The World Futsal Championships will feature teams which have experience in the competition and others that will play for the first time. One of the debutants is Futsal Factory, a club from Louisville that will dispute the Infantil category with a team that started playing together five years ago.
In 2012 futsal was used once a week to help the players from Ohio Elite Soccer Academy. After that, Charles Traughber, the person responsible of the team started the Futsal Factory to train players from clubs all over the state of Kentucky during the winter. Since that time, Futsal Factory has developed into an independent futsal club that compete in a local league and regional tournaments.
This winter they worked with over 300 players in the Louisville area helping them develop technical skills through the game of futsal. “We want to offer as many players as possible the opportunity to learn and enjoy the game of futsal and use the technical development you find in futsal to help make them be better overall soccer players. I think within the next five years we will see futsal in our area as a separate entity where players can pursue national team and professional opportunities” said Charle Traughber.
The whole club is now very excited with the possibility of playing in the World Futsal Championship, which will be played from July 31st to August 3rd at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex within Disney in Orlando.
“We think that the kids will have a great experience and everyone will learn a lot more about the game. Our only expectations are that we play hard, compete, learn more about the game and anything else that happens from there is a bonus” commented Traughber.
Last Sunday was a special a day for the futsal. Arguably the best player of all time played his last game for the Brazilian national team. Alessandro Rosa Vieira, or Falcão, as he is better known, scored a farewell goal in the 3-2 victory against Colombia.
In almost 20 years with the famous yellow jersey, Falcão won an incredible 20 titles and scored 385 goals, which makes him the top goalscorer of all national teams in governed by FIFA.
The numbers and the titles are very important, of course, but he is regarded as a genius due to the spectacular plays that he performed inside the court, game after game. Dribbles, goals, assists and other plays that no-one could imitate even if many tried. This video shows a glimpse of what he did in his career.
Outside the court, Falcão helped with futsal development all over the world. This included the USA. He has attended the World Futsal Championships, played every August at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, for the last two years.
Falcão's time with the Brazilian jersey is over. However, his plays and his legacy will live on forever.
This Wednesday marked the World Futsal Cup VI kick-off with clubs now able to apply for a place at the premier youth futsal tournament in the world. The event will take place between 27th-30th December 2017 in Blanes, Spain.
There are five age categories with a limit of eight teams per division. The age bands are Benjamin (players born 2008 or after), Alevin (2006/2007), Infantil (2004/2005), Cadete (2002/2003) and Juvenil (1999/2000/2001). The most successful club in the championship's history with an incredible 11 titles, FC Barcelona, has already confirmed their presence at the tournament.
In previous years some of the biggest sporting institutions worldwide have participated including Benfica, Santos and Corinthians. With the talent on show influential personalities from the sport such as agents, coaches and players attend the tournament to identify future stars. In addition to the competition, other activities such as a coaching seminar with leading experts are organized for the participants.
The seaside resort Blanes, Costa Brava, situated near Barcelona hosts the event. Both these locations are hugely popular destinations offering picturesque beaches, historic cultural attractions and a good all year round climate that cater perfectly for both the sports fan as well as the tourist. Games are played at Blanes Sport City, a facility with 6 international courts and ample seating.
Demand for the limited spots is high and we invite interested clubs to apply as soon as possible to avoid missing out on this opportunity. You can do this now here: www.usafutsal.com/WorldFutsalCup
The futsal section of FC Barcelona was celebrating on Sunday. Their infantil side beat fierce rivals Catgas Energia Santa Coloma by 4-1 to claim the Minicopa, making it 5 out of 5 for the Blaugrana since the inaugural edition in 2013. The Mini-Copa is part of the prestigious Spanish Cup with the country’s best professional teams represented at both senior and youth level.
The team, which is a combination of players of 13 and 14 years of age, achieved their second trophy of the season after claiming the World Futsal Cup in December. This latest victory is a repeat of their remarkable performance at the latter where against a host of international teams they scored 42 goals and conceded only 4.
“Each of our age categories covers a 2-year band and each team has 12-14 players with half first years and the rest second years. We are conscious of the age difference in each category and due to this the technical and tactical aims go from less to more difficult, from the individual to the team.” commented the Youth Director Jordi Torras. “The change of generation in infantil meant we had a difficult start to the season but this moment is very sweet, with winning the World Futsal Cup, 2017 Mini Cup Champions and leading the league.”
This means the team is on course for a historic treble season as they currently lead the league. The success of the club, in futsal and soccer, is due to the philosophy that runs throughout the club. Former club captain Torras explained “What is unique and special about Barca players is, above all, how they behave. They should be an example both on and off court. In terms of playing, we look for a complete player that, most importantly, is very clever and has excellent ball control. In this moment, the club is opting for every professional section to have their own DNA.”
Regarding the link between the futsal and soccer sections Torras revealed “During Guardiola’s time in Barcelona there was some contact with futsal to observe and learn certain movements. Currently, there are regular meetings with important people that carry out the football methodology which means we have important information, for soccer and futsal.”
Looking further afield, the infantil team will defend their World Futsal Cup title, organized by USA Futsal, at the end of 2017. Applications for teams to participate open on Wednesday and interest has been received from around the world, highlighting the global interest in the event that will be more competitive than ever.
Analysing the event, Torras, who has played for Spain in two FIFA Futsal World Cups, said “It is a tournament that is growing every year and you notice it in the participating teams and the organization. The difference of this one to other tournaments is the diversity in cultures of the teams that come from various countries. This makes it an attractive tournament. Also, the level of the teams, each time is stronger.”
A female soccer player in United States is not extraordinary. In Brazil, however, the country known as the “Soccer Nation”, it is an uphill battle for women that grow up playing “the Beautiful Game”.
Larissa Messner was able to overcome many obstacles, and with the support of her friends and family, chose to pursue the sport of soccer throughout her youth. Now, some 15 years later, she is studying Sport Management and playing college soccer for Warner University in Florida.
As a Sophomore she is taking on another challenge having accepted a position to work for USA Futsal at the World Futsal Championships, which take place from July 31st to August 3rd at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.
"What attracted me to the World Futsal Championship was working directly with children and futsal, two passions that I have. There will be over 100 teams from all over the world, children from all over the world with different cultures and religions, all competing against each other. It is wonderful to help create a tournament where the children can learn from each other’s culture and make new friends for a lifetime. This environment really makes the experience rewarding for me.” said the Brazilian Messner.
On the International Women’s Day, Larissa dreams for a better and more equal world and for this dream she will keep playing her part.
"Women are coming increasingly important in every field of work and this shows that we have the same capacity as men. People are beginning to see and understand this, especially in Brazil. It's still going to take a lot of time to end this prejudice, but even to see this small change, at least for me, means that I have more strength to keep fighting and show everything that we women are capable of achieving."