Futsal News: Safira Soccer Claim Men’s Open Title at 2014 U.S. Futsal Northeast Regional Championships
Futsal News: The top teams have been crowned in the boys’ and girls’ U9 through U19 and Men’s Open Divisions at the 2014 U.S. Futsal Northeast Regional Championships – Nearly 200 teams competed in this key regional matchups in U9 through U19 for this U.S. Futsal’s 15th annual Northeast Regional Championship.
Around the world, Futsal has been recognized as one of the key elements for successful soccer programs. This view has long been advocated by United States Futsal (U.S. Futsal) since its inception in 1981. In the United States, this realization has been slow in coming but is gaining speed as more clubs include Futsal in their development programs. U.S. Soccer has helped to push the adoption of the game, with a focus in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy program. In fact, U.S. Soccer has mandated that these academies include Futsal for the U14s. The United States Futsal holds a series of regional championship tournaments around the country, leading up to the annual this year’s 29th U.S. Futsal National Championships.
The growing interest in Futsal was clearly on display at the Wildwood, NJ, Convention Center as nearly 200 teams from 11 U.S. Futsal State Associations competed in the 2014 U.S. Futsal Northeast Regional Championships. Featuring boys and girls U9 through U19 divisions and a Men’s Open Division, the tournament showed how the sport has grown in importance over the years.
Safira Soccer, a highly competitive side from Massachusetts, won their second consecutive Men’s Open Division title, defeating South Jersey Elite Futsal Academy 3-1 in the championship match. The win capped an undefeated run through bracket and playoff rounds that saw Safira rattle off 24 goals against only five allowed.
At the youth level, Maryland’s Bethesda Soccer Club Futsal Academy showed why they were a force to be reckoned with in youth soccer as they took home championships at the challenging BU10 and BU12 levels. In the BU10 championship match Bethesda SC Blue 03 defeated Manhattan Kickers FC 7-5 in a hard-fought game. The BU12 title game saw Bethesda Blue romp to a 7-2 victory over Cedar Stars Academy 01/02.
While Futsal has been growing throughout the country, the Northeast has seen particular success and shown great strides in recent years. Recognizing that Futsal can help players improve their skills for the outdoor game, coaches and administrators have begun to incorporate it into their programs. With the often inclement weather for the winter months, having a Futsal Academy program allows clubs to continue working on skills all year around.
“Futsal in the northeast region has taken great strides within the past few years,” said U.S. Futsal President and CEO Alex Para. “The quality of play is improving at an alarming rate as the players, coaches and administrators are recognizing that this is the game that will create better outdoor soccer players.”
“As more outdoor soccer clubs are incorporating a Futsal Academy within their programs during the winter months it is beginning to show on the courts,” Para continued. “The technical skills of the youth players are improving tremendously. Other than the national championship there is no better competition to showcase a youth player’s skills and creativity than at a US Futsal Regional Event. And that talent was on display this weekend from the U9 through the Open competition the Futsal skills displayed in Wildwood were incredible.”
“What makes this event even more incredible is that we launched the new U.S. Futsal Youth Development Program over the weekend.” said Jim Oman, Director of Operations for Youth Player Development. “This was a great opportunity for us to identify players for the U.S. Futsal Youth National Teams from U9 through U19. We are accomplishing this with the help of all the coaches and referees.”
“At the end of each match the coach from each team selected a MVP from the opposing team. The referees also added their MVP for each game,” Oman explained. “From there the federation will compile the votes and an All-Tournament Team will be selected. The names of the players recognized will be placed in a database and invited to attend a U.S. Futsal Youth Player Development Camp to ultimately select a national team for each age group. U.S. Futsal Youth Development coaches were also taking notes on players as they watched the games. Creating more opportunities for these talented players is what the program is about.”
Congratulations to all the participants and especially to the U.S. Futsal Northeast Region Champions. For the complete list of game results, please visit http://www.resultsmanager.com/event/nefutsal2014/.