open goal project in the media
ESPN.COM: 'Kids aren't playing enough sports. The culprit? Cost?
“Open Goal Project focuses on competitive soccer -- a niche that executive director Amir Lowery said needed to be filled immediately in the D.C. area when the nonprofit formed in 2015. He and his co-founder, Simon Landau, discovered that travel soccer programs in the area were expensive and rarely located in convenient neighborhoods for families that did not have the means due to price and accessibility. ‘We basically try to address the pay-to-play issue in youth sport by essentially finding talented players from underserved communities or low-income backgrounds and filling the gaps for them to pursue high-level pay-to-play soccer," Lowery told ESPN. "We've been able to find out all the little things, whether it be time or travel or money or just logistics that stand in the way of kids participating in sport.’"
Here's a feature on how we’re working to even the field for players from underserved communities from ESPN.com in a story titled, “Kids aren't playing enough sports. The culprit? Cost.”
The Santa Cruz Sentinal: Brandi Chastain (Chevron Soccer Academy by Open Goal Project) brings message of strength to girls at CSUMB soccer camp
“Reverberations from the national women’s soccer team’s push for equal pay and equal opportunity could be felt at Cal State-Monterey Bay last weekend. On Friday, approximately 150 girls ages 9-18 participated in the Chevron Soccer Academy, a collaboration between the gasoline company and Washington D.C.-based Open Goal Project as an antidote for the current “pay-to-play” model of youth soccer in America. “We see it everywhere,” said Amir Lowery, executive director of the Open Goal Project. “There’s college ID camps, but they’re often around $250. Some people can afford it, but not everyone. For a kid who’s working or trying to help support their family, it’s an extra cost that’s just not going to happen.” Who better to carry the message that kids can make it on the soccer pitch than Brandi Chastain, the iconic player who 20 years ago became a household name after she celebrated the United States’ victory in the FIFA Women’s World Cup by ripping off her shirt and sprinting around the field in her sports bra? Chastain served as a coach in the program alongside fellow pros Lauren Sesselman, Clarence Goodson, Víctor Bernárdez and Tristan Bowen.”
Here's a feature on our Chevron Soccer Academy by Open Goal Project program in Monterey 'Brandi Chastain brings message of strength to girls at CSUMB soccer camp’
GOAL.COM: 'It makes absolutely no sense' - Why is the U.S. women's World Cup roster so white?
“While there are 12 women of color in Corinne Diacre’s squad, there are just five in Jill Ellis’s team - Crystal Dunn, Christen Press, Jessica McDonald, Mallory Pugh and Adriana Franch. That is despite only 60.4 per cent of the U.S. being white, according to the United States Census Bureau, compared to an estimated 85% of France's population, per thinktank Institut Montaigne. It’s an issue that (Open Goal Project) has been raising and tackling for several years… The cost of pay-to-play soccer in the US prices out lower-class families, many of those of an ethnic minority. The accessibility of opportunities is not good enough, asking more money and travel from aspiring young footballers. Such opportunities to progress in the sport aren’t offered in lower-income communities.”
Our Open Goal Project mission to even the playing field for talented young players from underserved communities and our Executive Director Amir Lowery are featured alongside pillars of the soccer community in DC, in this awesome episode of Major League Soccer and Calen Carr’s digital series, ‘The Movement’.
MLS ‘The Movement’: The Untold History of Soccer in D.C.
"The Open Goal Project began by identifying talented players who weren’t getting opportunities. But it didn’t merely help them to raise the funds to afford more competitive teams through various efforts. It also took charge of their transportation arrangements. Open Goal concerned itself with access and information, but also the quotidian issues, like rides to practice far outside the city."
Here's a feature on our work from Leander Schaerlaeckens of Yahoo! Sports in a story titled, "Fixing U.S. Soccer requires a repair at the youth level, and here's how to go about it".
"Open Goal Project isn’t a team or league; rather, it’s a facilitator for kids in need of opportunity, particularly those from immigrant households where the sport is popular but not played in a structured environment."
Here's our Open Goal Project mission featured in the Washington Post in a story by Steven Goff titled, "In D.C., a small step toward tackling U.S. youth soccer's accessibility problem".
"(Open Goal Project will) find a kid, they go into the home, they meet the family, they figure out what they're about, what they want to do...and then they take donations and get them onto travel teams, they fund their trips, they fund their equipment, they fund their registration. They go in there and ingratiate themselves with the neighborhoods, with the communities, and they find kids-boys and girls-to fund and to try to get them into the travel pipeline."
Listen to the segment on our Open Goal Project work on Sports Illustrated's PLANET FÚTBOL podcast.
Sports Illustrated: Planet Fútbol with Grant Wahl
“A kid playing basketball and American football can see a chance to play in college, they see a path through. If you want to play soccer [beyond high school], there’s no path there. You don’t ever see college coaches at high school games."
This feature in the Guardian focused on the failure of US Soccer to effectively engage African American youth players. Open Goal Project Executive Director Amir Lowery and several other local African American coaches are interviewed to break down the reasons behind the lack of diversity in youth soccer.
A feature segment on our Open Goal Project work and one of our players, Ariana, on Telemundo DC (with subtitles).
Here's another one of our players, Edgar, featured on ABC7 News' "Inspire" segment as he shared his story, his passion for the game and how Open Goal Project helps provide opportunities for him on and off the field.