Futsal News: This Week in USFF Futsal
Futsal News – September 30, 2011
Futsal has become a major sport and an integral part of the development of many national teams. The rapid-fire five-a-side game helps promote ball control and confidence in players and has helped produce such soccer masters as Pelé, Maradona, and Messi.
The game began in Uruguay in 1930 but got its greatest development in Brazil, according to United States Futsal Federation (USFF) CEO Alex Para. In 1989, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between FIFA and FIFUSA which incorporated the name “Futsal.” With this new column, SoccerNation News takes a look at what is happening in the world of Futsal.
On Friday, September 23, USFF announced the U.S. Futsal National Team roster. The team’s first competition will be in the invitation-only Brazil Grand Prix in October, in preparation for the upcoming Futsal World Cup, to be played in Thailand November 2-18, 2012. The team is currently in training camp at Soccer City in Torrance, Calif., through October 1 under the direction of Head Coach Keith Tozer.
“I was pleasantly surprised and could not be happier with the quality of players we had,” said Tozer following an ID camp in early September. “Our goal was to rebuild the team with youth and that is evident with two players who are 17 years old and one who is 16,” he continued. “We are extremely excited to get together as a national team to prepare for the Grand Prix in Brazil next month.”
The U.S. Futsal National Team roster currently includes goalkeepers Jamie Lieberman, Ryan Oster, and Daniel Waltman; defenders Rodrigo Ferreira, Oscar Gill, Bato Radoncic, Grady Renfrow, and Nelson Santana; midfielders Esteban Mariel, Manuel Mariel, Jeremy Ortiz, Alex Robles, Lucas Stauffer, and Matthew Stewart; and forwards Kraig Chiles, Caio Gesualdi, Jeff Hughs, Casey Macias, Nicholas Perera, and Luis Pinto.
Elsewhere in the world of the Futsal World Cup, European teams are preparing for the Preliminary Qualifying Rounds taking place in Latvia in late October. In England, Head Coach Peter Sturgess has selected his squad for the competition. If England can finish first in their group against Latvia, Cyprus, and San Marino they should move on easily to the main Qualifying Round. The team’s preparations this year have included a training camp in Murcia, Spain, with one of that country’s top Futsal clubs, El Pozo.
Finally, in UEFA Futsal Cup action, Russia’s MFK Dinamo Moskva is looking to return to the form that brought the team the 2007 UEFA Futsal Cup championship. Since then the team has suffered a series of setbacks, the greatest the death of club president Konstantin Eremenko from a heart attack in March, 2010. Under new coach Faustino Pérez, the team has again become a major force in Russian Futsal.
If the Russians return to the Elite rounds, they could find themselves up against a new face with an old name: Barcelona. The Spanish powerhouse looks to become the first club to dominate Europe on both the traditional and Futsal pitches. Their opening game in competition was a convincing 9-0 victory over KMF Leotar Trebinje from Bosnia-Herzegovina, including a 26-second score by Fernandao. No matter the success in Futsal, La Liga remains the club’s priority according to coach Marc Carmona.
U.S. FUTSAL NATIONAL TEAM NEWS:
The 2012 FIFA Futsal World Cup will be held in Thailand from Nov. 2-18 next year.
U.S. Futsal National Team Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (3): Jamie Lieberman (Centerville, Ohio), Ryan Oster (Torrance, Calif.), Daniel Waltman (Gig Harbor, Wash.)
DEFENDERS (5): Rodrigo Ferreira (Walnut Creek, Calif.), Oscar Gill (Hollywood, Fla.), Bato Radoncic (Chicago Riot; Chicago, Ill.), Grady Renfrow (FC Leones; Washington D.C.), Nelson Santana (California Cougars; Santa Clara, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Esteban Mariel (Dallas City; Dallas, Tex.), Manuel Mariel (Dallas City; Dallas, Tex.), Jeremy Ortiz (Mount Laurel, N.J.), Alex Robles (Lynwood, Calif.), Lucas Stauffer (Shattuck-St. Mary’s; Owensboro, Ky.), Matthew Stewart (Milwaukee Wave; Chicago, Ill.)
FORWARDS (6): Kraig Chiles (San Diego Sockers; San Diego, Calif.), Caio Gesualdi (Torrance, Calif.), Jeff Hughs (Anaheim Bolts; Anaheim Calif.), Casey Macias (Pateadores; Irvine, Calif.), Nicholas Perera (San Diego Sockers; San Marcos, Calif.), Luis Pinto (Kansas Magic; Olathe, Kan.)