Sports

Houston’s Milby Park Makes Room For Aspiring Soccer Players

Officials picked the day before the Copa America game between the United States and Argentina game in Houston to break ground on a new soccer field for kids.

Officials with the city of Houston, Harris County Houston Sports Authority, NCAA and others break ground on the new soccer field at Milby Park.
Officials with the city of Houston, Harris County Houston Sports Authority, NCAA and others break ground on the new soccer field at Milby Park.

Charles H. Milby Park is right by Sims Bayou and nestled in between industrial plants on Houston’s eastside. It has a playground and barbecue pits, but for more than 700 kids, it’s a place to play soccer.

There are some playing fields but not enough for all who want to play.

A new soccer field will be built at Milby Park on Houston's eastside.
A new soccer field will be built at Milby Park on Houston’s eastside.

 “What you see now is basically fields that will serve kids between ages 7 through 12,” said Hector Avila with Soccer for Success, a free after-school program of the Houston Parks and Recreation Department and the U.S. Soccer Foundation.

“And now bringing in an additional field, we’re looking to expand and have a large field and bring the older ones, the 12 (year-old)s, the 13s, the 15s and so on,” he said. 

Avila attended a groundbreaking of the new field at Milby Park. He hopes that this will be just the first of many new soccer fields in Houston.

Chris Canetti, president of the Houston Dynamo, agrees.

“There’s over 80,000 registered youth soccer players here in the area,” he said. “There’s thousands and thousands of unregistered players who just like to play for fun, so we need more fields and its representative of how fast the game is growing in this country.”

Currently, there are about 100 city-owned soccer fields, according to the parks department.

Janis Burke with the Harris County Houston Sports Authority said the new one at Milby Park costs $400,000, most of which is paid for by proceeds from big soccer events that take place in Houston, such as the Copa America games.

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Florian Martin

Business Reporter

Florian Martin is currently the News 88.7 business reporter. Florian’s stories can frequently be heard on other public radio stations throughout Texas and on NPR nationwide. Some of them have earned him awards from Texas AP Broadcasters and the Houston Press Club. Florian is a native of Germany. His studies...

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