The Woodlands Soccer City

Two months after its early November opening, The Woodlands Soccer City is gaining a foothold in a youth sports market that is seeing more kids playing soccer than any other sport.

"[The Woodlands] is a fantastic growth area," operations manager Greg Hess said. "We identified the market due to the kids and the growth potential."

With two indoor full-size soccer fields, The Woodlands Soccer City offers kids and parents a break from both the potential for inclement weather, as well as the stifling heat.

Although The Woodlands Soccer City focuses primarily on youth instruction and development and adult leagues, the 32,500-square-foot facility has quickly become a popular location for kids' birthday parties.

"We have had several birthday parties already," Hess said. "We have a party room where then can bring cake, ice cream and pizza. We've already had a lot of those."

Owner Geoff Wilkins said that for birthday parties, the staff organizes a mini tournament for the kids, who are even allowed to run around the fields and play tag.

The Woodlands Soccer City's primary focus is its youth development league, which Wilkins said is split into two age groups, 4 –6-year-olds and 7–10-year-olds. For the first 20 minutes of each session, the kids go through an instructional portion, and during the last portion they play a game.

For the new year, Wilkins and Hess are planning camps for Spring Break and the summer season.

"We want kids, first, to learn the sport, then to love the sport," Wilkins said.

The Woodlands Soccer City, 2590 FM 1448, Conroe, 936-441-4625,