Sports & Rec
Much like the creatures and worlds that only come alive at night, on any given evening in Downtown Phoenix a transformation could be taking place just a few floors above you.
Atop the many parking garages that dot the downtown landscape, adventurous soccer players are sneakily transforming unused concrete rooftops into skyline fields, where the beautiful game is set against a backdrop of office lights and open sky. Last Saturday night, the group descended upon the Chase parking structure in downtown, taking advantage of an open rooftop floor.
‘Soccerbombing’ as the organizers are terming it, was born out of a simple desire to play soccer without leaving the city, and is just the latest event to come out of Small Goal Soccer, an organization created to fill the gap of adult soccer in Phoenix.
Trevor Brandel, Regional Director of Small Goal Soccer, and his friends turned a night of sake bombers and sushi into a night of soccer when they opted to explore the many empty spaces in downtown, and found the undisturbed views atop parking garages paired perfectly with a pickup game of soccer.
“The first time we went there was six of us and we played a little three-on-three soccer. We had a great time … and we thought, ‘hey let’s do this again.’”
“I went and rode my bike around at night and was looking for parking garages that had some decent light and enough space where we could set up our goals,” Brandel said.
After the first successful outing, they had an even bigger turnout with their second rooftop match in March, where the secrecy of the event and the last minute announcement of the location between friends within the organization helped to create an air of excitement. Because every outing remains a secret until the last minute, only joining the league can get you close to the next secret location.
Under the gaze of street lamps and skyscraper lights, players run between parking lines and try their best not to launch balls over the guard rail in an effort to score. Every now and then someone has to run down a level to collect the ones that got away.
Small Goal Soccer launched in 2008 by Adam Thelwell, the current National Director, who after moving to Phoenix from Manchester, England noticed a huge gap in adult soccer outlets, and sought the community aspect of the game he enjoyed back home. The organization creates a space for players of every skill level to join as all games are played in the 6v6 format rather than the traditional 11 players per side most soccer fans are used to.
“It’s a little bit faster, a lot more goals, a lot more shots. Even if you’re a real recreational soccer player you can come out, get involved, and enjoy it, whereas 11 a side … if you’re not a stronger player, you tend not to get the ball very often,” Thelwell said.
Small Goal Soccer is now active in six states, and features men’s, women’s, co-ed, and burgeoning youth squads. Thelwell and Brandel both agree that beyond the actual games, the league exists to create community among players, with organizers spearheading charity events, networking opportunities, and regular gatherings.
“We do a lot of things within the community as far as networking and charity work. We want to make sure that that’s a big piece of it … at the core of all the leagues we start,” Thelwell said.
After the league quickly sprouted teams across the valley, many out of town players approached Thelwell and Brandel about starting up a league in their own hometowns, resulting in what Thelwell describes as very organic growth across the country.
The pair is working on a national tournament for the league, where they’ll bring teams from every state they’re in together for a tournament in Las Vegas next year. In addition to surreptitious soccerbombing nights and regular charity events, the pair hopes to continue to duplicate their success with small format games, and bring the community aspect of the league to more new cities across the country.
Photos by April Atwood.
DPJ’s Bike Chic series, downtown bike devotee, Keith Mulvin scouts locals who not only ride their bikes but look dapper doing it.
Today we will meet Alexander Brunacini, a Financial Education Specialist at the International Rescue Committee. Alex and I met up over a cup of coffee at one of the more significant additions to uptown Phoenix, Changing Hands Bookstore.
Alex chose this location because much like him, it is a mixture of the old and the new. Changing Hands is a place that feels like home, yet it is one of the more progressive concepts in the country as bookstores are finding innovative ways to attract an audience.
I selected Alex as the first person to feature because he is by far one of the most interesting people I have met while frequenting the Downtown Phoenix hot spots, which I realized shortly after we first met. I believe you should know him too…
His neighborhood: 35th Avenue and Glendale, aka West Phoenix.
Favorite thing about downtown Phoenix: Downtown Phoenix is a composite of the populous. In downtown, you have the young and the old, with a mixture a socio-economics, all interacting together. Phoenix is just a little more egalitarian than other cities in the valley. In Tempe you have the college crowd; Scottsdale has the Hummers; all surrounded by families living in cities that essentially all look the same; while Phoenix is welcoming to all types.
Favorite place in downtown: I come out from West Phoenix on my bike at least two or three times a week because there is just too much good stuff going on. Right now my favorite downtown attractions are Bikini (Lounge) or FilmBar. They have this rhythm, which comes with surprises. There are some nights that are out of control, which could happen to fall on a weekday. Then there are nights that are sedate. It is unexpected and unpredictable. In addition, Bikini is also one of the oldest places in Phoenix. It just has this interesting dichotomy. It’s old and new. It’s traditional and modern.
Where he shops for fashion: I like the stuff on 7th Ave. and Camelback. You’ll always get a great find while there. I can always find good items at Topman and Asos. Target is good. Love me some Merona.
Biking fashion tips: There is a necessity for slim cut pants, generally, unless you have a completely enclosed chain chase. You need your ankle to be pretty condensed. You cannot have a lot of extra fabric on your pants. Breathable material is great. Spandex! But I feel that people should dress normal on your bike because you want to advertise that cycling is a normal activity; it’s like walking. My inspiration is kind of Amsterdam. You want it to be just a regular way to get around. It’s not extreme. It’s not a sport. It’s just transport.
Biking essentials: Lights. Don’t forget the lights. A tire repair kit; you have to be able to fix your own flats. Water. When you’re in phoenix, water is essential. Always carry some water on your bike. A rack is nice, some kind of way to carry your stuff that is not on your back – then you’re pretty much set.
What he’s wearing: A floral suit. I do not know who it is by, but I do know that it has a touch of spandex; so it has a lot of give. It is fitting but it moves with you, which is one of the reasons why I chose it.
What type of bike does he ride: Her name is: Ljubica. A Brompton S6R – (S is the bar type, 6 is the speed and R is the r in rack, designating that it has a rack and fenders)
A good quote to end this column: “ ‘Shoulda brought bikes!’ – in every single situation where bikes are not present.” -Alex
Photos by Keith Mulvin.
DPJ’s Wire series delivers news and information straight from the source without translation.
D-BACKS ANNOUNCE DETAILS OF RANDY JOHNSON NO. 51 RETIREMENT CEREMONY THIS SATURDAY
Gates will open at 2:30 p.m. and fans are encouraged to arrive early for a special ceremony
The Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) will retire Randy Johnson’s No. 51, presented by Fry’s Food Stores, this Saturday, including a special pregame ceremony honoring Randy Johnson beginning at 5:00 p.m. Fans are encouraged to be in their seats by 4:30 p.m. to enjoy the ceremony, featuring:
-Special guests include D-backs General Managing Partner Ken Kendrick, D-backs President & CEO Derrick Hall, D-backs Legend Luis Gonzalez, former D-backs Managing General Partner Jerry Colangelo and MLB Senior Vice President and original D-backs General Manager Joe Garagiola, Jr.
-A special gift presentation to Randy Johnson from Kendrick and Hall
-Unveiling of the No. 51 that will permanently hang above the Legends Suites in right field
-Video montage showing highlights from Randy Johnson’s career and personal messages from former D-backs players and baseball legends
On Saturday, all D-backs players and coaches will wear No. 51 on their batting practice jerseys with a commemorative patch on the sleeve. During the game, D-backs players and coaches will wear their traditional black jerseys featuring a Randy Johnson No. 51 commemorative patch on the sleeve and cap.
The game-worn jerseys and caps, game-used baseballs and bases will be auctioned off online at www.dbacks.com/auction. Additional game-used items, including the batting practice jerseys, will be available for purchase at D-backs Authentics at section 141 along the main concourse. Net proceeds from the sale of all game-used items will benefit the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation.
Gates to Chase Field will open at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday and the D-backs will give away 50,000 commemorative Randy Johnson No. 51 Retirement T-shirts, courtesy of Fry’s Food Stores. Fans will also have the chance to take a photo with Randy Johnson’s National Baseball Hall of Fame plaque, the 2001 World Series trophy and Johnson’s Cy Young Awards (1999, 2002) at both Friday and Saturday’s games in the Right Field Deck.
Throughout the weekend, the D-backs Team Shop, presented by Majestic, will feature several commemorative Randy Johnson No. 51 Retirement merchandise items for fans to purchase, including authentic and replica Majestic jerseys with “Johnson” and “51” and the commemorative patch, Majestic name and number T-shirts, Men’s and Women’s commemorative logo T-shirts, Rawlings official game and souvenir balls, lanyards, pennants, rally towels, lapel pins along with New Era fitted and adjustable caps.
Tickets are still available for this Saturday’s game and can be purchased at the Chase Field Box Office, by calling 602.514.8400 or online at www.dbacks.com.
David Krietor has served as CEO of the newly-formed Downtown Phoenix, Inc. (“DPI”) since April 8, 2013. In that time, he has begun work with community stakeholders to develop the downtown we want. “Your Downtown” shares his thoughts and DPI’s progress with the downtown community and beyond. Read the other chats here.
What’s the go-to place when out-of-town politicos, like Martin O’Malley, Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, and Elizabeth Warren, find themselves needing much larger space to hold their public events? Why, the Phoenix Convention Center, that’s where. It’s great to see our convention center recognized for “hitting its stride” in the world’s leading news and online resource for the trade show, exhibition, and event industry. Congratulations and thanks to Convention Center Director John Chan and his team for being a connected member of our downtown community.
Traveling from Tempe into Downtown Phoenix earlier this month I counted nine large construction cranes. A number of factors are contributing to this urban building boom. One of the most important is that more people – across the nation and around the globe – want to live, work, go to school, and play near public transportation. This makes passage of Proposition 104 in Phoenix critical to our future as a vibrant urban city. Click here to read a few more of my observations about Prop 104. Our mayor, Greg Stanton, weighs in on the matter in this Arizona Republic op-ed.
In this time of summer stay-cations, I now bring you other “-cations” on several different topics pertaining to our downtown…
- Be: Coffee, Food + Stuff now open on Roosevelt Row
- Blended & frozen cocktails with Ross Simon of downtown’s Bitter & Twisted
- Details announced for 2016 Devoured Culinary Classic
- Downtown centennial Old Spaghetti Factory gets face-lift
- Hidden Track Bottle Shop now open in Downtown Phoenix
- June restaurant openings, closings in metro Phoenix
- Mother Bunch Brewery’s Holly Arguello pairs food, beer, pickling & pork belly
- Westin’s Downtown Phoenix restaurant gets new chef, menu, look
- Real, Wild & Woody Summer Beer Festival showcases best of Arizona brewing
- Roberto Dadone & Luca Dagliano open Forno 301 in Downtown Phoenix
- Starbucks price increase deters few Downtown Phoenix drinkers
MONET-CATION (ARTS & CULTURE)
- Bomba Lucha! merges Mexican wrestling with burlesque at Paz Cantina
- Get your comic on at Comicon
- McDowell Mountain Music Festival announces 2016 concert date
- Need a little urban respite from the great outdoors?
- New public art dedicated on Roosevelt Row
- Phoenix metro art institutions poised for change
- ”Phoenix Loves Sci-Fi” film event celebrates Arizona scenery in movies
- Phoenix Office of Arts & Culture awards over $800,000 in grants
- Rosemarie Dombrowski on Phoenix’s literary scene
- The Nash on Roosevelt Row sets jazz offerings for July
- ASU downtown academy mentors next generation of public service leaders
- ASU downtown camp helps high schoolers get hip to health
- ASU downtown group works to create community for Native American students
- Construction of ASU’s law school is expected to bring tax revenue & jobs
- Higher density housing key to downtown Logan (UT) revival
- In a place: former Post Office in Downtown Phoenix
- New ASU nursing degrees include holistic, community-health focuses
- Game CoLab gets new grant, seeks developers for next incubator program
- Inside Roosevelt Barber Shop, where old school meets modern
- Local tech firm, WebPT, makes employee health, fitness a priority
- The history of the YMCA in Downtown Phoenix
- Theranos, ASU team on Downtown Phoenix lab testing site, open to public
- Startup PHX challenge winner to relocate to Monroe Building
- Velo Bike Shop looks to build Downtown Phoenix cycling community
- AIA Phoenix Metro holds “Make a Place” downtown design competition
- Christine Mackay takes bold steps for Phoenix’s economy
- Coyotes tell fans they want to stay at Gila River Arena
- $18.25M financing secured for development of Edison Midtown
- How economic developers plan to boost job growth in the new fiscal year
- New Downtown Phoenix arena could bring end to Coyotes’ bumpy desert road
- New RAPID bus service connects local commuters to Downtown Phoenix
- Once-hazardous South Phoenix lot opens to development
- Phoenix creates shade on Roosevelt Row with giant planters
- Recent sale of One North Central high rise a good sign for downtown Phoenix
- Shipping container developments make their home in Downtown Phoenix
- Campus police say bike thefts dropped significantly in Spring semester
- Charities house displaced homeless from closure of CASS overflow shelter
- Congressional leaders urge U.S. Senate to help phoenix fight the FAA
- Downtown Phoenix security increased with Muslim holiday, liberal convention, and immigration protest
- Drinking from sprinklers, Phoenix homeless scrabble to survive heat wave
- 20 years after Srebrenica, Phoenix holds first ever ‘Walk to Remember’
DPI’s What’s Happening Guide for the week of July 20 to July 26 is hot off the presses. It’s an excellent recap of what’s happening in our downtown. You can review and download a copy by clicking here. And… you can find the “latest and greatest” listing of downtown events at our online events calendar and Facebook page. Have an event that should be promoted in the What’s Happening or online calendar? Submit it here.
We’re looking for writers who can help us tell the story of downtown Phoenix: where we came from, where we are and where we’re going. We say “we” because at DPJ, we are more than just observers of downtown. We are active participants, engaged with the people and places that make it what it is and what it will be. We are invested in and excited about the future of this vibrant, fun and ever-evolving community. In short, we love downtown Phoenix. Do you?
If you would like to help tell the story of the people and places that make downtown Phoenix great, we invite you to apply to be a contributor to DPJ. You can find the application below.
We look forward to hearing from you!
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“DPJ caters to residents who support our downtown and savvy visitors who want to Go Where the Locals Go. Whether it’s community news, food, shopping or sports, think of DPJ as that friend in the big city. Our site is filled with everything you need to know as it relates to the urban lifestyle. We offer a friendly, straightforward insider’s view of all things downtown, from world-class restaurants and museums to events to plan your day around. We’re here as you Explore Your Core™.”
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