POMONA >> Goals Soccer Centers, which has a facility in Pomona, announced this week it is entering into a partnership with the group that owns the Manchester City football club and other professional soccer teams that will lead to more soccer facilities in Southern California and beyond.
Under the joint venture involving Goals and City Football Group, Goals’ North American operations will become part of the partnership and the group will invest $16 million to establish more soccer centers across North America, according to a statement from Goals.
“The partnership allows us to move forward faster,” Mark Jones, Goals chief executive officer, said Thursday in a phone call from London.
While the goal is to open soccer centers across North America, the initial focus of expansion efforts will be Southern California, Jones said.
Goals facilities, including the Pomona location, consist of sites with multiple outdoor courts where athletes can play a version of soccer where teams of five participate in a match played on artificial turf.
Goals has 48 locations with the majority in the United Kingdom. Of those, two locations are in Southern California – the first in South Gate and the second in Pomona. A new facility is currently under construction in Rancho Cucamonga.
Jones said Goals has been in Southern California for seven years, has a home office here and is having discussions to establish soccer centers in other cities, including Covina, and the Inland Empire.
“My judgement is, for the next two to five years the emphasis is Southern California,” he said.
City Football Group owns a number of football clubs including Major League Soccer’s New York City Football Club, the Australian Melbourne City Football Club and the English Manchester City. The latter was in Southern California this week for a match in which the team faced off against Spain’s Real Madrid Wednesday night at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum that…