FC Cincinnati showcases small soccer field at West End Recreation Center

The talking part of the program that featured the FC Cincinnati Foundation’s tiny football field at the Lincoln Recreation Center at 1027 Linn St. in the West End was admittedly short.

The remarks of the adults present were the only thing standing between dozens of children and the new grass playing surface with brand new soccer balls.

The adults spoiled the children, who were clearly ready to play, and limited their comments.

After about 15 minutes of interventions by the speakers (Gary club mascot helped entertain the kids in the meantime), FC Cincinnati Vice President of Community Relations Kate Solomon gave the go-ahead for locals to begin dribbling and shooting drills.

Bullets started flying in all directions. Music blared from the loudspeakers and neighbors began to take notice of the event, which was part of the build-up to Sunday’s MLS home opener for FC Cincinnati.

The land, which was the first of 10 to be donated to the city over the next five years, was presented by FC Cincinnati majority owner Carl Lindner III and his wife, Martha Lindner, and local philanthropist Edward Neyra.

“This FC Cincinnati Foundation project creates a safe place for children to play and learn, a place where they can have healthy adults in their lives to cheer them on,” Martha Lindner said during her remarks. “Sport has long been a way for children to learn values. They take turns. They learn to deal with losses. They learn to deal with gains and they find satisfaction in being part of a team. They see firsthand how practice turns talent into opportunity.”

Team Ambassador Omar Cummings and current team members Alvas Powell and Nazmi Albadawi joined the kids to play soccer on the new field.

Cincinnati City Council members PG Sittenfeld and Jeff Pastor attended the unveiling of the land.

Also in attendance at Tuesday’s event were Cincinnati Recreation Commission Director of Recreation Daniel Betts, members of the Cincinnati Recreation Commission and members of the FC Cincinnati administration.

“You think back to when I was going door to door in the West End and saying to the locals, we’re going to be good neighbours,” FC Cincinnati president and general manager Jeff Berding said. “We’re going to improve lives, especially for children… It’s just living up to that commitment we’ve made to people during this process that has given us the opportunity to build our stadium here.”