GOALS Soccer Centers Opens Latest Facility in Covina

Written by Ignacio Cervantes, Sports Editor

Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018 City Football Group was welcomed into the city of Covina by Covina officials as GOALS Soccer Centers opened its fourth outdoor soccer facility in Los Angeles County.

Holding company City Football Group (CFG), owners of Major League Soccer’s New York City Football Club and reigning English Premier League champions Manchester City Football Club, was represented by GOALS CEO Andy Anson during a ribbon-cutting ceremony that featured Covina Mayor Walter Allen III gladly receiving CFG which is spearheading the charge for young players in America to enjoy nice, clean, and accessible soccer facilities.

“I had the honor of digging one of the holes in this open, dilapidated field several months ago,” said Mayor Allen during the ceremony, “And I am absolutely amazed at this spectacular facility.”

Mayor Allen’s delight at the grand opening was palpable as he spoke to the crowd with a joyous tone that made the facility feel right at home in this three-way partnership between the city of Covina, CFG, and the Covina Valley School District.

“GOALS is a private company but we pride ourselves on working with cities and schools. And this is what we call a public/private partnership where the schools in Covina and the Covina Valley School District have free access to this center during the day,” said CEO Anson, “It’s a commercial venture but it also gives something significant back to the community and that’s always part of our plan.”

Also joining in the celebration was MLS’s Los Angeles Football Club goalkeeper Tyler Miller, and ex-professionals Joleon Lescott formerly of Manchester City, once Leicester City player Jordan Stewart, and ex-Chivas-Guadalajara’s Ramón Ramírez, Claudio Suarez and Martin Zuniga.

The handful of athletes joined a group of media celebrities in a game of pick-up inside the cage of one of GOALS-Covina’s ten fields and among the celebrities in attendance were Fox Sports broadcaster Francisco X. Rivera and professional freestylers Caitlyn Schrepfer and Lizzy Calderon.

The different backgrounds in soccer of the guests are a symbol of what is to come for soccer in America in years to come. Mexican legends, English legends, and current players is a blend of what will represent the future of the sport in the US and it all starts with facilities like GOALS Soccer Centers.

“It’s great having things like these and obviously the more they open the better it is for the communities and also soccer in general.” The English-born, former San Jose Earthquakes left-back Stewart said.

The Englishman mentioned that since coming to the United States after his move to San Jose he’s been a witness of the exponential growth the sport has made since 2013 despite competition with other major leagues in this country.

Also coming to the States late in his career was Mexican international Ramon Ramirez. Featuring with Chivas USA from 2005 to 2007, Ramirez signaled that it’s clear soccer has arrived in the US and is here to stay. During an interview in Spanish, the ex-Chivas USA midfielder mentioned that the enthusiasm of the people in attendance indicated hope for a successful stint in Covina for GOALS.

“Any time that we have the opportunity to come out in the community and give back any way that we can,” LAFC goalkeeper Miller said, “It’s important to me and being at the GOALS center here in Covina, it’s something that I’m envious of because I really wish I had this when I was growing up.”

Besides the 10 indoor, turf fields, the facility has locker rooms for both men and women, a snack bar, and five big screen TVs that players can enjoy during game-breaks.