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Alex Tarque believes his Indoor Soccer City will be teaming with soccer citizens.
The Indoor Soccer City, located on Dave Lyle Boulevard in Rock Hill, held a sneak preview for coaches and invited guests Thursday night.
Tarque’s belief appears to have validity as the sneak peek drew its share of coaches and players to see what’s in store for area indoor soccer.
Tarque, an assistant coach with the Lancaster High School soccer program under coach Bo Sylvia, is a former professional soccer player in Argentina.
“I think it’s going to be a success,” said Tarque, who played pro soccer for six seasons. “There’s no complex like this that specializes in soccer.”
Tarque, who has a son, Christian, and a daughter, Flo, who play for the Bruins, operates the 24,000 square foot facility with his family.
The facility includes five futsal fields – all 70 x 40. The field at the entrance features board play, while the others are board free.
“It’s indoor soccer, wall-to-wall soccer,” Tarque said.
The Indoor Soccer City opened to the public Saturday and Tarque expects plenty of business with a weekend tournament to highlight the opening.
“This is a dream come true,” Tarque said. “It’s a family venture we’ve been working on for three years. It was a matter of finding the right building and after that, it took about 45 days.”
The renovated warehouse will now be the home of five-on-five soccer, a faster sport played on a smaller field. Futsal, which includes four players and a keeper, stresses the soccer skill of touching.
Tarque said his facility will be affordable, noting a team of 10 can play for $5 a player.
“The facility will be open to the any skill level, from the beginner to the advanced,” he said.
He said he will help players with advanced soccer skills take their game to the next level.
Tarque, a traveling soccer clinician, has five players now playing pro soccer – three in Argentina, two in Spain and one in Ecuador.
Sylvia said he’s confident the facility will be a boost for his LHS players.
“I think this will be nothing but positive for the education of players in Lancaster,” Sylvia said. “To have a man the quality of Alex and have him involved with soccer, this is the best thing to happen. This is a tremendous boost for soccer.
“My hope is that our boys and girls will live here over the summer,” Sylvia said. “Their quickness and speed will only improve.”
The coaches preview included an exhibition, with the LHS players, girls and boys, competing in the match officiated by Tarque.
Lancaster High School junior player Chad Kiser said the pace of the indoor game can only help a player improve.
“It’s a fast, fast game,” Kiser said. “It’s great with improving your footwork.”
Lon Christensen, a former college player and the father of LHS player Chase Christensen, said the facility will be a plus.
“It will be an asset,” he said. “This facility will help them get better.”
LHS girls senior player Sarah Katherine DeVenny said she likes the pace.
“You’re moving all the time,” she said. “Indoor soccer is quick-paced. It will get you better.”