Best City to Play Youth Soccer

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Where’s the Best City in the U.S. to Play Soccer?

Indianapolis, Indiana (of all places) just became the best city in the country to play youth soccer, and is leading the charge to bring soccer to the kids who can most likely win us a World Cup.

Futsal is the game of the masses in the most competitive soccer nations. It’s played by everyone, including those who have very little, so they spend their days on the futsal courts, emulating their heroes and learning some CRAZY skills.

The NASL’s Indy Eleven is recreating that scene RIGHT NOW, meaning that your child has a better chance of “making it” in Indiana than any other state in the country.

Futsal in IndyIt’s long been know that soccer in America is the sport of the middle class and upper-middle class. That means that our soccer athletes aren’t the best – they’re the best of those who can afford the fees.

Our current system of youth soccer development discriminates against kids who have more to gain from playing soccer professionally.

Consider this...
If you give a child every opportunity to succeed – plenty of food, great healthcare, good housing, and a loving, nurturing environment – is he going to want to run his ass off every day knocking heads with a bunch of other softies for a better life“?

HELL NO!

He’s already got a great life! Soccer is only there to keep him from getting too FAT.

Every player who plays and every coach who coaches in the American youth soccer system is playing and coaching for Team USA. We’re collectively working toward one, single goal: Winning the World Cup. The problem with youth soccer development in the U.S. though, is that we’re developing the WRONG KIDS.

“This summer, Indiana Soccer hired a full-time Director of Futsal (affiliating to U.S. Futsal in the process), former Indy Eleven intern Justin Becht, to spearhead the growth of places to play, coaching education, leagues and pickup play. Futsal is already becoming part of the programming of Indianapolis YMCAs (echoing the sport’s origin in Uruguayan YMCA halls), Boys & Girls Clubs and at local schools. The Mayor of Indianapolis himself has embraced the game.”Medium.com | Tom Dunmore

Indiana is bringing soccer (in the form of futsal) to the URBAN AREAS, where soccer fields don’t exist too often, and where kids can easily access them. This means that the kids who most need an outlet for their frustrations and dreams, can have one.

“Indiana’s futsal initiative isn’t about developing the next Messi (though that would be nice!): it’s about bringing places to play to neighborhoods that don’t have FieldTurf soccer fields (which is most of urban America). The goal of the #FutsalForIndiana program is to build at least 11 futsal courts in locations that need places to play, and from there, help the game mushroom as Parks and School Districts realize it is an affordable way to implement a sport that is tremendous for fitness and fun. Since Rhodius Park opened, we have already heard from a wide range of individuals and groups across Indiana who want to partner and bring futsal to their communities.”Medium.com | Tom Dunmore

Now, hopefully the soccer clubs can curb their money grab and not try to figure out a way to hijack the courts, and continue their oppression of those with the greatest athletic potential.

#2

So who’s #2 on our list? Kansas City. Here’s why: mini-pitches.

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About Author

Mike Slatton is a 2nd generation American youth soccer coach since 1984, and the son of one of the nation's first female licensed youth soccer coaches (Anita Slatton, 1979). He's also a professional soccer scout, a player since 1977, and the father of three adult and teenage children who all play or have played the game. "My job as a youth soccer coach is to develop detail oriented problem solvers who can react quickly under pressure. This relates to life - not just soccer."

2 Comments

  1. Good article on the best city for youth soccer, but there is a small city in the mountains of Western North Carolina where they have a pick-up group of over 1000 people, they play seven days a week and during the winter they continue to play rain or snow. There are futsal leagues at every YMCA, there are competitive adult leagues, recreation adult leagues and practically every day of the week almost year round you can find kids playing soccer on any available soccer field in the region. This city is Asheville, North Carolina. With a population of just over 87K, soccer is easily the most popular youth sport in the area. The Asheville Soccer Pickup plays during the week from 12:30-2:30ish and there can be as many as 50 people playing in two different games. The age range is from 11 to 70, and the skill set ranges from beginner all the way up to semi-pro, yet everyone plays in harmony. Asheville Buncombe Youth Soccer Association (ABYSA) and Highland Football Club continues explosive growth as does Asheville Buncombe Adult Soccer Association (ABASA). The area host a variety of tournament including the well known Beer City Cup, and this year Warren Wilson College is hosting the USCAA National Soccer Championship. It is not uncommon to find 15 to 30 kids playing soccer on any field in the city, or a bunch of college kids creating a pickup game during the summer. Throughout the world cup last summer, the bars, and restaurants were packed with locals watching the games in the middle of the work day, and even the local music venue hosted games on their big screen. We may not be the size of these larger cities, but soccer is KING in Asheville.

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