If you see a blade of grass in Houston, someone has probably gotten to it before you. In order to play soccer in a city park, you have to be registered with the folks at the Parks and Recreation Department and present them with a league schedule. And pay a fee. If you simply want to lease a field for practice, you have to go the Parks and Recreation Department every Monday in order to book a field for that week only. And unless you belong to the Houston Football Association, the Houston Women's Soccer Association, TORSO or a youth organization, the people who maintain the fields will nix your request. Show up, and they politely will ask you to leave. Houston is definitely not soccer-friendly. However, you can scout out Bear Creek Park late on Sunday afternoons when groups of young men speaking Spanish and Arabic casually get together to kick the ball around.

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