TOCA Football is expanding its reach in Dallas and Fort Worth with new indoor training grounds.

Whether you call it soccer or soccer, the sport’s roots are strong in Dallas and TOCA Football wants to play a big role in the game.

“Dallas has a rich football history and a large football market,” said Hammond Moore, president of TOCA. “This is the perfect place for us.”

By creating both a proprietary technology-enabled soccer education program and a social “recreational” event, the company hopes to capitalize on the sport’s growth in Dallas and across the US, with $105 million in total funding.

Last year, TOCA opened its first venue in Dallas and Fort Worth, an indoor soccer center in Mansfield, and announced the arrival in 2023 of TOCA Social, a new fusion of food, drink, technology and football, scheduled to open in February in the Design District.

Now it’s adding high-tech indoor workout facilities in Allen, Carrollton, Keller and The Colony through a partnership with the Blue Sky Sports Center. The 39,000 to 55,000-square-foot centers will offer league play, tech-assisted soccer practice, and new TOCA Strikers activities for kids aged 18 months to 7 years old.

TOCA currently operates 25 offices nationwide, including four new D-FW offices and recent acquisitions in the Midwest, making it the largest futsal operator in North America.

When choosing a location for a new facility, the company takes into account several indicators: the number of children playing football, the level of football fans and the involvement of the community. D-FW is the sweet spot for all three.

“It doesn’t take long to realize that the Dallas market is full of footballers,” Moore said.

This closed TOCA facility in California is equipped with the company's training technology.
This closed TOCA facility in California is equipped with the company’s training technology.(Hana Asano / TOCA Football)

What makes TOCA training different?

Founded by two-time U.S. World Champion and former MLS and Premier League midfielder Eddie Lewis, TOCA aims to take football training to the next level with technology designed to provide feedback and maximize ball touches.

Four new training centers will soon be equipped with TOCA’s Touch Trainer, an innovation designed to give players over 300 reps per session.

“That’s almost more reps than some kids get in an entire season,” Moore said.

The venues will also feature smart targets and smart targets that track data about ball speed, height, player decision making and more.

Implementing the technology depends on the needs of each location, but Moore said the process typically takes four to six months.

“Our goal is to share the amazing technology we’ve created with the world and with the Dallas community as quickly as possible, but we also want to be very sensitive to people,” he said. “The most important thing is that they trust us and the community trusts us before the technology comes along.”

How much has the football market grown in D-FW?

Further accelerating the football market boom, FC Dallas is redefining its fan engagement and building ties with the US men’s national team.

“We’re seeing football grow in the US and we’re really giving credit to MLS,” Moore said. “They really did a wonderful job.”

Since 2005, FC Dallas Youth has grown from less than 50 teams to over 225, in addition to 11 affiliated clubs outside the D-FW suburbs. FC Dallas Youth Vice President Chris Hayden attributes youth football’s growth to D-FW’s football history, weather conditions to allow play throughout the year, local success at the national level, and program improvement.

“The youth football market here in Dallas is pretty solid and of course we have a connection to an MLS team so there is a path to the team,” he said. “It’s kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Football has always been popular here and it will continue to be popular in the future.”

FC Dallas youth teams are currently training at 11 facilities, one of which will soon be equipped with TOCA technology.

Hayden had the opportunity to see the technology first hand during a demo for some Club Development Academy players and future professionals.

“I like it,” he said. “It’s not the only thing we do, but it’s one of the tools we can use to develop technique for our players.”

Grassroots local leagues have also seen a surge in participation over the last decade.

non-commercial Dallas Youth Sports started a children’s soccer league in 2010 with only 110 players. Despite restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic in recent years, Dallas Youth Sports is currently close to its 2019 peak of 2,500 kids playing football.

“It’s been over a 15-year period where football has grown,” said Dallas Youth Sports chief executive J. R. Huerta. “Soccer has always been very popular in Dallas, but now we really have a growing number of leagues.”

After North Texas was chosen as the venue for the 2025 FIFA World Cup game, more of a bull market is in store for football. The FIFA match or matches will inject approximately $400 million into the D-FW economy and contribute to an even stronger football culture. How many games will take place and which teams will play at AT&T Stadium has not yet been reported. FC Dallas owner Dan Hunt is crossing his fingers in favor of the US or Mexico, which have strong fan bases in North Texas.

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