Best Places to Live

Plano, TX

Population: 302,806
Photo: Essy Ghavameddini

Plano, TX, has become a popular place to scout soccer talent. The city has recently produced a long list of college soccer players, and with more than a dozen high schoolers on a players-to-watch list, there are more stars in the making.

What makes Plano one of the best soccer cities in the country is the number of players there are here. More than 11,000 children participate in Plano Youth Soccer. There are also a handful of smaller clubs in the area. The city has several soccer complexes and parks with soccer fields that are well maintained. Among the largest recreational facilities in the city is Russel Creek Park, which can be configured to have 21 soccer fields.

The city of Plano has worked closely with Plano Youth Soccer to build soccer facilities across the area. The two groups have discussed building a soccer training facility at Russel Creek Park. Youth soccer tournaments are a big boost to the local economy. Approximately 25 percent of "sport-generated" hotel stays each year come from youth soccer, according to Cissy Aberg, sports sales manager at the Plano Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Plano is a short drive from the home field of FC Dallas, a professional soccer team that averages about 13,000 fans per game.

What else is here:

The city of Plano has more than 50 parks, seven trails, a nature preserve and three more sports complexes.

Collin County has three parks, a 43-acre preserve and trails.