Indoor soccer in the Lehigh Valley is about to get a whole lot bigger.
Sherman Street Soccer, LLC closed on the purchase of a former warehouse building just 11/2 blocks north of the Turff Club on Sherman Street in east Allentown with plans to "soft open" around Nov. 1 and to be ready for indoor league play by Thanksgiving, according to Sherman Street Soccer, LLC principal owner Greg Ramos.
Ramos is also the executive director of the elite Lehigh Valley United soccer club and says the new facility poses no threat whatsoever to the Turff Club's operations, which currently serves as the home to LVU. The new facility may fill a demand for indoor winter training space as a companion to the Lehigh Valley's original indoor soccer facility.
Ramos said that sports like floor hockey, field hockey, volleyball and lacrosse may be able to utilize the facility as well.
"There's not much non-soccer stuff at Turff Club, and it's hard to find space to book the other stuff," he said. "We're opening the business model to all sports and activities."
The 40,000 square foot building at 1344 Sherman Street features a tremendous amount of clear span space with high ceilings, Ramos said.
Two indoor soccer fields approximately 70 feet by 100 feet will be set up arena style with artificial turf like at the Turff Club, and three smaller court-style fields will be employed for futsal, utilizing Sport Court indoor flooring, which will make them usable for floor hockey and volleyball.
Futsal is a five-a-side game played on a basketball-sized, non-wall court with a heavier ball for less bounce that promotes technical development. There are no current dedicated futsal courts in the Lehigh Valley.
"We're really excited that we will have the three futsal courts because U.S. Soccer is really leaning toward using futsal as a development tool for the youngest players," Ramos said.
"Strategically, our group looked at the kind of winter we had last year and what kind of winter is predicted for this year," he said. "The idea was to keep it at a club level, keep it in the family, and expand our operations and be able to reach out to more soccer players and cultivate more talent and nurture more passion and love for the game through these indoor facilities."
The Sherman Street Soccer facility will be the third such indoor soccer facility in the immediate Allentown area, joining Turff Club and the Iron Lakes Sports Club in North Whitehall Township. There is also a Pocono Dome facility in Sciota, Monroe County.
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