15. The Metropolitan Oval raised many great soccer players

Metropolitan Oval

The Metropolitan Oval is a soccer complex in Maspeth with views of the Manhattan skyline. Often considered one of the best spots for soccer in the whole city, the Metropolitan Oval has played an important role in soccer history. The field was constructed in 1925 by German and Hungarian immigrants, who modeled it off a European-style field catering to men and boys of all backgrounds. Over the years, many players who made it to the U.S. National team played games at the Oval before reaching the major leagues.

Notably, in 1976, three-time world champions Club Nacional de Football in Uruguay played an exhibition match against Inter Giuliana, a soccer team based in New York City. The Uruguayan team defeated the New Yorkers 4-0. Though by the 1990s, the Oval was in need of major repairs, and the Metropolitan Oval Foundation was founded to restore the field. Nike and the U.S. Soccer Foundation both contributed $250,000 toward the construction of new lights and a FieldTurf field. The Met Oval Academy has helped launched many young players into minor and major soccer leagues.

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