Anson Dorrance and Keith Tozer’s Special Futsal Field Session at the United Soccer Coaches Convention
Anson Dorrance and Keith Tozer teamed up for a wildly popular field session The Future of US Women’s Development: 8v8 Outdoor Development and Futsalat the United Soccer Coaches 2020 Convention.
The topic? Why futsal is great for soccer players.
Anson Dorrance won the World Cup and has earned over 1,000 career wins as a head coach. He is one of the most successful coaches in the history of American soccer. As the head coach for the University of North Carolina (UNC), Dorrance has led the Tar Heels to more NCAA Women’s Soccer Championships than any other coach. Last November, North Carolina made its 38th appearance in the NCAA women’s soccer tournament and its 27th appearance in the National Championship game.
At the United Soccer Coaches 2020 Convention in Baltimore, Dorrance teamed up with former U.S. Men’s National Futsal head coach Keith Tozer and explained to a packed house why futsal was important for player development.
The session, The Future of US Women’s Development, demonstrated why Futsal helps players think faster, gain better ball skills and remember their joy and passion for the sport.
What is Futsal? Futsal is fun 5v5 game played on a hard court, like a basketball court — and can be played on any hard surface. Fast-paced and exhilarating, everyone on a futsal court is involved in the action. The high scoring game develops both offensive and defensive skills as well as creativity.
SoccerToday’s Interview with Anson Dorrance and Keith Tozer
Diane Scavuzzo: How was “The Future of US Women’s Development” field session at the United Soccer Coaches Convention?
Keith Tozer: The futsal meets soccer session was fantastic. It far exceeded my expectations. And, I was very honored when Anson reached out and said, “Let’s do something at this coaches’ convention.”
Anson is an icon of women’s soccer in America and to work with him to promote futsal is amazing.
Anson Dorrance: Well, what I loved was teaming up with Keith. We’re trying to sell the idea that there’s an infrastructure already built in the United States for futsal.
We wanted to demonstrate that futsal is fabulous game for the development of the outdoor player.
I’m hoping there were enough outdoor coaches as the session who said, “You know what? I think these guys are right. This is something that I can pursue in my own community.”
It is so easy to find a place to play futsal. There’s a gymnasium at every elementary school, middle school, high school, college, YMCA and church that’s nearby.
Even parking lots can work.
Yes, this will crack you up, I was pulling into a parking deck and, all of a sudden, underneath the top layer of the parking deck, was a futsal game going on. And, you know what? These parking structures are all over the United States.
All I was trying to do in that presentation with Keith was to convince people that futsal is a wonderful addition for player development — along with the other very good things people are doing.
As I have said before, of all the games that are out there, the game that can teach players how to play most efficiently, is futsal. I want to push futsal as a player development platform.
FUTSAL CAN HELP US STAY IN THE POSITION OF A DYNASTIC DOMINANCE ON THE WOMEN’S SIDE.
Diane Scavuzzo: When you looked at the huge crowd watching the session, what did you think?
Keith Tozer: The turnout was great. When I looked around and saw standing room only — 10 people deep behind the goals and the stands full, and people interested to hear what was happening — it was fantastic.
Especially since a lot of us in the futsal world have been trying to gather support, and to have this positive response to our session on futsal at the largest coaches convention in the world — well, it was great.
Anson Dorrance: I really feel like we struck a nerve, maybe we can start to push this thing because the feedback has been wonderful.
And you’ll appreciate this Diane, the number of emails and text messages I have received post the session with Keith has been extraordinary.
Diane Scavuzzo: That’s great. Keith, what do you think having Anson’s support can do to help grow futsal?
Keith Tozer: When you have a guy who’s done as much as Anson, and he feels that futsal can help soccer players in our country, both on the national team and in general, that’s a huge stamp of approval.
I knew because of Anson’s background and what he’s accomplished in the game, we’d have a lot of people watching, but the turnout was truly impressive.
More people are starting to voice their support for futsal. Vlatko Andonovski, the new U.S. Women’s National Team’s head coach was just on my podcast, the World of Futsal and he also supports futsal and he feels it’s very important.
All this is just fantastic for the futsal movement.
Diane Scavuzzo: Why is futsal so wonderful?
Keith Tozer: Futsal will help change the players’ physical abilities by increasing their speed, quickness, and explosiveness. Because of the limited space players will develop sharper ball skills while helping them to adapt to quicker decision making both offensively and defensively. Lastly, because of these factors, players’ mental tools including confidence on the ball and dealing with pressure constantly will only be enhanced!
Diane Scavuzzo: When you were coaching the players from Baltimore Union SC, how did they do?
Keith Tozer: I think the young girls did very well, especially when you think they were in front of 1000 plus people. For not having a Futsal court available, I thought we were still able to transfer our futsal principles effectively.
Diane Scavuzzo: So if people want to know what to do, if people are interested in learning more, what should they do?
Keith Tozer: Well, reach out in your community —
Find a gym, roll the ball out, and watch what happens.
Diane Scavuzzo: That’s awesome advice.
Anson Dorrance: If people want to learn more, we have a great event coming up. On July 7th through the 10th we’re going to run a UNC Girls combination futsal and 8v8 camp. And, we’re encouraging coaches, either futsal coaches or outdoor coaches to come to this camp with eight of their players.
Let’s assume you’re a coach and you want to learn something about futsal and you don’t know anything about it.
We’re hiring three futsal experts to come in to run the futsal side of our camp. They’re going to be training coaches who have little or no experience in futsal on how to get the most out of a futsal experience.
At the end of every session, we’re going to have scrimmages against other coaches that have come in with their teams — so it’s going to be a combination of a futsal tournament with instruction, and an 8 V 8 tournament with instruction.
And, obviously, during the 8 V 8 parts, we’re going to be showing all the stuff we do in North Carolina which has helped us win a 22 National Championships and make the NCAA final in the last 2 years.
And, obviously helped a national team win a World Championship.
We’re going to teach these coaches everything we know about the outdoor game, and they will learn about elite futsal as well.