The COPA (Comprehensive Objective Performance Assessment) Soccer Training Center was designed to analyze athletes from every angle to improve their cognitive, physical and technical abilities. This elite soccer training center, which was built on the grounds of an old newspaper plant, is the latest addition to the Shadelands Sports Mall in Walnut Creek, California. CEO and developer Mark Hall selected retired soccer player, fitness expert and entertainer Andy McDermott to serve as COPA’s director of culture.

In his role, McDermott was tasked with overseeing many aspects of design and development of this state-of-the-art training center. The facility is the future home to a minor league professional soccer team in development and where many notable professional soccer athletes train. COPA uses data and analytics to take athletes of all ages to the next level. 

Retrofitting a multipurpose athletic facility into a building constructed more than four decades ago can be extremely daunting. The design challenges were compounded by the fact that COPA required numerous types of surfaces to support a variety of sports and fitness spaces in the 110,000-square-foot facility. With 11 different surfaces needed for specification, there was only one company that could cover the entire spectrum. 

“We considered other flooring companies, but it would have required five or six vendors,” said McDermott. “Having Ecore as a single-source solution allowed for a much smoother construction process.”

Following the recommendation of the Cal-Berkley strength and conditioning coach, McDermott chose Ecore for all surface installations in the training center except for polished concrete, which was preserved from the original building. Each area of the COPA Soccer Training Center had unique requirements in the areas of safety, ergonomics and acoustics.

Within six weeks of opening, COPA enrolled more than 1,000 members and featured visits from USA Women’s Soccer Team standouts Alex Morgan, Julie Ertz and Allie Long. In addition, the U.S. Men’s National Futsal Team paid a visit for some practice sessions and found the playing surface to be considerably better than the traditional wood flooring they were accustomed to using.