Entering its 11th year in Miami-Dade County, Soccer5USA is focusing on five and seven-a-side matches to increase players’ enjoyment of the game by focusing on social aspects.
President Scott Georgeson said the smaller game– a standard match has 11 per side– is common in his native Scotland. He has long wanted to bring it to South Florida.
“In the Miami area there were a lot of soccer players and not necessarily a lot of facilities,” he said. “And that brought us to the conclusion of small-sided soccer, which we grew up with in the UK, where it’s very prominent.”
After Georgeson floated the business idea to various places, Miami-Dade County officials allowed the group to open its first facility at Kendall Soccer Park. Other facilities are in Hialeah and Tropical Park. And he said a Broward County location is scheduled to open later this month.
The facilities are open seven days a week, from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The cost to rent a field is $100 an hour, or $10 per person.
Georgeson said the Soccer5 staff is on a first name basis with customers and strives to provide a comfortable environment.
Alex Ramirez, who works at the Soccer5 location in Kendall Soccer Park, says that the large park invites the soccer community to come with open arms.
“All that community comes together and expresses themselves in the same way through the sport of soccer,” he said.
After the success of the five vs five fields, Soccer5 added seven vs seven fields. Ramirez said larger groups often wanted to book ahead for fields and that the seven vs. seven field made it easier for more people to come and enjoy time with their friends.
Ben Mast, who regularly plays at the Kendall location, says that the location is easy to get to and the prices are fair.
“I think soccer can bring people of different cultures together,” Mast said. “In my personal experience, it is how I have met many people and found a common interest with them.”