USYF Kicks Off Futsal Academy Program To Develop Top Players
“As a little boy in Argentina, I played futsal on the streets and for my club. It was tremendous fun, and it really helped me become who I am today,” says Messi.*
Futsal is recognized around the world as an outstanding tool for player development and now USYF is taking futsal training to the next level.
A new era for Futsal in the USA began today as US Youth Futsal (USYF) announced the launch of its new Academy program.
The US Youth Futsal Academy program will powerfully impact and improve youth player development in the United States.
“We are thrilled to launch the US Youth Futsal Academy,” said Jon Parry, Executive Director of US Youth Futsal. “We believe this is an important step towards developing world-class players in America. We are proud that many of the country’s top former futsal national team players are now USYF Academy Directors.”
“We are all very excited about the creation of the U.S. Youth Futsal Academy program,” said Keith Tozer, U.S Youth Futsal Technical Director, and 20 years U.S. Mens Futsal National Team Head Coach. Tozer is also the Commissioner of the PFL (Professional Futsal League). “It is the next progression in the blueprint of USYF to provide the best possible opportunities for all players to enhance their Futsal development, knowledge, technique as well as providing all of them the highest level of competition.”
“I firmly believe that we will see stars emerge from the USYF Academy on the rosters of our national teams of Futsal as well as Men’s and Women’s,” said Tozer.
Setting the standard for elite futsal training and competition in the USA, US Youth Futsal’s nationwide Academy program will improve player development by providing high quality and consistent futsal training environments, meaningful futsal competition, and coaching education.
“The goal is to produce players of exceptional ability in both soccer and futsal,” said Joe Farrell, USYF Academy Executive Board and Executive Director & Co-Founder, FutsalRVA. “The USYF Academy is designed for players who want to participate in high-level technical and tactical futsal training and competition. The Academy structure will complement — not compete with — a player’s club training in order to optimize schedules and maximize development.”
The Futsal Academy offers players a unique opportunity to develop and compete in a year-round futsal centric environment alongside other dedicated and skilled players from a variety of youth soccer clubs.
“Futsal is paramount for player development in the USA,” said Greg Simmonds, USYF Academy Executive Board and President, FutsalRVA. “The USYF Academy Program will provide environments where players are afforded opportunities to play and receive exposure on local, regional and national platforms.”
With a focus on training and development over competition, Academy teams will have the opportunity to compete in meaningful games against the best in their regions in USYF Leagues, Showcases & the Championship Series.
“Our goal is to utilize our Academy’s curriculum and structure to equip our players with the enthusiasm, courage, and skills to flourish, be creative and to overcome any fear of failure,” said Soorena Farboodmanesh, USYF Academy Director. “The USYF Academy will provide our players with events that maximize exposure and continue development.”
The US Youth Futsal Academy Program has a three-year plan for growth. As part of the mandated criteria, every academy must provide training for a minimum of U10/12/14 and high school boys or girls in the inaugural year.
The inaugural USYF Academies are:
- 619Futsal Academy (San Diego, CA)
- ABK Futsal Academy (Grand Rapids, MI)
- ATL Futsal (Atlanta, GA)
- Barefoot-ISL Futsal Developmental Academy (Charlotte, NC)
- Charlotte Futsal (Charlotte, NC)
- Columbus Futsal Academy (Columbus, OH)
- Elite Futsal Charleston (Charleston, SC)
- Fort Wayne Phoenix FC (Fort Wayne, IN)
- Fountain City Futsal (Overland Park, KS)
- Futsal 365 (Jackson, NJ)
- FutsalETA (Yorktown, VA)
- Futsal Factory (Louisville, KY)
- Futsal Factory Sacramento (Sacramento, CA)
- Futsal Indy Academy (Indianapolis, IN)
- FutsalRVA (Richmond, VA)
- Heart and Sole Futsal Academy (Akron, OH)
- ISL Futsal (Austin, TX)
“619Futsal is honored and privileged to be hand-picked as the only Southern California Futsal Academy under United States Youth Futsal,” said Sean Bowers, former captain of the US National Futsal team and founder of 619Futsal.
“Since 2011, 619Futsal has been the leader in Southern California when it comes to youth futsal and now we have the ability, under the continued guidance of USYF, to use the wonderful game of futsal as a training tool to develop all of the youth soccer players in our region — through year around training and top-level regional tournaments,” said Bowers. ” We are ecstatic with our new venture and the possibilities the future holds in the 619Futsal Academy Program.”
Fort Wayne Phoenix FC founder, Carlos Cruz is also a strong proponent of the USYF Academy program. “The USYF Academy program is important because it will offer organizations that are serious about player development the support we need to enhance training and provide better competition,” said Cruz.
“Futsal will create a new landscape for the next generation of players in this country,” said Cruz.
“We are doing this because we want to help create a pathway for players in our region to improve through futsal,” said Cruz.”Futsal is the key to improving technical speed and creativity, and enhancing decision making as well as developing vision. If we want to compete on the world stage, futsal is one component of development that will help.”
“I believe that in the near future the US National Soccer teams will have players who have grown up playing futsal and the USYF Academy will play a big part in this,” said Fabian Rodriquez, Director of ABK Futsal Academy
“I believe Futsal is the best development tool for developing creativity, skill, and speed of play,” said Rodriquez.
Charlie Traughber, Director of Futsal Factory – KY, said, “The growth of futsal in the past five years has been tremendous. Now thanks to the USYF Academy, we will be able to train players in a consistently high-level level environment with strong competition.
In the USYF Academy’s second year, there must be U10/12/14 and High school for both girls and boys. In year three, each academy must have all age groups, from U10-HS, boys, and girls that train year round.
- In the 2018/19 USYF Academy season, academies will play in five geographic regions across the USA.
- Every Academy will provide a minimum of one futsal training per week for at least 10 months.
- Each Academy will diligently provide quality training and provide players a pathway for development
USYF received interest from over 100 applicants when it first launched its application process for the Academy. “We were looking for very progressive, forward-thinking futsal experts who will work closely together to grow the sport and impact how talent in the US is cultivated,” said Farrell, who said this is just the first wave of Academies.
USYF will look to expand its program to include additional clubs that meet the strict criteria for development — and want to offer a real pathway to developing technical players.
Messi quote from FIFA – The football greats forged by futsal