Wayne State grad turns junkyard into 6,000 square foot soccer facility

Image 1 of 3

You won't find much evidence of soccer in Detroit if you drive around the city. Heck, you won't find much even if you google it - apart from Detroit City FC of course. And even they only play in Hamtramck.

But worry not you foot aficionados, there's a new pitch in town. And you'll find it on the city's west side, at Stanton Street and Merrick Street.

"If you look around, if you Google 'soccer in Detroit,' you don't really find much," said Joe De Verteuil, founder of the Detroit Soccer District. "My question was always why? Why is it not here?"

Tired of asking, the 27-year-old native of Brazil and graduate of Wayne State who grew up immersed in the sport, decided to bring the sport to the city.

With the infrastructure in place, the space available and necessary talent pool ready to help, De Verteuil brought his dream to life. With the help of Motor City Match, Detroit Soccer District celebrated its grand opening over the weekend with a tournament and block party.

"Get your kids out," he recommends. "It doesn't matter their skill level. We have private training, group training all inside."

But it's not just training and turf that is offered at the facility. The 6,000 square foot facility is built to cater to more than just playing the sport. Along with the indoor and outdoor field, it's got an area for physical therapy, features local artwork and has partnered with the city's park and recreation department. 

Capable of serving up to 600 people and hosting about 100 games a week, the group accepts kids as young as 4 years old and pretty much anyone who wants to enjoy the game.

"Get them out, get them started," De Verteuil said. "If they don't become a player, they can become a fan, spectator, ref, coach - all of the above."