England to build national soccer center

England’s Football Association says construction of a national

soccer center will begin in January, almost a decade after the

plans were first unveiled.

The association announced Thursday that the $168 million

training complex and academy will help develop young players. That

comes a day after England was outplayed by France in a 2-1

exhibition loss.

The facility, which looks to emulate France’s Clairefontaine

complex, is expected to be completed midway through 2012.

St. George’s Park in Burton-on-Trent in central England will

have 12 fields – including one synthetic and indoor – plus sports

medicine and sports science facilities.