With the obscene cold temps the Midwest is experiencing I figured a little reminder of summer might be in order.
I can’t tell which kid this is, but it could be my father. One thing I like about this photo is the guy in the hat sitting on the park bench in the background. At first I thought he might be asleep, but then I noticed something on his lap. So maybe he is reading whatever that may be. Or maybe he is napping and that’s his newspaper he set down. Also, I think this is Chicago. I remember concrete lamp posts like that in the parks.
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Another kid shot. I can’t tell for sure if the older kid is my Uncle Bob, but I am going to guess yes, which would make the baby my Dad. The look of the one car that I can make out would be right for this to be 1942, so I’m going to go with that guess. As for a location, well most likely it was one of Chicago’s many parks. And while I don’t recognize the man at the picnic table it’s nice that he dressed down for the day by not wearing his suit coat.
Our first post is on Haas Park. This small soccer field was donated by Manchester City Football Club and opened about a year ago. People from around this neighborhood come here to play 7 v 7 when the field isn’t booked. Fortunately for us, this field is free most of the time throughout the week.
Schedule According to the supervisor at Haas Park, there are only three blocks of time that are regularly booked. Those are:
Weekdays (Day camp thru August 9th): 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Mondays: 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
Thursdays: 5:30 PM - 10:00 PM
A visual summary of the schedule for Haas Park can also be seen in the image above. Booked time slots are seen as red blocks under Weekly Schedule. All other blank spots are free for pickup soccer whenever you need to play!
** Schedules are dynamic and may change any time of day. The times we’ve gathered may not be 100% accurate but we hope our info will be helpful to the Chicago soccer community one way or another. If you are unsure about the field availability, do call in to check with the park supervisor.
Pickup Game The last time we played at Haas Park, there were 4-5 teams in total. We played 7 v 7 and whoever scored first stayed on. The rotate-after-one-goal rule went well. It made all the players work extra hard to win. One minor setback was that no one was keeping track of time on the sidelines so a few games went on for longer than expected, frustrating those who had to wait (one game might’ve been at least 30 minutes of waiting). For a 7 v 7 pickup game, with up to 4 teams, I’d prefer going with these rules:
First to 2 goals
10 minutes max time
If both teams are tied, both teams come off.
If there are 5 teams, it would go down to 1 goal and 8 minutes max time. That way, the maximum waiting time would be (8+8+8) 24 minutes. That is if all goals are scored in the last second of all 3 games, which is highly unlikely.
Most of the guys we played with were still in high school but some young adults were also mixed in. We saw several kids that were quite talented. There was one kid I remembered in particular that outshone everyone. He was around 5'2" and wore a blue Gap t-shirt. No one was able to strip the ball off of him due to his quick feet and vision (definitely a great team player).
Other Comments The Haas Park Fieldhouse is located right next to the turf field. If it’s open, restrooms will be accessible. Parking is easy as there are spots near the streets around there. Street parking on the Fullerton side is free.
A great thing about this field is that the turf material, which is relatively soft on the feet. In addition, there are fences right behind each of the goals. No more running after those misguided shots! This will save you a lot of time and energy. Obviously if you shoot way wide or way too high, you’re still going to have to fetch those balls.
This field is definitely worth checking out if you haven’t already been there. If you come when the field isn’t booked, should be able to get a good game going!