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Team Evanston, a youth soccer club, has opened the doors to its 30,000 square foot training facility at 2025 Dempster St. The facility features five turf soccer fields, offices, and meeting rooms. It will be used to host training sessions over the winter months as well as when inclement weather prevents kids from practicing outdoors, and will be Team Evanston’s home office for coaching and administrative staff.
Team Evanston was officially founded in 1991 through a merger of two previously existing soccer clubs in Evanston. It provides 600 girls and boys, aged 6-18, from Evanston and neighboring communities the opportunity to play competitive soccer in the Chicagoland area as well as in local, regional and national tournaments.
“This is a big deal, not only for Team Evanston, but for all of Evanston’s young athletes,” said Matt Tobin, president of Team Evanston. “Outdoor practices end in early November and don’t start up again until April, so this facility allows athletes to develop and train locally during those months.”
Time allowing, Team Evanston also hopes to make the facility available to other sports organizations in the area and to groups wanting to hold special events such as parties and corporate functions.
Second Ward Alderman Peter Braithwaite said the facility would have “a huge economic impact” on the businesses around the Dempster-Dodge area. “When indoor practices are conducted in other communities, families spend money in those communities,” he said. “Now they will be spending that money in Evanston.”
The facility features state-of-the-art lined turf fields, goals, powerful lighting, netting to easily divide practice areas, and ample office/meeting space. The club is also considering the addition of a weight – training room in the future.
Issac Moushi, Team Evanston’s director of coaching, said, “It is great to have a place that the coaches and I can call home. We’ll be able to hold training year-round, despite what Mother Nature throws at us. We can also host clinics, 3v3 tournaments, and specialized training,” such as core fitness and/or weight training.
“This is the first facility of its kind in Evanston,” said Lander Brown, an Evanston board member who was instrumental in bringing the facility online. “Previously, players had to practice in school gyms or drive an hour to train in comparable facilities in other communities. This facility is in the kids’ back yard – not just Evanston’s, but Wilmette’s and Chicago’s, too.”
Team Evanston has 40 soccer teams coached by professional, licensed coaches.