Sky Blue FC has announced that the National Women’s Soccer League team is partnering with Grassroot Soccer and EDP Futures for a youth soccer event Saturday, Aug. 18.
The EDP Futures and Grassroot Soccer Challenge will take place from approximately 3 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. before Sky Blue FC hosts Utah Royals FC for a 6:30 p.m. kickoff at Yurcak Field.
“We are incredibly excited to partner with our friends from Grassroot Soccer and EDP for this upcoming event on Aug. 18,” Sky Blue FC president and general manager Tony Novo said. “Both are exceptional organizations that have always supported our club, and this event will give us a unique opportunity to showcase Grassroot Soccer and their amazing cause. Aug. 18 will truly be a special day.”
Sky Blue FC players will warm in co-branded Grassroot Soccer, EDP Futures and Sky Blue FC shirts during pre-game, and those shirts will be autographed and auctioned off during the match. Proceeds from the auction will go to Grassroot Soccer. Survivor: Africa winner, former professional soccer player, philanthropist and Grassroot Soccer co-founder Ethan Zohn will serve as honorary captain for Sky Blue FC that night.
“Grassroot Soccer is thrilled to be partnering with EDP and Sky Blue FC for this event,” Zohn said. “Grassroot Soccer’s Skillz Health for Girls program empowers girls to lead through sport while also addressing their unique health challenges. The participants from EDP will have the chance to learn about the work we do in developing countries with kids their age while playing fun, non-competitive soccer. Immediately after the game, they will be cheering on the Sky Blue FC players, all of whom serve as real-world examples of women who have reached the highest level of their game and care about giving as many girls as possible the same opportunity to succeed on and on off the field as they have had.”
Grassroot Soccer is an adolescent health organization that leverages the influence of soccer to educate, inspire and mobilize at-risk youth in developing countries to overcome their greatest health challenges, live healthier, more productive lives and be agents for change in their communities. Zohn took his winnings from Survivor and co-founded the organization in 2002.
The EDP Futures & Grassroot Soccer Challenge will be run by EDP Futures, which is the initial stage of the EDP Soccer program and establishes a focus on the development and fundamentals of a soccer player in an unpressured environment. EDP Futures is open to soccer players from the age of Under-7 to U-10. The aim of the program is to install a sense of enjoyment for playing soccer with a commitment to grassroots.
“At EDP we are shaping the future of soccer in the U.S. starting with our youth, and the EDP Futures program is the perfect learning environment where we can develop fundamental skills and instill a deep-rooted love of the game in our young players,” CEO of EDP Soccer Alan Shilling said. “By aligning with Grassroot Soccer and Sky Blue FC on an event like this, we not only strengthen bonds across the local New Jersey soccer community, but we create a high-quality soccer experience for our players and their families, connecting them with role models and the inspiration to pursue the next level in soccer.”