EL CAJON, Calif. – An indoor soccer facility that opened this year in East County is generating some local buzz as its owner looks to grow the area’s youth pipeline.
“It’s like 24 Hour Fitness, but for soccer players,” said Keith Miller, owner of Hanger Futsal Center in El Cajon.
Miller, an alumnus of Helix High School who went on to play soccer at San Diego State University, said the facility is unlike any other in the county. In Los Angeles, Miller said there are four or five similar facilities, but nothing like it exists in San Diego, essentially opening an avenue to build up a local profile.
“We felt like there was a big piece missing and we needed to add that to San Diego’s youth player development,” Miller said.
What started as a warehouse in Miramar, Hangar FC is evolving into one of the largest indoor soccer practice facilities in the community.
“Being from San Diego, I would ride my bike to a field with a goal with no net and a bag of balls and I’d have to go get the balls after every time I’ve shot,” he said. “This makes it a lot easier for a player to come to do that.”
Hangar offers monthly memberships that include pickup indoor soccer matches every night, boot camps and even hosting some local college clubs.
Miller hoping to continue growing the sport he grew up playing from inside his international length court.
“When you’re playing indoor, and I like indoor, you have the wall there to help you,” he said. “When you’re playing in here, it’s like basketball because you have to use the lines, make sure you have a good touch if you have a bad touch the ball goes out and goes to the other team so this teaches players how to hold themself accountable.”
Hangar FC offers a total of five courts along with a full gym and plans on expanding more amenities in the coming months.
“It’s nice to see these kids be able to do the things I wanted to do when I was a kid,” he said. “I realized in my early 20s, I was looking for that culture to surround myself with and I realized no one else was going to do it so I decided to build it for everybody else.”