As soon as you walk into Plaza Sports Center, you’ll realize that this isn’t just like any other soccer complex. From the perfectly groomed synthetic turf to the innovative mobile app that lets players keep track of their games, everything at this center is first-class and focused on quality. “I love everything about the facility – it’s clean and neat and the quality of the turf is excellent. Nothing is cheap,” says Lucas Hernandez, a player in the men’s recreational league. “Everything is top-notch. We know what we’re getting for our money and we think it’s by far the best value.”
Originally from Brazil, Hernandez has been playing soccer for many years in the Rio Grande Valley and feels that no other place has offered the amenities and environment that Plaza Sports Center does. What Hernandez likes the most about this complex is that he can bring his wife and children to watch him play knowing that they will be comfortable and safe. The entire center boasts plenty of shaded sitting areas so that spectators can enjoy the games without being in the sun.
Comfort and a family-friendly environment are exactly what Dr. Jose Antonio Caso had in mind when he decided to build the soccer complex four years ago. “Growing up, my sister and my brother played a lot of soccer. We had to watch them in the sun with no place to sit and their games were cancelled very often,” explains Alma Caso, Vice President of Plaza Sports Center. “My father always thought that there should be a soccer complex in the Valley where it was not only comfortable to play, but also to watch the matches and that made sure that they were almost never canceled.”
The center boasts two covered fields that reduce sun exposure and allow matches to be played even when it’s raining. “The main idea of the complex was always the roof that would cover two fields,” explains Caso. “My Dad being a doctor knows how harmful the sun can be and has always been concerned about skin cancer. The roof allows us to reduce sun exposure by almost half.” Matches are rotated among the four 7×7 artificial turf fields so that each player plays around half of his or her matches on the covered fields.
The state-of-the-art Plaza Sports Center was built with the goal of bringing a new level of soccer to the Rio Grande Valley and to good values early on in children through this sport. The complex offers a wide variety of recreational and competitive leagues for both children and adults. The renowned Toros Soccer Academy prepares children between 4 and 16 years of age with the skills, technique, and discipline they need to excel in this sport. The Little Toros Soccer Academy is the only soccer program in the Valley for toddlers as young as 18 months. Parents and their young children spend quality time together, while the child gets a very early start in this sport.
Although the center was built around soccer, it is also a place for family camaraderie, summer camps, fitness programs, and corporate events. Medio Tiempo, the complex’s restaurant/sports bar, is always filled with families and teammates enjoying a post-game meal while watching the recaps of their match on the big screen. Rio Grande Valley companies, such as Doctor’s Hospital Renaissance, have enjoyed taken advantage of the facilities’ amenities to host fun employee events. Dozens of children attend the annual summer camp, where they not only play soccer, but also participate in activities such as painting, Crossfit, flag football, and art. The center has become a place for Rio Grande Vallley families to come together and enjoy the beauty of sports.