Beacon, New York, has an adult soccer problem. It’s not that there aren’t enough adults who want to play the beautiful game. It’s that there aren’t enough soccer fields for them to play it. And, as an adult soccer league still in its infancy, it’s a problem United FC Beacon hopes to solve as it grows.

Two male adult soccer opponents on field both in air with legs out, arms outstretchd, and ball in between them
Photo Credit: United FC Beacon

Joe Linksman and his co-founders, Alan Piciacchio, Dennis Vetrano, and Evan Whitson, are simply four men with a passion for soccer who saw a gap in Beacon. Prior to the formation of United FC Beacon, local adult soccer players had to drive long distances throughout the Hudson Valley to play in leagues out of town. Their other option was to play pick-up games in random parks and fields in town with pop-up goals and bags for field markers.

So, in 2022, Joe and his three friends made it official and launched United FC Beacon with the intent to increase the opportunities for adults in the area to play soccer in official games on official fields. The league wants to give men and women the ability to continue playing soccer after high school or college–or begin playing soccer as an adult–without having to drive 45 minutes to a game.

An Adult Soccer League For Everyone

While United FC Beacon is a co-ed league, it currently skews male, but Joe and his partners are trying to balance that out and entice more women to join the league. In their second year and most recent season, they’ve had the most women join since their launch. Currently, the league is 18 and up, with no upper age limit. In the future, there might be additional divisions based on gender, skill, and age, all dependent on the league’s growth.

The league plays year-round and offers both indoor and outdoor soccer, depending on the season.

adult soccer co-ed indoor game with female goalie saving ball surrounded by two male players
Photo Credit: United FC Beacon

United FC Beacon Makes Its Players Stars Shine Bright

One of the first things Joe and his partners did after launching was to create content to build hype around the newly formed league. They hired a photographer and videographer to memorialize their games. Players can check out the photos and videos on United FC Beacon’s Instagram account, their website, their Facebook page, and their YouTube channel.

Some of us who played soccer as kids have memories of our parents taking pictures or videos of us playing. Adult soccer players don’t usually have the luxury of someone capturing us in action, so it’s a nice touch by United FC Beacon. You can show off your cool moments to your friends or family or make your action shot your lead dating profile image!

Joe, who didn’t grow up playing soccer and only took up the game in adulthood, jokes about his glory moment that’s on video.

“We do silly highlight videos for our playoffs, and the only goal I’ve ever scored was in one of those videos. So, of course, my friends replayed it like four times. They were ridiculous.”

Adult soccer player showing off United FC Beacon scarf around his neck
Photo Credit: United FC Beacon

United FC Beacon plays games weekly at two different time slots, with three games running during each of those two time slots for a total of six games. Every game is filmed so everyone who plays can see themselves in action.

“[The videographers] show up for the second half of the first game and the first half of the second game,” Joe explains. “So every team gets a little bit of coverage. And then during the playoffs, they’ll record the full game, and we do a recording day like it’s a fake studio with highlights and commentary.”

United FC Beacon takes the game of adult soccer seriously but wants to keep the league lighthearted and fun.

Two Achievements Down, One To Go

United FC Beacon’s achievements thus far: Adult soccer league formed. Check. Hype generated. Check. Adult soccer field space. Just a baby check mark for now.

The lack of soccer fields is United FC Beacon’s biggest bane. Prior to launch, Joe was volunteering for the local youth soccer club and thought he had a win-win solution to the lack of field space. United FC Beacon would use part of its revenue to fund the local youth soccer league. In turn, the youth soccer league would rent their field space to the adult soccer league.

Problem solved! Except it wasn’t. The youth league doesn’t have lights to accommodate United FC Beacon’s night games, which is when most occur. In addition, the youth league also feels the pinch from the lack of soccer fields in Beacon.

So, for now, United FC Beacon makes do with what is available. Currently, the league plays at a park in the town center and across the river in Newburgh for indoor games. The ultimate dream would be for the city to create more soccer field space so United FC Beacon can expand the league even more.

two adult male soccer players attacking ball
Photo Credit: United FC Beacon

The Future Of Adult Soccer In Beacon, New York

For now, United FC Beacon is happy with its achievements. They’ve created a formal adult soccer community the city was lacking.

As stated previously, they intend to create more divisions based on skill, age, and gender, letting the growth of the club dictate that timeline. This is to make the league more appealing to everyone who wants to play soccer as an adult. Joe recognizes some people feel more comfortable playing on all women’s teams or over 30s teams, and he wants their league to be able to accommodate them.

Women’s Soccer Is On Deck

There is a women’s soccer league in the Hudson Valley already, and Joe is interested in developing a division in Beacon for the women in that league and other local women who want to get more playing time. United FC Beacon attempted a women’s division during their first seasons, but it didn’t draw enough players at that time. However, they plan to try again.

Adult female soccer players with one in foreground in black attacking ball
Photo Credit: United FC Beacon

Adult Soccer Tournaments

In addition to adding a women’s league, United FC Beacon also had a tournament in their early days. They’ve shelved the tournaments for now because, again, the logistics of field space limits the options. However, this is something Joe sees potential for reintroducing in the future.

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At the moment, United FC Beacon is experiencing “The Chicken or the Egg” syndrome with growing the league but not having the field space. It’s the opposite of the mantra in the movie “Field of Dreams” that said, “If you build it, they will come.” In United FC Beacon’s case, they will come. They’ve already proven that. They just need the city to build it (soccer fields).

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Joe’s Introduction to Adult Soccer

Joe, who played music and not sports as a kid, first turned into a fan of soccer after the South Africa World Cup in 2010. He switched from a fan of the game to a player of the game in his twenties and hasn’t looked back since.

“When I started, it was another way to network and get to know people. And once you’re connected on soccer already, it’s so much easier to make other connections. Plus, it’s good and healthy for a city and a community,” said Joe.

Joe didn’t grow up in the area, but he wants to recreate his great experience with getting to play soccer as an adult by making it accessible for Beacon residents as well, and not just the kids.

Half-joking, Joe says, “We want our players to be able to say to their kids, ‘No, I can’t [fill in blank]. Mom [or Dad] is playing soccer tonight!”

If you’re in the Beacon area, be sure to check out United FC Beacon. If you live elsewhere but are still interested in finding an adult soccer league, visit our directory to find a league near you.