Want to get a feel for the quality of life a city has to offer? Then check out its soccer scene – often the best soccer cities indicate a great quality of life.
Even if you don’t play what has become the most popular youth sport in the country, a quick look at a city’s soccer scene can offer clues about what the community is like. The size of soccer clubs, the quantity and quality of playing fields, and the number of tournaments a city hosts can give potential residents an indication of what it would be like to live there.
We found that cities with impressive, well-maintained soccer complexes and large soccer clubs also have great parks, well-maintained streets and a host of other amenities that provide residents a high quality of life. Soccer, a sport played by more than 18 million people across the country, becomes engrained in a city’s culture.
In places like Appleton, WI, and Rock Hill, SC, soccer communities are tightly knit. Players, parents and coaches look out for one another and remain loyal to their clubs, colleges, and major league teams.
- Small to mid-size cities
- Quality of the soccer complex
- Community amenties, such as parks and other outdoor fitness opportunities
So take a look at the cities we’ve selected as the best emerging soccer communities in the country. These places have invested in their future by investing in soccer.
10. Princeton, NJ
Princeton is located in Mercer County in New Jersey. Princeton, NJ, is home of some of the best soccer fields in the country. It’s where the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team recently held a training camp.
The city is a soccer mecca with more than 20 soccer organizations in the area. Some of the best college soccer in the country is played in and around Princeton, home to Princeton University. Soccer teams from Princeton and nearby Rutgers, in Newark, have a fierce rivalry.
Princeton University is home of Roberts Stadium, an $8.4 million soccer facility with seating for 3,000 fans. Princeton is also home to one of the top male college soccer players, Antonie Hoppenot.
Mercer County, where Princeton is located, has a soccer hall. Soccer has been a part of the county for 100 years, and each year new players are inducted into the Mercer County Soccer Hall of Fame. Mercer County maintains a 2,500-acre park that includes 17 soccer fields, which are located a short drive from Princeton.
The Princeton Soccer Association is a leading youth soccer club with a combination of teams that compete in recreational leagues and highly competitive travel programs. The nearby Match Fit Chelsea club, which runs an exclusive soccer academy to develop high-level players, often holds camps in Princeton and draws players from the city. The Match Fit Academy has produced more than 20 U.S. National Team and pro players.
What else is here:
Located in Princeton are more than 10 wildlife refuges, arboretums, gardens and passive parks. The city also has a large community pool.
Mercer County has 12 miles of hiking and horse trails, a historic farm, and lake.