The Portland Timbers and Hacienda Community Development Corporation (CDC) celebrated the grand opening of a new public state-of-the-art futsal court in the Cully neighborhood of Northeast Portland on Monday afternoon. Timber Joey, as well as Timbers players Steven Evans and Sebastian Rincon as well as Portland Thorns FC players Adelaide Gay and Danielle Foxhoven were there to share in the excitement with the Cully community.
During his opening remarks, Hacienda CDC’s Executive Director Victor Merced said that each park acre in Portland is shared by 40 residents while in Cully each acre is shared by 2,780 residents. Merced not only identified the area as a park deprived neighborhood, but one that was bursting with enthusiasm for soccer, which was easy to see as the court was buzzing with kids thrilled with the neighborhood’s newest addition.
Portland city commissioner Nick Fish was also impressed and believed the court could be a source for future development of the beautiful game in Portland.
“Young people are going to be exposed to the court,” he said. “They might be the next Danielle [Foxhoven], Diego [Valeri], or Steven [Evans]; they may be the next stars for the Timbers or the Thorns.”
Prior to the construction of the new futsal court, kids throughout Cully took their passion for soccer to the streets, as it was the only place for them to play.
“Before I played in Hacienda, I played in front of my house or in the parking lot about four times a week,” said Ten-year-old neighborhood resident Carlos Escolera. “It’s important to have a soccer court because when you play in the street a car might hit you.”
With Hacienda’s hard work and support from the Portland Timbers Community Fund, adidas, and the City of Portland, they were able to take kids off the street and bring peace of mind to the parents in the community.
The Hacienda CDC Futsal Court is located at 6736 NE Killingsworth St.