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Soccer for Success Program Benefits from Mini-Pitch Initiative

Philadelphia Union midfielder Zach Pfeffer (left) stands ready as Soccer for Success participants from Stetser Elementary School play their first match on the new mini-pitch Thursday at the school.

The Chester Upland Soccer For Success Program and Stetser Elementary School benefited from the 20-for-20 Mini-Pitch Initiative across the 20 Major League Soccer (MLS) cities.Unveiled on Thursday, Stetser Elementary School was selected as the site for the new mini-pitch in conjunction with the Philadelphia Union franchise located in Chester, Pa. The pitch is part of a commitment to build twenty new mini-pitches across the country to coincide with the twenty MLS clubs.

Each site will allow children in underserved communities a safe place to play, while providing a soccer environment that encourages unstructured play within local communities, supporting the growth of the game in North America.

Widener men's soccer coach and Chester-Upland Soccer For Success Program Executive Director Brent Jacquette discussed what the program has meant to the University community.  "With this mini-pitch, we hope that Widener University students and the Stetser Elementary School students can play a fun game of soccer together," Jacquette added.

The University inspires its students to become citizens of character who demonstrate professional and civic leadership by working toward enhancing the quality of life and economic development of its neighboring communities.

Chester-Upland Soccer For Success Program was created under the leadership of Widener University to help children in the Chester and Upland communities develop positive life skills while building their abilities in soccer.

Mini-Pitch DedicationAt the opening on Thursday, Chester City Officials, as well as representatives of the Philadelphia Union organization helped kick-off the first game on the new pitch. Several participants of the Chester-UplandSoccer For Success Program played a friendly small-sided match with Michael Lahoud and Zach Pfeffer on each team. Prior to the first kick Jim Curtin, head coach of the Philadelphia Union, reminded the students to get outside and be active.

The mission of the Chester Upland Soccer for Success Program is to serve as a national model for youth after school programming through the use of soccer as a catalyst to promote nutrition education, mentorship, physical activity, and family engagement within educationally and/or economically distressed communities.