Members of Houston Dynamo FC and the Houston Dash came together at Jane Long Academy on Thursday afternoon to celebrate the opening of the latest mini pitch, as well as donations that included soccer equipment from adidas for the school’s athletics program and school supplies donated by 76®.  

In addition to the school supplies, adidas also commissioned local artist Daniel Anguilu, who created the image on the team’s Hispanic Heritage Month training tops, to paint a mural on a wall at the school. 

The mini pitch is part of an initiative started by Dynamo minority owner Ben Guill and former minority owner Jake Silverstein. The duo pledged to build 15 mini pitches throughout the city over the course of five years. Since they first announced this goal in December, 2019, six mini pitches have been built, which brings the total number in the city of Houston to 13. 

In addition to the opening of the mini pitch, 76® used the proceeds from the Hispanic Heritage Month warm-up kit auction to donate $4,000 worth of school supplies to Jane Long Academy. The supplies donated include backpacks, notebooks and pencils. 

adidas was another partner that helped make this event special by donating over $3,000 in soccer equipment to Jane Long Academy. 

After the event, Jane Long Academy Principal Dr. Marie Moreno spoke about the importance of these donations to the school. 

"I'm just excited about having the Houston Dynamo, Dash, adidas and 76 come out and really support our community and support our students with the donation and the beautiful mural,” Moreno said. “It's been a long year. It's been a long semester. So having this opportunity to actually wear a nice uniform and some nice cleats and enjoy a great game of soccer is something amazing for our students." 

After the donations were announced, the middle schoolers at Jane Long Academy took part in a soccer clinic as part of the Houston Dynamo’s Futbolito in the City initiative in which they got to show their skills alongside Houston Dynamo defender Zarek Valentin and Houston Dash forward Bri Visalli. 

For Valentin, seeing these kids enjoy the game that he loves so much was incredibly rewarding. 

"It's amazing to see the kids come out and be so passionate about the game,” Valentin said. “Houston's the most diverse city in the country and football is the world’s sport, so they go hand-in-hand. So, it's amazing to see the kids come out here and break a sweat.”