U.S. Futsal National Team head Coach Keith Tozer has named a squad of 14 players for the upcoming FIFA Futsal World Cup in Brazil. The U.S. has been drawn into Group B of the tournament, and kicks off its campaign on Sept. 30 against Paraguay. The U.S. also faces Italy on Oct. 2 and Thailand on Oct. 4, before rounding out group play on Oct. 6 against Portugal.
CHICAGO (Sept. 16, 2008) - U.S. Futsal National Team head Coach Keith Tozer has named a squad of 14 players for the upcoming FIFA Futsal World Cup in Brazil. The U.S. has been drawn into Group B of the tournament, and kicks off its campaign on Sept. 30 against Paraguay. The U.S. also faces Italy on Oct. 2 and Thailand on Oct. 4, before rounding out group play on Oct. 6 against Portugal.
Of the 14 players named to the FIFA World Cup squad, 11 took part in June's CONCACAF Futsal Championship, where the U.S. finished third. The team will travel to Brazil on Sept. 24, stationing itself in Rio de Janeiro ahead of the tournament's opening. The U.S. will train in the city and play a friendly with current World champions Spain on Sept. 28.
"I'm excited about the team that we're taking to Brazil," said Tozer. "We are a young team, not only in age but in experience. However, at the same time we are a talented team that can only get better the deeper we go."
With the appearance in Brazil, the U.S will have taken part in five of the six FIFA Futsal World Cups. After missing out on the event in 2000, the U.S. returned to the world stage in 2004, finishing seventh in Chinese Taipei. At the first two World Championship events in 1989 and 1992, the U.S. finished third and second, respectively. The 1989 team achieved the first top three finish at any FIFA event for men or women since the 1930 men's World Cup team. The 1992 team, which lost in the final to Brazil by a 4-1 margin, posted the best finish of any U.S. Soccer men's team at a FIFA competition.
Two players on the squad have prior Futsal World Cup experience, with forward Jamar Beasley and defender Pat Morris having played in the 2004 tournament in Chinese Taipei. Beasley, a rookie with the team, concluded the tournament with two goals and two assists, while Morris also a contributed a goal in the USA’s seventh place finish in Asia.
Midfielder Matthew Stewart lead the U.S. with five goals in the CONCACAF Championship, while goalkeepers Jeff Richey and Nick Vorberg split time in the net during the tournament. Midfielder Denison Cabral, himself a native Brazilian, captained the side throughout the tournament and he will reprise the role for the team in the World Cup.
The U.S. has traveled to Brazil multiple times in the past year, conducting training camps and playing friendlies against local club sides. Futsal, which has a well established professional league, is a hugely popular game in Brazil, and the USA’s most recent trip to the country concluded earlier this month.
"I think this past month has been extremely important for the preparation and development of the team representing our country in Brazil,” said Tozer. “Every match and practice we get better in all aspects of the game. The 2004 championship [in Chinese Taipei] was great, but now we are going to a country where futsal is huge. It is exciting for all of us and we know that the interest from the public in Brazil is going to make this an enjoyable and memorable tournament.”
Of the 14 players on the roster, 12 play for teams that were part of the Major Indoor Soccer League before it dissolved in May. The newly created National Indoor Soccer League acquired four teams, including Baltimore, Monterrey (Mexico), Philadelphia and Orlando. A number of other former MISL teams (New Jersey, Milwaukee, Detroit and Chicago) have moved to the new Xtreme Soccer League, while Stockton (formerly California) is in the new Professional Arena Soccer League.
The Philadelphia KiXX, Chicago Storm and Milwaukee Wave each have three representatives on the World Cup team, while the Detroit Ignition sends two players to Brazil. Cabral, who was MVP of the 2008 MISL Championship Match, is the sole representative from the MISL Champion Baltimore Blast.
Andrew Jacobson, who went to the University of California and was drafted by D.C. United in 2008, plays in France for FC Lorient in Ligue 1. Chile Farias is currently out of contract.
U.S. Futsal National Team
FIFA Futsal World Cup
Brasilia and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Sept. 30-Oct. 19, 2008
|Apple, Mike||F||6'1||190||06/22/77||Akron, Ohio||Detroit Ignition (XSL)|
|Beasley, Jamar||F||5'10||165||10/11/79||Fort Wayne, Ind.||Detroit Ignition (XSL)|
|Cabral, Denison||M||5'4||160||01/26/74||Baltimore, Md.||Baltimore Blast (NISL)|
|Farias, Chile||F||5'6||155||05/1576||Los Angeles, Calif.||--|
|Hammes, Joe||D||6'1||180||05/09/79||Cedarburg, Wis.||Milwaukee Wave (XSL)|
|Jacobsen, Andrew||M||6'2||185||09/25/85||Palo Alto, Calif.||FC Lorient (Ligue 1)|
|Morris, Pat||D||5'9||195||06/06/77||Philadelphia, Pa.||Philadelphia KiXX (NISL)|
|Myers, Ptah||M||5'10||175||05/25/82||Columbus, Ohio||Philadelphia KiXX (NISL)|
|Naumoski, Sandre||M||5'8||160||07/03/79||Philadelphia, Pa.||Philadelphia KiXX (NISL)|
|Richey, Jeff||GK||6'0||180||02/06/78||Fort Wayne, Ind.||Chicago Storm (XSL)|
|Rosenband, Andy||M||5'7||150||04/27/81||Hammond, Ind.||Chicago Storm (XSL)|
|Stewart, Matthew||M||5'8||145||09/17/76||El Paso, Texas||Chicago Storm (XSL)|
|Vorberg, Nick||GK||6'0||185||02/10/75||Grants Pass, Ore.||Milwaukee Wave (XSL)|
|Wiesner, Brett||F||5'11||165||05/12/83||Brookfield, Wis.||Milwaukee Wave (XSL)|
U.S. Futsal National Team Roster By Position
Goalkeepers (2): Jeff Richey (Fort Wayne, Ind.), Nick Vorberg (Grants Pass, Ore.);
Defenders (2): Joe Hammes (Cedarburg, Wis.), Pat Morris (Philadelphia, Pa.);
Midfielders (6): Denison Cabral (Florianopolis, Brazil), Andrew Jacobsen (Palo Alto, Calif.), Ptah Myers (Columbus, Ohio), Sandre Naumoski (Philadelphia, Pa.), Andy Rosenband (Hammond, Ind.), Matthew Stewart (El Paso, Texas);
Forwards (4): Mike Apple (Akron, Ohio), Jamar Beasley (Fort Wayne, Ind.), Chile Farias (Los Angeles, Calif.), Brett Wiesner (Brookfield, Wis.).
2008 FIFA Futsal World Cup Schedule
|Sept. 30||Brazil vs. Japan||Brasilia||9:30 a.m.|
| ||Cuba vs. Solomon Islands||Brasilia||11:30 a.m.|
|Oct. 2||Solomon Islands vs. Brazil||Brasilia||9:30 a.m.|
| ||Russia vs. Cuba||Brasilia||11:30 a.m.|
|Oct. 4||Brazil vs. Russia||Brasilia||9:30 a.m.|
| ||Japan vs. Solomon Islands||Brasilia||11:30 a.m.|
|Oct. 6||Japan vs. Cuba||Brasilia||9:30 a.m.|
| ||Russia vs. Solomon Islands||Brasilia||11:30 a.m.|
|Oct. 8||Brazil vs. Cuba||Brasilia||9:30 a.m.|
| ||Russia vs. Japan||Rio de Janeiro||9:30 a.m.|
|Sept. 30||Italy vs. Thailand||Rio de Janeiro||9:30 a.m.|
| ||Paraguay vs. USA||Rio de Janeiro||11:30 a.m.|
|Oct. 2||Portugal vs. Paraguay||Rio de Janeiro||9:30 a.m.|
| ||USA vs. Italy||Rio de Janeiro||11:30 a.m.|
|Oct. 4||Thailand vs. USA||Rio de Janeiro||9:30 a.m.|
| ||Italy vs. Portgual||Rio de Janeiro||11:30 a.m.|
|Oct. 6||Portugal vs. USA||Rio de Janeiro||9:30 a.m.|
| ||Thailand vs. Paraguay||Rio de Janeiro||11:30 a.m.|
|Oct. 8||Italy vs. Paraguay||Rio de Janeiro||11:30 a.m.|
| ||Portugal vs. Thailand||Brasilia||11:30 a.m.|
|Oct. 1||Guatemala vs. Egypt||Brasilia||9:30 a.m.|
| ||Argentina vs. China PR||Brasilia||11:30 a.m.|
|Oct. 3||Egypt vs. Argentina||Brasilia||9:30 a.m.|
| ||Ukraine vs. Guatemala||Brasilia||11:30 a.m.|
|Oct. 5||China PR vs. Egypt||Brasilia||9:30 a.m.|
| ||Argentina vs. Ukraine||Brasilia||11:30 a.m.|
|Oct. 7||China PR vs. Guatemala||Brasilia||9:30 a.m.|
| ||Ukraine vs. Egypt||Brasilia||11:30 a.m.|
|Oct. 9||Argentina vs. Guatemala||Brasilia||11:30 a.m.|
| ||Ukraine vs. China PR||Rio de Janeiro||11:30 a.m.|
|Oct. 1||Spain vs. Iran||Rio de Janeiro||9:30 a.m.|
| ||Uruguay vs. Libya||Rio de Janeiro||11:30 a.m.|
|Oct. 3||Libya vs. Spain||Rio de Janeiro||9:30 a.m.|
| ||Czech Republic vs. Uruguay||Rio de Janeiro||11:30 a.m.|
|Oct. 5||Spain vs. Czech Republic||Rio de Janeiro||9:30 a.m.|
| ||Iran vs. Libya||Rio de Janeiro||11:30 a.m.|
|Oct. 7||Czech Republic vs. Libya||Rio de Janeiro||9:30 a.m.|
| ||Iran vs. Uruguay||Rio de Janeiro||11:30 a.m.|
|Oct. 9||Spain vs. Uruguay||Rio de Janeiro||9:30 a.m.|
| ||Czech Republic vs. Iran||Brasilia||11:30 a.m.|
The top two teams in each group advance to the second round, where they are split in to Groups E and F. Each team plays each other once, and the top two teams advance to the semifinals. The games in the second round will be played from Oct. 11 to 14 in Rio de Janerio and Brasilia.
|Group E||Group F|
|E1 - 1st A||F1 - 1st B|
|E2 - 1st C||F2 - 1st D|
|E3 - 2nd D||F3 - 2nd C|
|E4 - 2nd B||F4 - 2nd A|
Semifinals – Rio de Janeiro
|Oct. 16||Runner-up Group F vs. Winner Group E||9:30 a.m.|
| ||Winner Group F vs. Runner-up Group E||11:30 a.m.|
Match for Third Place – Rio de Janeiro
|Oct. 18||Third Place Match||9:30 a.m.|
Final – Rio de Janeiro
|Oct. 19||Final||11:30 a.m.|
*All matches played in Brasilia take place at The Jornalista Nilson Nelson Sports Hall while all matches in Rio de Janeiro take place at The Maracanãzinho
U.S. Futsal National Team Staff
|Head Coach: Keith Tozer||(Milwaukee)|
|Assistant Coach: Vilmar "VAVA" Marques||(Mountain View, Calif.)|
|Goalkeeper Coach: Mark Litton||(Milwaukee)|
|Team Coordinator: Bryan Koch||(Milwaukee)|
|Team Doctor: Dr. Robert Lim||(Chicago)|
|Team Doctor: Dr. Nicholas Romansky||(Philadelphia)|
|Athletic Trainer: Tony Rill||(Chicago)|
|Equipment Coordinator: Marthell Vazquez||(Los Angeles)|
|Press Officer: Mark Liskevych||(Chicago)|