The Trust Joins US Soccer and City Officials for First Mini-Pitch Opening in Hialeah

The Trust Joins US Soccer and City Officials for First Mini-Pitch Opening in Hialeah

More Just Ball League play slated for Bright Park

Less than a month after Inter Miami CF’s first full season with Lionel Messi in its ranks kicked off at Chase Stadium in South Florida , more soccer is being played in Miami-Dade County in a slightly less celebrated, although just as inspiring, location. 

The Children’s Trust, U.S. Soccer Foundation, Miami-Dade County and Griffin Catalyst -partners in the Miami-Dade Soccer Initiative - joined together to unveil the latest soccer mini-pitch opening on March 20 in Hialeah. The pitch is located at Bright Park just next to Flamingo Elementary School and several Hialeah city officials, including Mayor Esteban Bovo Jr., attended the opening ceremony. 

Bovo said the new mini-pitch was a welcome addition to a city that had traditionally seen most kids play baseball, but who were increasingly warming to soccer. The Hialeah mini-pitch location is one of 50 planned throughout Miami-Dade County ahead of the 2026 FIFA World Cup, some of which will be played in Miami-Dade County. 

The initiative targets underserved neighborhoods and youth who are in need of facilities and programming to bolster their physical and social and emotional wellness. “We firmly believe that children deserve the opportunity to participate in sports, regardless of their family's financial standing,” said James R. Haj, president & CEO of The Children's Trust. 

The location will be another venue for the Just Ball League operated by the U.S. Soccer Foundation, which reimagines youth soccer with an emphasis on elements of pick-up soccer, using mini-pitches and other community areas for hyper-local play. The league is led by Playmakers - who take on dual roles of mentors and coaches and encourage players to express themselves. Participation in the league is free for youth, removing barriers, such as transportation and cost, that often prohibit youth in underserved communities from playing the game.

The Trust is a longtime partner of U.S. Soccer having funded its Soccer for Success programming for children and youth in Miami-Dade since 2018. Haj says the Just Ball League is another opportunity for kids who might not have the opportunity to play soccer to take advantage of the benefits team play. “The Miami-Dade Soccer Initiative, particularly with the implementation of the Just Ball League on this new mini-pitch, tackles these barriers head-on. By offering free, accessible play in communities across Miami-Dade County, we empower children in underserved areas to experience the joy and benefits of sports.”

U.S. Soccer Foundation President & CEO Ed Foster-Simeon said the Miami-Dade Soccer Initiative and its mini-pitches are spreading the benefits of soccer across the community. “While soccer is having its moment in the spotlight in the lead-up to the 2026 Men’s World Cup, we want millions of kids to have their moment, too. It’s what makes the work of the Miami-Dade Soccer Initiative so important. We are passionate about what we’re building here in Miami and across the nation as we ensure that the World Cup leaves a legacy and improves the lives of youth for generations to come.”  

Miami-Dade Soccer Initiative partners anticipate that the initiative’s efforts will improve the health and well-being of at least 36,000 youth in South Florida by 2030.