Soccer in the Streets, 2026 World Cup

By David Pendered

Feb. 8 – Soccer in the Streets got another shot of adrenalin when the World Cup announced the schedule of games in Atlanta in the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

All the youngsters who play the “beautiful game” in Atlanta’s mission-driven soccer program will be hoping for a seat at a game. A copy of the match schedule released by FIFA World Cup 26 is available here.

Soccer in the Streets already has planted its flag in the public realm of the World Cup.

Fox Sports featured the league in a show that aired Dec. 4. 2022 and cited Soccer in the Streets as an “Atlanta-based nonprofit … that’s building safe places for kids to play in public transit hubs across the city.”

Soccer in the Street has as its vision the statement that, “All children will have the opportunity to succeed.” (Credit: MARTA)

Soccer in the Streets has built a network of collaborators to develop a program that fulfills the group’s vision that, “All children will have the opportunity to succeed.” The mission statement that’s to help reach this goal reads, “Soccer in the Streets empowers youth through soccer, character development, mentoring, and employability programs,” according to a description on the organization’s homepage.

Since 2016, a network of six soccer fields has opened and all are near a MARTA rail station. The locations intend to eliminate the challenges that can be inherent in transporting youngsters to compete at different venues. The grounds are located at MARTA’s Five Points Station (opened in 2016), West End (2018), East Point (2019), Lindbergh (2020), Kensington (2022) and East Lake Station.

The goal is to provide youth soccer fields at 10 transit stations.

The most recent pitch to open was at MARTA’s East Lake Station, on Oct. 27, 2023. The grounds are to be home field for youngsters who reside in facilities of the Global Village Project, Villages of East Lake and Decatur Housing Authority.

In a statement released by MARTA, General Manager and CEO Scotti Greenwood said:

  • “This new StationSoccer location will not only connect children through the love of soccer and refine their skills, but cultivate friendships that extend far beyond the field, enriching lives and strengthening the bonds of our community. We want to thank our valued partners at Soccer in the Streets, City of Atlanta, Atlanta United Community Fund, Amazon, Georgia Power and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
  • “Your dedication to this shared vision has made this endeavor a reality.”

Click here to read more from MARTA about the soccer field’s grand opening at the East Lake Station and the StationSoccer program