West Kendall appears bound to become a soccer stronghold.
The second Miami-Dade location of Downtown Soccer near Kendall-Tamiami Executive Airport is ready to open by Labor Day weekend. It follows the Miami Soccer Festival that brought 3,500 to Kendall Soccer Complex, July 30-31.
“There’s a continuing strong demand of working Latin men wanting to play a reduced-sized game here,” explained Pedro Redon during an interview in mid-August at the twin six-by-six soccer fields at 14275 SW 139 Ct., one-half mile south of SW 136th Street.
Pedro and his brother, Randy, partners and soccer fans as well, should know.
Of Colombian parentage, they arrived in the U.S. in 1982 with their grandmother and mother who operated a small video store. The two men completed business degrees at FIU and began real estate careers.
“We had purchased a small piece of downtown property near the Masonic Temple and the Miami River, and it sat vacant until we decided to open the first Downtown Soccer fields in 2008,” he explained.
Only one other venue existed on the rooftop of a Brickell Avenue building.
“The Downtown location has become so popular, we’re now open there until two in morning for many who play really ‘after hours,’ including bartenders, waiters — all sorts of people after they get off work,” Redon explained.
In downtown Miami, “6v6 Soccer” sees varied aged players compete in three leagues of eight to 12 teams the year-around. Other groups are competing in an eight-week Saturday tournament that got underway in August.
“We expect the same kind of scheduling in West Kendall where so many Latin men want to play the game evenings and well into the night,” Redon said. “We know the demographics of this area and the strong Colombian population in The Hammocks. It’s why we’re here.”
Six vs. six-player soccer is much like both the 5-on-5 and 7-on-7 games that use a goalie and a mix of offense and defense, testing all-around skills in fields that measure 128 by 79 feet, he explained, noting, “The five-on-five sport is more popular in Europe.”
A portion of the 41,000-square-foot site for Downtown Soccer in West Kendall is reserved for an outdoor serving area, primarily for post-game get-togethers, Radon said. A beer and wine license is pending to go with service of a light menu fare.
While the soccer fields will be open for play daily at 9 a.m., the Radon brothers expect heavy evening play from individual “pick up” games, leading to organized teams and leagues. Meanwhile, the Radon brothers also are looking to expand into Broward County.
For details on the new West Kendall location, call 305-238-1520 or visit the website at www.DowntownSoccer.com.