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Lakewood’s Palm Park Will Get New Mini-Pitch

A mini-pitch is a colorful acrylic-coated court about 40 feet by 84 feet with side panels that keep the ball in constant play. Above, an artist’s rendering of what the soccer mini-pitch in Lakewood.

August 29, 2023

Staff Report

Palms Park in Lakewood, located at 12305 207th street between Del Amo Blvd. and 207th, will soon be the home of Lakewood’s first soccer mini-pitch, with construction starting shortly after Labor Day, and the pitch opening for play by the end of October.

The mini-pitch is being donated by the U.S. Soccer Foundation, the LA Galaxy professional soccer team and their corporate partner Herbalife. 

Lakewood was selected due to the efforts of Lakewood resident Jalen Neal, a rising young soccer star of the LA Galaxy and U.S. Men’s National Team. 

Tom Braun, LA Galaxy Senior Vice President of Soccer & Business Operations and Business Development said, ““These mini-pitches allow for safe play in our local neighborhoods and encourage the growth of soccer in our communities. The LA Galaxy continue to advance the game of soccer and use it as a vehicle for positive change throughout Southern California communities. By continuing our partnership with Herbalife, the U.S. Soccer Foundation, LA Galaxy defender Jalen Neal and now the city of Lakewood, projects like these remain possible.”

“The Lakewood City Council thinks this mini-pitch will be a great addition to our city’s recreation offerings, and a wonderful place for youth to have fun and develop their soccer skills,” said Mayor Ariel Pe. “This is a great way to help the youth of our city and is the essence of ‘One community, one family,’ which is my personal motto.

“A huge thanks goes to Jalen Neal for giving back to his hometown of Lakewood…and to the U.S. Soccer Foundation, the LA Galaxy and Herbalife for bringing this exciting new athletic court to our city,” said Pe.

Jalen Neal of the LA Galaxy soccer team.

“I wanted to provide the residents of Lakewood, particularly the children, a safe and accessible place to play soccer, have fun and to potentially help build the skills needed to achieve their dreams,” said Jalen Neal. “Adding to this strong community can only make it better with people coming together to play soccer, whether it be tournaments, events, sessions or pick-up games.”

 “The new mini-pitch will be open to the public daily during normal park operational hours on a first come, first served basis similar to all park game courts,” said Lakewood Recreation & Community Services Director Valarie Frost. 

“We also plan to make the mini-pitch available to youth soccer organizations for scheduled play, and we are excited that Jalen Neal has offered to hold youth soccer clinics at Palms Park, including at least one major event per year with him and other LA Galaxy players. So, as you can see, this is an exciting addition to Lakewood’s recreational assets!”

“We are thrilled to help the City of Lakewood provide safe places for children to play and to encourage healthy habits to help them live their best lives,” said Jennifer Guran, director of sports marketing and alliances for Herbalife North America. “Through this initiative and our partnership with the LA Galaxy, we can continue fulfilling our Company’s commitment to giving back and inspiring healthy lives worldwide and in our community.”