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Pico Rivera Celebrates New Roldan Futsol Mini-Pitch

CELEBRATING: from (l-r) Pico Rivera Councilman Raul Elias, Mayor pro tem Erik Lutz,  Parks and Recreation Director Pam Yugar, Mayor Dr. Monica Sanchez, Cesar Roldan Sr., Ana Roldan, behind her is Cesar Roldan Jr., City Manager Steve Carmona, and Councilmembers Andrew Lara and Gustavo Camacho. Photo courtesy City of Pico Rivera.

By Tammye McDuff

April 9, 2022 ~ Pico Rivera, along with Mayor Monica Sanchez and the City Council,  held a ribbon-cutting this past Tuesday, celebrating the opening of a Futsol mini-pitch outdoor soccer field at Pico Park.

In 2021, only seven months ago, Mayor pro tem Erik Lutz and his Parks and Recreation Commissioner Adrian McEachern met with MLS Soccer star and Pico Rivera resident Cristian Roldan.

The idea was to create a Futsal mini-pitch park within the city.

“The idea came to fruition, the City Council approved the specifics, and our wonderful City Staff took it to the finish line,” said Mayor pro tem Lutz.

Cristian Roldan is an American professional soccer player who plays as a midfielder for Major League Soccer Club Seattle Sounders and the United States Soccer Team.

He was named the 2013 Gatorade National Player of the Year while attending El Rancho High School in Pico Rivera. Roldan spent his college career at the University of Washington. In his first two seasons with the Huskies, he made 41 appearances and tallied ten goals and seven assists, helping lead the team to a Pac-12 title.

Futsal is the Fédération Internationale de Football Association [FIFA] official indoor soccer game played on a mini-pitch with five-on-five and a smaller ball. Futsal fosters ball control skills and quick decision-making as it is played at a faster pace than full-pitch, eleven-player soccer.

Pico Rivera Mayor Dr. Monica Sanchez stated, “The Roldan family are long-time residents of Pico Rivera. The sons grew up playing soccer in the city. They are now in the professional ranks. This is a very exciting day for the city and for the Roldan family. The mini-pitch is a public and private partnership with the Roldan family and Extra Time Promotions, giving the Roldan family naming rights and sponsorship.”

Funding for the park also came from the Walt Disney Company and the National  Recreation and Park Association [NPRA], which provided basketball hoops for basketball players.

Lutz added, “We are so proud of this new addition to Pico Park. This is just the beginning of what we have planned for the city in 2022. All of our parks will receive upgrades. Roldan family, you had an idea for the city; the entire City Council agreed with this plan, knowing it should have been done yesterday. This exceptional team effort took seven months from start to finish.”

The new mini-pitch field is an outdoor hard surface that is the size of a tennis court used for small-sided soccer games. Like the basketball court located in the same park, the mini-pitch will provide kids and soccer enthusiasts a place to develop their technical skills and play pickup games.

The city spent $140,000 on the facility and used a $40,000 grant from the NPRA to add a regulation-sized basketball court.