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U.S. Futsal team named for CONCACAF
Wednesday, 21 May 2008 00:00

U.S. Futsal National Team Head Coach Keith Tozer named 12 players to the squad which will compete during the CONCACAF Futsal Championship on June 3-8 in Guatemala City, Guatemala.

Source potomasoccerwire.com

U.S. Futsal National Team Head Coach Keith Tozer named 12 players to the squad which will compete during the CONCACAF Futsal Championship on June 3-8 in Guatemala City, Guatemala.

The U.S. travels to Guatemala on May 28 and the tournament kicks off on June 3, with the U.S. facing Costa Rica in its opening match in Group B.

We are really excited about the team going down there to defend our CONCACAF Championship and qualify for the World Cup, Tozer said. It brings back a lot of memories. Nineteen-ninety six was my first tournament as a head coach with the national team in Guatemala, and we won the gold medal there, so we're excited about going there again and I am also excited about the team that we are bringing down there.

All but one of the 12 players on Tozer's roster played in the MISL last season. The team includes midfielder Denison Cabral whose recent hat trick in the MISL Final helped the Baltimore Blast to a 14-11 championship victory over La Raza de Monterrey in Milwaukee, Wis.

Two players in the squad, Jamar Beasley and Pat Morris, possess Futsal World Cup experience, having helped the U.S. into the second stage during the 2004 tournament in Chinese Taipei.

We got players like Denison Cabral, who was the MVP of the MISL Finals, Chile Farias, Matt Stewart, Pat Morris - a perennial All-Star, Tozer said. There's a lot of ability on the team. I think their athleticism, their technical ability, their youth, their speed will hopefully compensate for the lack of futsal experience we have as a team.

The U.S. has been drawn into Group B of the tournament with Costa Rica, Panama as well as the hosts, Guatemala. The CONCACAF Championship will determine which teams from North America qualify for the FIFA Futsal World Cup to be hosted by Brazil from Sept. 30 until Oct. 19. CONCACAF will send three teams to the tournament, which was previously won by Spain in 2004.

The U.S. is the defending champion of the CONCACAF Futsal Championship, and a two-time winner in the tournament's history. In 2004, the United States won the CONCACAF Futsal Championship tournament by compiling a 3-0-2 record that included a 4-0 semifinal victory over host Costa Rica.

The team is coming off a 10-day training camp in Brazil that included three matches against Brazilian club teams. The U.S. finished the trip with a 1-2-0 record.

That trip is invaluable, especially for a team that has played little or no futsal. It's a game that as you play, you get better, Tozer said. If you go to a tournament and you haven't had a trip it's very difficult. I really think that the Federation has done a fantastic job of getting us to do things like that and going down to the CONCACAF finals five days early is also going to be beneficial if we are going to defend this championship.

U.S. Futsal National Team Roster

by Position

GOALKEEPERS (2): Jeff Richey (Fort Wayne, Ind.), Nick Vorberg (Grants Pass, Ore.)

DEFENDERS (1): Pat Morris (Philadelphia, Pa.);

MIDFIELDERS (6): Denison Cabral (Florianopolis, Brazil); Dan DeGeer (Portland, Ore.), Ptah Myers (Columbus, Ohio), Sandre Naumoski (Philadelphia, Pa.), Andy Rosenband (Hammond, Ind.), Matthew Stewart (El Paso, Texas);

FORWARDS (3): Mike Apple (Akron, Ohio), Jamar Beasley (Fort Wayne, Ind.), Chile Farias (Los Angeles, Calif.).