In a continuation of partnerships and cultural exchanges developed through The Sanneh Foundation’s three-year delivery of the Department of State’s International Sport Programming Initiative (ISPI), The Sanneh Foundation (TSF) and the National Sports Center are partnering for the 2019 USA Cup to invite the FC Champion 11U, 13U and 15U teams to participate in the Haitian Initiative International Exchange to Minnesota.

This group of boys’ teams from FC Champion HI of Petion Ville will participate in a planned week-long sports and cultural exchange to Minnesota and participate in the National Sport Center’s USA Cup in Blaine, Minnesota. The USA Cup is the Western Hemisphere’s largest youth sports event, with the tournament annually attracting over 1,000 teams from 64 countries since inception in 1984. This year’s dates for the USA CUP are July 16-20, 2019.

As in previously successful exchanges, this week will generate increased mutual understanding between the young people of both countries through a shared interest in the sport of soccer. The Haitian youth and staff from FC Champion HI will homestay with Minnesota families from The Sanneh Foundation’s network of volunteers throughout the Twin Cities to deepen their understanding of American life.

In addition to playing a complete schedule of games during the week, cultural activities between the Haitian youth and their American host families provide greater meaning for the trip and align with TSF’s mission to empower youth, improve lives and unite communities. The cultural activities include many traditional Minnesota recreation activities such as boating and paddle boarding on Minnesota’s famous lakes, learning to ice skate, a youth dance, and attending a Minnesota United FC professional soccer game.

All youth must have signed and notarized permission of their parents or guardians, and the appropriate travel documents, as well as insurance to take part in official soccer activities.

Schedule (TENTATIVE)

Sunday 7/14

11:12 PM FC Champion HI arrive MSP

12:00 AM Depart to Host Homes

Monday 7/15

8:00 AM Check In (Coaches only)

  • Need Passports, player passes

6:00 PM Welcome Activity

Tuesday 7/16*

10:00 AM First Games

6:00 PM Opening Ceremony Preparation

7:30 PM Opening Ceremony

9:00 PM Rock the Cup Opening Ceremony Concert

Wednesday 7/17*

12:15 PM Second Games

Thursday 7/18*

3:00 PM Third Games

Friday 7/19 - USA Cup*


Saturday 7/20 - USA Cup*


6:00 PM Parting Activity

Sunday 7/21

5:45 AM Depart for Airport

* USA Cup tournament dates are confirmed

Host Family Responsibilities


  1. Teach yourself a few words in Kreyol so that you can talk to your homestay children in their language. They will be so excited that you took the time to connect with them in this way


  1. Meet your homestay children at the MSP airport with your family and friends. Your homestay children will ride home from the airport with you. You may want to bring a snack and water for them during the car ride home since they may be very hungry.
  1. Provide transportation to ALL soccer events and activities. Remember: Your homestay children are your responsibility while they are in the USA so you need to provide proper supervision for them at all times, especially during the USA Cup when you may have children of your own participating.
  2. Provide “proper” sleeping arrangements. If hosting two children, they may sleep in the same room. In fact, they may prefer to share a room or even share the same bed. Extra blankets may be necessary if your home is air conditioned since they are not used to the cold temperatures.
  3. Provide all meals. Keep meals simple and serve what you normally serve your family. Most Haitian kids love chicken, rice, pizza and hot dogs! Limit dairy until digestive systems adjust. When playing soccer, provide healthy food and fluids to fuel energy and optimal performance. On hot days, extra water may be needed. Place a few healthy snacks in their room daily that they can eat in between meals.
  4. Help your children pack their belongings before departure, following airline requirements for size, weight, and liquids.
  5. Provide transportation to the airport for departure. Please walk in with them to ensure they meet up with their team members.


If interested, or would like additional information, please fill out this form.