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Rose City Futsal coming to Tigard

Three-field facility with restaurant, store under development on Cascade Avenue.


TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Kids play futsal during camp at Rose City Futsal.It's not quite soccer, and it's definitely not basketball — it's futsal, and it's coming to Tigard in a big way.

Rose City Futsal, which for nearly three years has stood over the north side of Interstate 84 across the highway from Providence Portland Medical Center, is expanding to a second location on Southwest Cascade Avenue. The business' general manager said he hopes to have the Tigard facility open by the start of next year.

“We're excited about our moving into the 'activity neighborhood,'” Kevin Murray said, listing other businesses in the area: “iFly (Indoor Skydiving), Harley-Davidson and Sky High (Sports Trampoline Park) are all visible from our location.”

Kevin Murray.A sport related to soccer

Futsal originated in the 1930s in Uruguay, when an enterprising teacher decided to scale down the game of soccer so it could be played on an indoor basketball court. The sport is closely related to soccer, although it uses a smaller, less bouncy ball, is played with just five players per side, and it borrows some of its rules and tactics from basketball.

Eduardo Araujo, Rose City Futsal's director of coaching, grew up in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. He said he has been playing futsal all his life.

Soccer is wildly popular in Brazil, which hosted the most recent FIFA World Cup in 2014. But Araujo opined that futsal is “more of an art form, in some ways.”

Because the courts are smaller and the surface is faster, there is typically more attacking — and scoring — in futsal than conventional soccer.

“It's exciting, and you get a lot more time on the ball,” said Gresham Prehn, Rose City Futsal's assistant general manager.

Also, Araujo added, because there are just four players plus a goalkeeper per side, it provides “a great development tool” for young players, all of whom must contribute on the court.

Demand is high at Rose City Futsal, Murray said. Adult leagues play there six nights per week, and during peak season, youth leagues play all weekend. The facility also hosts academies for futsal newcomers to learn to play the game.

“It's a great challenge to get everyone's game in,” Murray said.

COURTESY OF ROSE CITY FUTSAL - An artist's rendering shows what the Rose City Futsal facility in Tigard is planned to look like.

'A fantastic soccer town'

Rose City Futsal draws players from all over the Portland area and as far away as Salem, said program manager Chris Croft. Many come down from Washington, Croft said.

But the Westside is one of the biggest areas for interest in the game, the staff at Rose City agreed.

“(We) have a ton of people that drive over here, and they're pretty happy that we're going to be on that side,” Araujo said. “I think the Westside has a huge soccer population. … It will be very good for the Westside to have a place like this offering high-quality futsal.”

After deciding to open a second location, Murray said Rose City Futsal looked “everywhere” in the area before finding the ideal building to take over and renovate in Tigard.

“There were a lot of pieces that had to come together,” he said. “We're pretty excited about the location that we found, yeah. We think it brings everything together: the facility, the location to the population, the interest in the sport.”

The Tigard location will be very similar to the Northeast Portland facility, Murray said. It will have three fields, each with an Omnisports composite surface, plus an in-house pub where people can watch games and a store where soccer and futsal gear will be sold.

“Our mission is to grow the game, and people are responding to what we're offering, and we think there's demand on the Westside,” Murray said.

Murray said he thinks Portland is “a fantastic soccer town.” The city's Major League Soccer club, the Portland Timbers, captured last year's national championship, while the Portland Thorns FC were the National Women's Soccer League champions in 2013.

Murray pointed to the number of youth soccer programs in the Tigard area and nearby suburbs as another reason to predict success for Rose City Futsal's expansion to the Westside.

“It's a big soccer area,” he said.

Staff preparing for expansion

Rose City Futsal just secured permits from the city of Tigard this month, according to Kenny Asher, Tigard's community development director. It is moving ahead with its renovations at the new location, Murray said. It has also begun reaching out to patrons to determine what types of leagues it will offer in Tigard, he added.

The leadership team at the Northeast Portland facility will also be spreading out. Araujo said he expects to serve as the coaching director for both locations, while Carlee Middleton, who also works as a program manager, will be moving over to handle administrative duties in Tigard.

“I'm excited for us as a staff,” Middleton said. “I'm very excited for the programs, the opportunities that are going to be available to more and more kids, and to adults as well. I think it's pretty exciting to have such a premier facility, and to have two and be able to spread that across both sides of the city.”

Rose City Futsal is located at 5010 N.E. Oregon St. in Portland. The new location will be at 10831 S.W. Cascade Ave. in Tigard.

TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - From left to right, Kevin Murray, general manager; Chris Croft and Carlee Middleton, program managers; Gresham Prehn, assistant GM; and Eduardo Araujo, director of coaching, are key members of Rose City Futsal's leadership team.


By Mark Miller
Assistant Editor
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