Soccer in the Streets turns 25!

It seems like just yesterday…but it was 25 years ago, a few dedicated volunteers decided to introduce soccer to a wider audience in the US.

Founder Carolyn McKenzie’s goal was to bring soccer to the inner city, where it was virtually unknown, and to provide an outlet for young people in inner city communities with limited access to organized sports a new option.

In 1998, current CEO Jill Robbins was recruited from a Soccer in the Streets affiliate in Youngstown,Ohio to join the national headquarters in Atlanta.


Since then, soccer programming has grown from short term introductory sessions to year round holistic programming.

Over the past 25 years, Soccer in the Streets has pioneered the use of soccer for social change, and achieved many things:

1989:   Soccer in the Streets is founded

1994:   Held soccer clinics across US as part of the ‘94 FIFA World Cup

1998:   Held soccer clinics across US as part of the ‘98 FIFA World Cup

1999:   Held national soccer clinics as part of the ‘99 FIFA Women’s World Cup

2001:   “Positive-Choice Soccer” developed in conjunction with Atlanta Public Schools and Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta

2004:   Founding member of streetfootballworld

2006:   Represented the US at the streetfootballworld Festival during the ‘06 FIFA World Cup in Berlin, Germany

2007:   Founding member of Urban Soccer Collaborative

2007:  Awarded grant through FIFA Football for Hope program

2009:   “School of Life” launched, combining employment training with soccer for teenagers

2009:   First Black Tie Soccer Game – primary fundraising event

2010:   Represented the US at the Football for Hope Festival during the ‘10 FIFA World Cup in Johannesburg, South Africa

2011:   First ATL Champions League

2011:  Awarded 1st Coca-Cola Foundation Grant to support School of Life program

2014:   Received Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation grant to establish first soccer league on the West side of Atlanta in Castleberry Hill neighborhood