Ahhh – pick-up soccer / footy! One of the coolest things you can do is go play soccer with total strangers that make you feel welcome – especially if you have skills. There’s such a mix of talent and culture yet everyone shares the same passion. Some of the best small-sided games I ever played came courtesy of pick-up soccer games. One great thing about soccer is it’s international, so you can pick up and play regardless of the language or location. Here are 3 of the top U.S./Canadian cities for pick-up soccer – if you disagree, let me know on social media what city you think should have made the list.
#1 Palo Alto, CA
The great thing about Palo Alto is not only its host to great tech names and an awesome school, but its culture is part-hipster, part-international, part-techie, part-student and BIG athletics.
There are two soccer fields just past Stanford University on El Camino Real that always have 70+ people playing at noon and night.
I was fortunate to live here a few months and get to play several games… Lots of fun – cool people.
The languages and playing styles are different but the game is always being played.
You always know someone will be there, and the diversity represented means only that you understand others and yourself a little more.
More often than not you realize you know who you’re playing against or with; once it was an ICU doctor who worked with my wife.
#2 New York, NY
Pick up games are especially big in NY. The great thing here is that pick-up soccer is its own subculture, with entire sites and scheduling apps devoted entirely to the game.
It is also very diverse in its welcoming culture and has teams for both genders as well as co-ed games.
In addition you will find the games are not limited to good weather as there are also indoor leagues in all parts of New York proper and the surrounding areas.
#3 Toronto, Canada
Toronto is very diverse, similar to New York. With so many different cultures and a big population it’s easy to believe that T. made the list.
In addition to regular meetups there seems to be a constant push toward even more soccer, with new start-ups vying for first place in scheduling / being in-the-know.
Soccer is big in Toronto and only growing; finding a game for any level of play or age group is easy and while competitive, they keep it fun.
Other top cities/states in the world
In North America there are cities all over the country with footy action…
California and New York top the list easily. Cali might have the most compared to anywhere in the world because of the good weather, high and diverse population and many retired folks.
- New York
- Saudi Arabia
You and I both know that every country in the world has people playing the game we all love everyday.
Where to find pick-up soccer in America
If none of these cities are on your visiting list this summer or fall, you have the option to find out more about the soccer culture in your area.
By using great websites you can find games… This meetup site has over 1 million pick-up soccer members.
These soccer sites even let you post ahead of time.
Have fun and respect the game
Simple rules: have fun, respect the game and others, and be open to learning.
I can assure you that the game you know at your level in your location will look different in another place but try it and you’ll find that you grow as a person and a player.
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