Goal! Soccer Joins Lineup at 2026 Special Olympics USA Games

1 June 2024

the 2026 Special Olympics USA Games announced that soccer will be featured as one of its 19 team and individual sports. Soccer events will take place from June 20-26, 2026 at the National Sports Center in Blaine, a venue recognized as the world's largest amateur sports and meeting facility. The NSC boasts 52 soccer fields and serves as a vital hub for youth soccer throughout the Midwest, in addition to being the official training ground for Minnesota United FC.

“We are thrilled to welcome the 2026 Special Olympics USA Games to our campus,” said Todd Johnson, Executive Director of the National Sports Center. “Hosting the USA Games ties in perfectly to our mission of inclusion in sports. These incredible athletes inspire us all and demonstrate the unifying power of competition. We can't wait to host them in 2026 and are honored to have been selected as a partner.”

Soccer, a sport cherished by millions worldwide, continues to gain popularity in the United States each year. Introduced to Special Olympics in 1986, soccer quickly emerged as a standout in the Unified Sports® program, which unites individuals with and without intellectual disabilities on the same teams in schools and communities across the country. More than 140,000 athletes and Unified partners train and compete in soccer each year.

In today’s announcement, the 2026 USA Games also named WonderFold, the leader in stroller wagons for on-the-go families, as the official soccer sponsor and former U.S. women's national soccer team star, Ali Krieger, as a soccer ambassador.

"Partnering with the 2026 Special Olympics USA Games is a natural fit for us. From school soccer practices to big sporting events, WonderFold is dedicated to making outdoor activities fun and accessible for all families,” said Sabrina Ng, Co-Founder and Managing Director, WonderFold. “Our team is excited to support these incredible athletes and we look forward to cheering them on."

"Soccer invites athletes of all abilities to develop their skills, build friendships and experience the joy and real rewards of teamwork and competition,” said Christy Sovereign, CEO, 2026 Special Olympics USA Games. “Thanks to our partnerships with the National Sports Center and WonderFold, we’re excited for some spectacular soccer matches that celebrate the abilities of every one of our athletes."

Soccer is one of the top five sports across all seven Special Olympics regions worldwide. At the 2026 Special Olympics USA Games, there will be 24 soccer teams made up of nearly 250 athletes, Unified partners and coaches, with athletes competing across traditional 5v5, Unified 5v5, traditional 7v7 and Unified 7v7 events. This spring, the USA Games announced basketball as the first official sport and the University of Minnesota RecWell as its designated venue. More sports and their corresponding venues will be announced in the coming months and featured on the sports page of the 2026 Special Olympics USA Games website at 2026specialolympicsusagames.org.

About Special Olympics USA Games

The 2026 Special Olympics USA Games scheduled for June 20-26, 2026, across Minnesota’s Twin Cities with sports competitions at the University of Minnesota and the National Sports Center in Blaine is a national celebration of inclusivity, changing perceptions and the ability of the human spirit rising above limitations. The USA Games will be one of the biggest U.S. sporting events of the year, drawing tens of thousands of fans to celebrate the ability of over 4,000 incredible athletes from all 50 states as they compete in approximately 19 Olympic-type team and individual sports. As a state with a long history of championing diversity, equity and inclusion, the USA Games now bring an unrivaled opportunity for Minnesotans to spark new energy around the Special Olympics movement and create a lasting legacy of positive change.

About WonderFold

Based in California and available globally, WonderFold launched in 2019 and quickly became the market leader in thoughtfully designed stroller wagons for on-the-go families. With WonderFold’s growing range of products, everyday family adventures are easier and more enjoyable. The company’s best-selling stroller wagons, accessories, toys and travel gear are packed with practical features and built to last—so kids are safe, comfortable and happy. With WonderFold, getting out with little ones has never been more fun. With retail distribution in the U.S. and 10 international markets, the company expanded into Europe, the Middle East and Africa in 2024. Learn more at wonderfold.com.

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