The four 22-foot Civitas statues at the intersection of Dave Lyle Boulevard and Gateway Boulevard symbolize unity, teamwork and togetherness.
Nearby, in a converted warehouse, Alex Tarque wants to turn those concepts into action.
Tarque and his family are opening Indoor Soccer City at 1453 Dave Lyle Blvd. He is transforming 45,000 square feet into five futsal fields where teams of five will rely on their unity, teamwork, togetherness and skills to play a game that's extremely fast and offers no place to hide.
"Is this a gamble? It is. It's not. In a couple of weeks this place will be packed," predicted Tarque.
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Futsal started in the 1930 in Montevideo, Uruguay. It is among the fastest growing sports, said Alex Para of US Futsal, based in Berkeley, Calif. In soccer-frenzied Brazil, there are more futsal players than outdoor soccer players, he said.
In the U.S., Para estimates there are between 200,000 and 300,000 players. He cautions that number might be too small. Futsal can be played anywhere there is an available indoor basketball court.
The game puts a premium on conditioning and skills. It might be better for young children to start with futsal than regular soccer, Para said.
Regular outdoor soccer loses 40 percent to 50 percent of the players by age 12, Para said, because they lack the necessary skills. They run up and down the field, "but they don't have fun," Para said.
"Futsal is a great sport, it's fun and every time you play, you get better. By 12, if you play futsal, you are ready for outdoor soccer."
Dominique Wren, new executive director of Discoveries Soccer Club, said he's excited about the facility and its futsal focus. Touching the ball is a key skill, regardless of age level.
"This gives Rock Hill another soccer option, and the game is growing in York County," he said.
"Not everyone can play here," Tarque said of Indoor Soccer City. Players skilled at the outdoor game will find they will not only need top-flight conditioning, but improved skills, he said. Futsal, is in many ways, like basketball. The ball moves quickly from player to player. Shots are lightning fast and goals accumulate quickly.
The futsal ball is also slightly smaller than a regulation outdoor soccer ball. It has less bounce and is slightly heavier.
Those trying to make a business of futsal often rely on other indoor sports to fill facilities. The South End Fieldhouse near Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, uses its space for rugby, lacrosse, dodge ball, as well as futsal. Owner Luke Snyder said the market for the sport is slowly growing locally.
"It's becoming popular, but some people still associate it with indoor soccer with boards," he said.
Indoor Soccer City wants to be a futsal-only facility. The only boards are on a field designed to be used by younger players.
Tarque is passionate about the sport. When talking futsal, his speech becomes as rapid as kicks on goal. You have to ask him to slow down, to tell his tale of soccer prodigy to soccer entrepreneur.
"If you are born in Argentina, you know how to play soccer," said the 36-year-old Tarque.
He began playing when he was 5 years old. By 15, he signed his first professional contract.
"That's the dream of every kid," he said.
He played professionally for six years. Recently, he has been developing soccer coaches and players.
Now, he wants to transfer that dream to other children.
His goal is for players to not only master the techniques of the game, but the tactical side as well. Knowing how to care for one's body is important too, he said.
He also wants to identify the players who have the potential to take their game to the professional level and to help them hone those skills. In his years as a traveling clinician, he estimates he has helped about 80 youths reach professional-level skills.
A tournament is set for Indoor Soccer City's grand opening on April 16. Tournaments and instruction will keep the facility busy. Tarque said he has not spent a dime on advertising yet, but by word of mouth people are already calling about tournaments.
Some work needs to be done before opening. Goalie nets need to be installed and official futsal balls are needed. But again, Tarque said they will be ready, his passion running at full speed.
"This is going to be huge," he said. "There is no way it's going to go wrong."