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Clutch Locations For Pickup Soccer Games Inside D.C.

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[Photo by Flickr user anokarina]

One side effect of the World Cup is that suddenly, people are inspired to try kicking around a soccer ball again. Thankfully, that's relatively easy to do in the District thanks to the handful of meetup groups that are dedicated to finding a spot to play the beautiful game with fellow futbol lovers. Sure, some of those games are on Sunday mornings at 9:00 a.m., but when sharing spaces with tourists, kickball leagues and organized sports organizations, 9:00 a.m. is a great go-to time. So, for those of you that aren't facing knee surgery number two and are inspired to get onto the pitch, we've mapped ten great spots where pickup games either could or routinely do occur. If we missed your favorite spot, let us know.

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1. The National Mall

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National Mall
Washington DC, D.C. 20024
(202) 426-6841
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Although there's at least one known pickup game on Sunday mornings, America's front lawn is a perfect place for unscheduled pickup as well. Just keep in mind that a lot of these kickball leagues might have a permit to play, and your game of 5 vs 5 might have to wander around. Photo by Matthew Black.

2. Meridian Hill Park

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2500 16th St NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20009
(202) 895-6000
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Yes, much of the park is basically a huge hill, but that doesn't stop swarms of people from playing pickup games there regularly. Photo by Elvert Barnes.

3. Fort DuPont Park

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Fort Dupont Drive SE
Washington DC, D.C. 20019

Admittedly, the Curbed team hasn't come across any scheduled pickup games here, but it's one of the largest open green spaces in Ward 8 and the foot of the park is relatively flat. Photo by Eric Fidler.

4. The Ellipse — President's Park South

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Ellipse Rd. NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20006

Pickup games in the park south of the White House and north of Constitution Avenue are a fairly regular occurrence. Photo by Elvert Barnes.

5. Watkins Pick Up Soccer

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6. Francis Park

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M Street Northwest & 25th Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20037

This green space in West End is often shared with frisbee players and kickballers, but it's an oft mentioned location on soccer meetup sites and as you can see, the goals are already there.

7. Tubman Elementary School Soccer Field

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It's not terribly clear that this field is open for teams that don't have scheduled game times, but it's one of the nicest soccer fields in the city. As such, this doesn't stop people from climbing over the fences for pickup games. For the record, Curbed DC does not condone climbing over the fences for pickup games. Photo by Flickr user Mr. T in DC.

8. Fort Reno

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5038 Reno Rd NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20008

Pickup soccer (and frisbee) will likely happen in the background of the upcoming summer concert series regardless, but even if there's nobody around, the sprawling flat parts of this park in Tenleytown make for a good shortsided game. Photo via Department of Parks and Recreation.

9. Francis Scott Key Memorial Park

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34th & M St NW
Washington DC, D.C.

Although this is certainly one of the prettier places to play, one can imagine that more than a few soccer balls have been booted into the Potomac. Photo by Herve Boinay.

10. Walter C. Pierce Community Park

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Duke Ellington Bridge
Washington DC, D.C. 20009

As evidenced by the photo, sometimes games here can get a bit grimy, but it's still a good spot in Adams Morgan for a match. Photo by Flickr user bankbryan.

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1. The National Mall

National Mall, Washington DC, D.C. 20024

Although there's at least one known pickup game on Sunday mornings, America's front lawn is a perfect place for unscheduled pickup as well. Just keep in mind that a lot of these kickball leagues might have a permit to play, and your game of 5 vs 5 might have to wander around. Photo by Matthew Black.

National Mall
Washington DC, D.C. 20024

2. Meridian Hill Park

2500 16th St NW, Washington DC, D.C. 20009

Yes, much of the park is basically a huge hill, but that doesn't stop swarms of people from playing pickup games there regularly. Photo by Elvert Barnes.

2500 16th St NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20009

3. Fort DuPont Park

Fort Dupont Drive SE, Washington DC, D.C. 20019

Admittedly, the Curbed team hasn't come across any scheduled pickup games here, but it's one of the largest open green spaces in Ward 8 and the foot of the park is relatively flat. Photo by Eric Fidler.

Fort Dupont Drive SE
Washington DC, D.C. 20019

4. The Ellipse — President's Park South

Ellipse Rd. NW, Washington DC, D.C. 20006

Pickup games in the park south of the White House and north of Constitution Avenue are a fairly regular occurrence. Photo by Elvert Barnes.

Ellipse Rd. NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20006

5. Watkins Pick Up Soccer

Washington DC, D.C. 20003
.

6. Francis Park

M Street Northwest & 25th Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20037

This green space in West End is often shared with frisbee players and kickballers, but it's an oft mentioned location on soccer meetup sites and as you can see, the goals are already there.

M Street Northwest & 25th Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20037

7. Tubman Elementary School Soccer Field

Washington DC, D.C. 20010

It's not terribly clear that this field is open for teams that don't have scheduled game times, but it's one of the nicest soccer fields in the city. As such, this doesn't stop people from climbing over the fences for pickup games. For the record, Curbed DC does not condone climbing over the fences for pickup games. Photo by Flickr user Mr. T in DC.

8. Fort Reno

5038 Reno Rd NW, Washington DC, D.C. 20008

Pickup soccer (and frisbee) will likely happen in the background of the upcoming summer concert series regardless, but even if there's nobody around, the sprawling flat parts of this park in Tenleytown make for a good shortsided game. Photo via Department of Parks and Recreation.

5038 Reno Rd NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20008

9. Francis Scott Key Memorial Park

34th & M St NW, Washington DC, D.C.

Although this is certainly one of the prettier places to play, one can imagine that more than a few soccer balls have been booted into the Potomac. Photo by Herve Boinay.

34th & M St NW
Washington DC, D.C.

10. Walter C. Pierce Community Park

Duke Ellington Bridge, Washington DC, D.C. 20009

As evidenced by the photo, sometimes games here can get a bit grimy, but it's still a good spot in Adams Morgan for a match. Photo by Flickr user bankbryan.

Duke Ellington Bridge
Washington DC, D.C. 20009