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SCV soccer groups look for new facilities

AYSO leaders meet with 2 Santa Clarita officials over 'pie in the sky' field complex

Posted: January 11, 2013 5:51 p.m.
Updated: January 11, 2013 5:51 p.m.

Players compete in the Santa Clarita AYSO Soccer Showdown at Central Park in Saugus on April 21, 2012.


Local AYSO soccer groups are tired of jousting for space to schedule games and ready to lobby for a state-of-the-art field complex on par with those in Camarillo and Lancaster.

About 25 supporters of the plan for an American Youth Soccer Organization field complex met at the IHOP on Pico Canyon Road Thursday night with Santa Clarita city officials to discuss their “pie in the sky” goal, Region 678 Commissioner Joe Franco said Friday.

Santa Clarita City Council members Laurene Weste and TimBen Boydston were on hand for the meeting. Afterward, Franco said the goal is a ways off.

“This isn’t the kind of thing that’s going to happen overnight,” he said.

As it stands, many local youth and club sports have to compete for field space, either at city facilities like Central Park or at local schools.

Franco said the teams in his region — which covers Valencia, Newhall and Stevenson Ranch and includes about 2,100 children — often practice at Placerita Junior High School but can run into difficulties if the school decides to close its fields for renovations or some other purpose.

“We’re in good shape facilities-wise, but that could end tomorrow and we would be stuck,” Franco said.

Aside from several local AYSO groups, representatives from local club team SCV Magic also attended the meeting.

The director of coaching for SCV Magic said his organization has been meeting with AYSO groups for the past few months to see what kind of support there is for new facilities.

With more than 7,000 children in the Santa Clarita Valley playing soccer, Salvadori said, the support is definitely there.

“We have a lot of connections,” Salvadori said. “There are a lot of doors we could knock on to ask for help with this (effort).”

Franco said AYSO and other groups are in the process of examining properties that could host new soccer facilities.

Among some of the options discussed were a property near Railroad Avenue and 13th Street in Newhall, the old Smiser Mule Farm off Interstate 5, and land in Castaic Junction.

“We definitely need to make a few phone calls,” Franco said. “If we can just get the grass, that would be a start.”
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