Unless there’s ice on the ground, if you drive past Ken Lawrence Park (8008 Jones Branch Drive) just north of Tysons Galleria on a weekday around lunchtime, expect to see a soccer game in progress
Even with near-freezing temperatures and gusty winds Wednesday, the only changes on the field were bulkier cold weather gear — for some — and the normal net goal replaced with two cones. A few players wore shorts.
Nearly every weekday for two decades, the unofficial group has gathered in one place or another around Tysons to play during work breaks.
“It’s good soccer here,” said Daniel Duran, carefully watching for the ball to make its way across the field to him as he spoke. “It’s very high level. Everybody here has been playing soccer for years. It’s a passion.”
For most of the group’s 20 years, the playing field was in Spring Hill, but Duran said when the Ken Lawrence Park opened four years ago the group moved there.
Players come to the game from throughout the region. Some are there during a mid-day break, leaving after a while to head back to their 9-5 job. Others like Duran, who works as an Uber driver in the Bethesda area, come to the games before starting work.
Duran said there are roughly 60 players in the group, but only 22 people can play at any given time. Show up after the 22 mark and you’re out of luck and have to play on another field.
Carlos Terejos has been playing with the group for seven years. He said that winter weather typically results in a reduction in active players, but the games still go on.
“In winter time, most people take off,” said Terejos. “But it keeps me in shape.”