. It was the fourteenth of a long-standing partnership between Houston Dynamo Football Club and U.S. Soccer Foundation - one that aims to open six more over the next two years. This mini-pitch was the first Houston Dash specific mini-pitch of the project thus far.
Twenty-five Clifton Middle School students celebrated the opening of the mini-pitch by taking the first kick and firing an array of orange soccer balls at a banner hung one of the goals. Following the celebratory moment, Dash stars Ebony Salmon and Marisa Viggiano participated in drills and small-sided games with students and Youth Program coaches before signing autograph cards.
"It's really exciting," said Dash midfielder Marisa Viggiano. "We're at our first Dash-specific mini-pitch. To be out here with these kids, opening this space to allow them to come here during and after school for safe and accessible play - it's amazing."
Investing time and effort into improving access to soccer for the children of Houston is one of the four philanthropic pillars for the Club and for Dynamo Charities. This mini-pitch for Clifton Middle School will be open to the public during school hours, ensuring access for children of all ages year-round.
"I'm really excited to be part of this community initiative," said Dash General Manager, Alex Singer. "Coming to Houston, it's really important to interact with our communities. The kids in those communities are so important on so many different levels, and being out here playing with the students and getting to see this in action is very special."
The Houston Dash continue their push for their first playoff berth as they host their final home game of the regular season on Saturday night against OL Reign. Tickets start at just $19, and fans can purchase their ticket to this star-studded matchup here.