Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Youth National Team Takeover: Auburn Suttles

My name is Auburn Suttles and I am from Chandler, Indiana. Futsal is a sport I have played for several years, and on the U.S. Youth National Team my preferred position is ala. This trip to Toronto has been the first time I have traveled outside of the United States.

After getting up early to eat breakfast at 6:30 on Wednesday, both girls teams had a meeting with the coaches. We talked about how our formation would look like during our games later on. Then we were reminded how special this trip was and that we had already made history in a lot of ways. Afterwards we loaded the bus with the U14 girls and during the ride we sang many genres of music to get pumped for our games.

It was the best feeling walking into the brand new Pan American Sports Centre as representatives of the United States of America. The U14 girls game was first. We cheered them on with the help of the boys’ teams. Well, I should probably rearrange that to: the boys cheered them on with the help of our team!

After eating lunch at the facility we headed to the locker room to get ready. Then we went back to the court to warm up during the boys U14 game. When the boys game was over we got to continue our warm-up on the court to get a feel of how the ball would travel across its surface. Then we did our walk-out and listened to our national anthem as well as the Canadian anthem.

When our game was over we took many pictures and, like any other game, evaluated our performance. Looking back on our previous team grades we noticed that they gradually increased, including how we used segundo pau. 

Auburn Suttles is a member of the U.S. Youth Futsal U16 girls national team and a resident of Chandler, Indiana. 

Auburn Suttles

Youth National Team Takeover: Candace Metcalfe

Today we made history. Okay, so actually we first made history yesterday, since that was our first game against Canada, but I'm blogging today so let's just go with it. As Coach Keith Tozer said, "We are pioneers." We are the very first ever U.S. Youth Futsal National Team, which is a pretty huge deal. Most likely some of you reading this just assumed that we are perfect or close to it because we're on a national team, right? Nope, we're not. Otherwise there would be no need for coaches! The point is we are all phenomenal players, but we are still honing our skills, so we make mistakes just like you. We put in our best efforts, work hard, communicate, but sometimes things just don't work out, and that's okay. 

Today we lost by one goal, and at half, we we were up by two. I'm not going to lie. I was a bit upset, as anyone would be, but I know that the game today will be a reminder tomorrow of why we have to work ten times harder, finish strong, and strive for excellence (tomorrow is our last game). A great man once said, "The greatest glory lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." So tomorrow when we step out onto the court, THAT'S what we plan to do. 

Over the past couple of days, I've had the amazing opportunity to bond and play with experienced and amicable futsal players. Everyone seems to gel very well on the court, despite the fact that we only had our first practice the day before our games began, which is probably due to all the time we spent hanging out during down time. Just the other day, when we were walking back to the hotel from dinner, the entire team broke out singing and rapping. Rock, our goalie, sang especially loud, and I swear she knew almost every word to the songs we were singing (she's kind of awesome like that). We weren't quite harmonized like Pitch Perfect, but it was definitely a show-stopper on the streets of Toronto. :) 

Oh, and I can't leave out the coaches. I would like to give a special thanks to Jason Miller, Ty Stauffer, and Keith Tozer for all their helpful input and taking the time to go over every little detail of the game so we would understand. I especially liked the very, VERY many meetings we had to breakdown the different aspects of the game. 

I'm VERY excited for our final game tomorrow. However, I'm not looking forward to breakfast at 6:45 and having to say goodbye to all my new friends. I wish everyone a safe trip home and a Happy New Year. See everyone next year in 2015 at Costa Rica!

Candace Metcalfe is a member of the U.S. Youth Futsal U16 girls national team and a resident of Florida.

Youth National Team Takeover: Chris Pinkham

My name is Chris Pinkham and I play as a fixo for the U.S. Youth Futsal U16 boys National Team. This is the first time I have left the United States, more specifically Concord, N.H.

Traveling to a different country has been a fantastic experience so far! The people of Toronto are very friendly and love their hockey. The most fascinating part of Canada and Canadians has been to experience their customs and traditions.  They act a certain way, talk a certain way, and even have different money than Americans, which I thought was cool!   Toronto as a city is very clean and enormous! I would compare it to Boston, Chicago, or New York. 

The first day of the trip we all got settled into our hotel, The Ramada. We got to introduce ourselves to our teammates,  We also got to meet all the wonderful coaches, who have already taught me so much and will continue to do so. I am very grateful for these coaches because they are here to help us improve and teach us new things -- but not only do they make us better players, they make us better people.

The second day we trained with our respectful teams at the Pan Am Sports Centre. The employees at this wonderful facility were pleased to give their assistance and help in anyway possible. During training Coach Tozer taught us new patterns to run off the ball, how to fortify our goal using our defensive shape, and how to use the fifth attacker if needed. 

The third day was the day everyone was waiting for: game day. This was the time to show everyone what the USA was about, what we all had been working so hard for. The time had come and everyone was ready to take on the opposition. Before the game we all walked out together and stood before the crowd to showcase ourselves and listen to the American and Canadian national anthems. We then proceeded to the game. Everyone was so excited and prepared, it was a great feeling and atmosphere to be in. In the first half we had a dream start -- we did everything right and were all working for each other, and the scoreboard reflected that at 9-1. During the second half we didn't have the same attitude toward the game. We had a big lead so we were more relaxed. The end result was 17-3, a good start for the team. The major key to our success was that we played as a team, everyone played for each other and with a passion for the love of the game.

We are all looking forward to the next couple of days, to play some more futsal and win!

Chris Pinkham is a member of the U.S. Youth Futsal U16 Boys National Team. He resides in Concord, N.H.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

National Team Takeover: Ellie Pope

Bonjour! My name is Ellie Pope and I am posting from the U.S. Youth Futsal National Team event in Toronto. I am 16 years old and from Concord, N.H.

In futsal, my preferred position is pivo, then fixo. This is my second time playing my favorite sport, futsal, outside the U.S. -- the last time was in Spain. This is the first U.S. Youth Futsal event for the youth national teams and it is an honor to be posting about it!

Today was the second full day of activities. We had breakfast around 9 and then had a team meeting to prepare for our first match against a Canadian team. We had lunch as a team at noon and left on the bus with the U14 girls for our matches.

Our game against the Canadian team was played at the brand new Pan American Sports Centre, which is amazing. It was great to be able to play on a larger court and gave us all a sense of what it is like to play at the highest level and with a stopped clock.

The group of girls on the team are really nice and fun to play with. I am excited for the future of women's futsal in the U.S and can't wait to continue to grow in and learn about the beauty of futsal! :)

Ellie Pope is a member of the U.S. Youth Futsal U16 girls national team. She lives in Concord, N.H.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Youth National Team Takeover: Mikayla Kappes

Today was the first full day of activities for all the U.S. Youth Futsal national teams. This morning after having breakfast as a team, we did some team bonding. Our coach, Jason Miller, has us write down our goals for the trip. Along with improving on technical and tactical skills, most of us said that we wanted to win our games against Canada. After we all shared our goals, Coach Ty Stauffer advised that we make more specific goals than just 'to win." He urged that winning and overall success will come as a byproduct of hard work, focus, organization, heart, etcetera and if we strive for those characteristics then success will follow. His message really hit home with me and throughout the day I made little mental notes and even physically wrote down specific personal and team goals as they came to me. 

Later that day we had training at the beautiful Pan American Sports Centre here in Toronto. The training was really fun and it was great to get my legs moving and start playing with the team. On the bus ride back to our hotel as I sat talking with my new friend and teammate Raleigh, I couldn't stop thinking how grateful I am for this opportunity to play with such high level and friendly girls -- and how excited I am for our first game against the Canadians on Monday. 

At night my team and I had dinner at a local restaurant with all of the other U.S. Youth Futsal national teams and the coaching staff. After just one full day of already so many awesome memories and experiences, I can't wait to see what the rest of this trip holds.

Mikayla Kappes is a member of the U.S. Youth Futsal U16 girls national team. She hails from San Diego.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Youth National Team Takeover: Vida Raietparvar

The experience has been amazing! At first it's kind of awkward being around people that you don't know from different states, but when you talk to them you realize that they're not different from you. They're from different states and yes they have different habits and such, but once you talk to them you're like "oh, this is someone I can actually hang out with."
Canada isn't a different story. I mean yes it's a different country and yes they were going to be different in some sort of way, but once you go into the country you realize it is nothing like you expected. Once you finally step out of your shell and you have the courage to talk to them, you realize that they're pretty cool people. Another cool thing is that you can go see different talented players from different places around the world and can take inspiration and put that into your game. 
This is my experience so far and it's been a heck of a good one, too!
Vida Raietparvar (below left, with teammate Abby Smith) is a member of the U.S. Youth Futsal U14 girls national team. She hails from Dallas.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Welcome to Toronto

The United States Youth Futsal National Teams arrived in Toronto Saturday with little fanfare but enormous excitement. Fifty-three of the best futsal players from across the country met their teammates and started to bond in advance of international matches scheduled for Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday with top Canadian teams.

The outstanding efforts of coordinator Soorena Farboodmanesh made for a very smooth start to the trip -- arrivals, the welcome meeting and the kit distribution went swimmingly.

If the first few hours were any indication, it will indeed be an incredible futsal experience for everyone. I am proud to be a part of U.S. Youth Futsal and honored to be serving as coach of the U16 girls team.

This long-awaited competition is a wonderful opportunity to develop individually and collectively, and show the world that the U.S. Youth Futsal National Teams play with tremendous quality, intensity and class. 

Over the next few days this space will be filled by the players, who will share their observations from this historic event.

~ Jason Miller, Director of Communications, U.S. Youth Futsal

Friday, December 26, 2014

Youth National Team schedule & rosters announced

OVERLAND PARK, KAN. (Dec. 24, 2014) - The final rosters and schedule have been announced for this week's U.S. Youth Futsal National Team trip to Toronto.

"It is an historical event in our country's futsal history," said U.S. Youth Futsal Technical Director Keith Tozer. "I am looking forward to some great international futsal!"

The first-ever youth national futsal teams will compete against top Canadian clubs in a three match series at the brand new, $205 million dollar Toronto Pan American Sports Centre, a legacy project of the 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Games.

"We are excited to bring this great event to the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre, which we look to make one of the preeminent venues for the game on the continent," said Rafa Torre, Director of Sport and Recreation for TPASC.
The U.S. Youth Futsal teams were selected after a year-long sequence of regional and national identification camps, which led to the first-ever boys and girls youth national futsal teams.  

"We are very pleased to welcome our neighbors from the south for what will be a fantastic event at a phenomenal venue," said Kris Fernandes, Futsal Canada's Director of Operations. "We will see some excellent young futsallers from across North America showcasing their skills on the court."

Leading the United States' delegation are Tozer, Director of Goalkeeping Mark Litton and youth national team coaches Craig Canavan, Fabio Caresia, Soorena Farboodmanesh, Jason Miller, Otto Orf and Ty Stauffer. 

"We have been waiting a very long time for this to happen and are making history for futsal in North America," said Tozer, who also serves as head coach of the U.S. Men's National Futsal Team. "I cannot tell you how excited I am for this historic trip to Canada!"

U14 (2000-01) Boys Match Schedule 

12/29, 12 pm
12/30, 3 pm
12/31, 11:30 am 

U14 (2000-01) Girls Match Schedule 

12/29, 3 pm 
12/30, 12 pm 
12/31, 10 am 

U16 (1998-99) Boys Match Schedule 

12/29, 1:30 pm 
12/30, 4:30 pm 
12/31, 2:30 pm 

U16 (1998-99) Girls Match Schedule 

12/29, 4:30 pm 
12/30, 1:30 pm 
12/31, 1 pm 

U14 (2000-01) Boys Roster

GOALKEEPERS (2): David Merola (Overland Park, Kan.), Alex Wood (Westford, Mass.)

OUTFIELD PLAYERS (12): Bryce Blevins (Plainfield, Ill.), Joel Bustamante (Chula Vista, Calif.), Eric Calvillo (Manassas, Va.), Nathaniel Cardoza (South Easton, Mass.), Trent Dreyer (Lewisville, Texas), Jonathan Ferreira (Ashland, Mass.), Johan Gomez (Keller, Texas), Jonah Moore (Washington), Byron Peng (Coppell, Texas), Luke Rafanan (Overland Park, Kan.), Max Rugova (Overland Park, Kan.), Alexander Vivar (San Diego, Calif.)

U14 (2000-01) Girls Roster

GOALKEEPERS (2): Shelby Helton (Owensboro, Ky.), Bobbi Sandifer (Owensboro, Ky.)

OUTFIELD PLAYERS (11): Tiffany Bernot (Old Westbury, N.Y.), Renae Blevins (Plainfield, Ill.), Gabriella DelPico (Brockton, Mass.), Natalie Hinchcliffe (Owensboro, Ky.), Felicia Knox (Shawnee, Kan.), Jessica Magerman (Bellingham, Mass.), Amber McCorkle (San Diego, Calif.), Vida Raietparvar (Denton, Texas), Mackenzie Simpson (San Diego, Calif.), Abby Smith (Flower Mound, Texas), Annie Stauffer (Owensboro, Ky.)

U16 (1998-99) Boys Roster

GOALKEEPERS (2): Colton Purcell (Frisco, Texas), Steven Tekesky (Raymore, Mo.)

OUTFIELD PLAYERS (12): Alec Bakkeby (San Diego), Fernando Borges (Olathe, Kan.), Alex Kaddah (Blue Springs, Mo.), John Leisman (Kansas City, Mo.), Andrew McLeod (Overland Park, Kan.), Duncan Mergen (Long Valley, N.J.), Stephen Milhoan (Medina, Ohio), Graham Miller (Owensboro, Ky.), Nathan Peterjohn (North Royalton, Ohio), Christopher Pinkham (Concord, N.H.), Tucker Sparks (Plano, Texas), Paul Whitener (Kansas City, Mo.)

U16 (1998-99) Girls Roster

GOALKEEPERS (2): Kiara Grimes (West Sayville, N.Y.), Amber Huff (Boulevard, Calif.)

OUTFIELD PLAYERS (10): Riley Christensen (Waukesha, Wis.), Mikayla Kappes (San Diego, Calif.), Tziarra King (Sicklerville, N.J.), Raleigh Loughman (Coppell, Texas), Candace Metcalfe (Freeport, Fla.), Lauryn Oishi (Honolulu), Madallyn Peveler (Owensboro, Ky.), Ellie Pope (Concord, N.H.), Auburn Suttles (Chandler, Ind.), Francesca Venezia (Wantagh, N.Y.)


Thursday, September 11, 2014

National Team Takeover: Keith Tozer

U.S. Men's National Futsal Team
Head Coach Keith Tozer (l) and
Assistant Coach Vava Marques
My futsal journey started in 1986 when I had the honor of representing the United States in Budapest, Hungary with the U.S. Men's National FutsalTeam in one of the first international futsal tournaments. Since then I have been the head coach of the U.S. for 17 years coaching in five CONCACAF Championships, two World Cups and the 2007 Pan American games. In addition to my coaching duties I am also very proud to be the Technical Director of U.S. Youth Futsal as well as serving as a FIFA Futsal Instructor.

This past summer has been nothing but amazing for so many reasons regarding U.S. Men's National Futsal Team matches, U.S. Youth Futsal Youth National Teams, U.S. Soccer Futsal coaching education, player identification and so much more.

After playing five matches in Argentina, the national team has played a total of 10 matches in the past three months! This has been such a great opportunity to identify players, gain valuable game experience and tactical analysis as well as building team chemistry. In the past, we sometimes didn't play 10 games in three years! U.S. Soccer is now very much committed toward qualifying in the 2016 CONCACAF Championships.

We had great U.S. Youth Futsal I.D. camps this past year throughout our original five regions, culminating with the National I.D. Camp in Kansas City where we had all regions represented and subsequently selected the first-ever U.S. Youth Futsal National Teams. The talent level was fantastic -- in fact we selected John Leisman from to the full men's national team for our trip to Argentina and John did quite well scoring his first goal at the senior level! The U.S. Youth Futsal coaching staff has been created with some of the best former national team players like Sean Bowers, Jon Parry and Otto Orf. The future looks bright for our youth players direct path to the full men's national team. I firmly believe that we are not far away from creating a full women's national futsal team to create the same path for girls.

We have conducted two U.S. Youth Futsal coaching courses last year in Boston and Dallas. Just recently I presented a futsal module for the first time in U.S. soccer history during the outdoor "B" license course and now we will offer U.S. Youth Futsal Coaching Certification courses in all the regions starting in Boston in October. Last Sunday in Brasilia, Brazil, the Argentina and Brazil Men's National Futsal Teams contested the first-ever international futsal match played in a outdoor stadium and drew more than 55,000 spectators. Brazil won 4-1 but most importantly it showed how much the game of futsal has grown world wide in just the past 10 years. As you can see there has been so much growth within the game of futsal regarding coaching education, player development and identification, creating youth national teams, regional coaching staffs, national coaching certification courses that the future is very bright for the game of futsal! VIVA LA FUTSAL!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

National Team Takeover: Brian Harris

Brian Harris
Brian Harris
ello from Argentina! My name is Brian Harris and I'm a fixo for the U.S. Men's National Futsal team. I play for the Missouri Comets in the MASL (Major Arena Soccer League) and I'm a defender.
Our final full day started with breakfast and afterward we had a great walk through for our game that night. Danny Waltman challenged me to a whipping childhood cancer challenge which consisted of taking a pie to the face. In Argentina they have a different kind of cream. The video is coming.

That night we played a local pro team that was a quality side. After he game we were invited to the Governor's house for a nice dinner. 

The overall trip was an amazing experience. We played four games against the fifth-ranked team in the world and there was vast improvement for each individual and most importantly, the team. I look forward to the day that we are able to train and play futsal on a regular basis -- especially given how fast we picked up on things and improved.

Also, that says so much for the coaching staff as they do an awesome job preparing us for each training and each game. It has been a great journey and was nice to end with a win.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

National Team Takeover: Nick Romansky

After more than 22 years of traveling on domestic and international trips as a team doctor with both the men's and women's U.S. National Soccer Teams, yet again this trip to Argentina provided me with additional life and professional experiences to take home.

LIFE is a collection of experiences. Coach Tozer has sacrificed his personal life and dedicated his 17+ years of his professional life to the futsal movement. Coach VaVa Marques and coach Mark Litton consistently teach and explain futsal to young and experienced players in the United States.

Nick Romansky, Team Doctor
The coaches have been an international liaison and represent the USA as a country and as the U.S. Futsal Men's National Team on personal and professional levels interacting with The Federation of Argentina Futbol, politicians, coaches, citizens and fans of Argentina.

For me, this exposure and experience to Argentina makes me a better treating clinician to my private patients and other amateur / professional athletes of other sports I take care of.

The "Gold Rush" of Futsal is coming of age in the USA. JOIN IT. WATCH IT GROW.

Nick Romansky is the team doctor. He is from Pennsylvania.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

National Team Takeover: Nic Jaimes

Nic Jaimes
Hello! My name is Nic Jaimes and I am 17 years old from Overland Park, Kansas. Like my teammate John Leisman, I also play for the Sporting Kansas City Academy, but as a forward or defender. In futsal, my position is ala.

This past weekend the team took a bus ride from Buenos Aires to Mar del Plata. The bus ride was about six hours long but felt shorter than usual due to everyone playing cards, chatting, and blasting music. The hotel we stayed at in Mar del Plata was on the beach giving the team an amazing view and something to do with our time off. The days started with a team breakfast at around 9 am. After that we had a few hours of time off until lunch at 1 pm, so most of the team decided to take a walk on the boardwalk. After lunch we would go over game film for an hour, rest for an hour or so, then take off for our match.

We had two matches against Argentina while in Mar del Plata. We lost both but played our hearts out and improved greatly since our first game with the use of game film and team training sessions. Also, hanging out with the team on our time off has made our team chemistry skyrocket.

Being invited to Argentina to play has been a great honor and a huge improvement to my game. These games have taught me to make quick one- or two-touch passes, turn and face up with the ball as fast as possible, and take people on when the chance presents itself. We, as a team, are up against some of the best futsal players in the world and being able to contend with them and give them a strong battle in every match is something to be proud of. Tomorrow is our last game and I am hoping we can come out with a win!


Nic Jaimes is on his first trip with the U.S. Men's National Futsal Team.

National Team Takeover: Mark Litton

Mark Litton
My name is Mark Litton and I am the goalkeeper coach for the U.S. Men's National Futsal Team. I have the honor and priviledge of working with two of the best futsal goalkeepers our program has ever produced -- Danny Waltman and Jeff Richey.

After a quiet day off yesterday, today was a very long day as we traveled this morning from Buenos Aires to Mar del Plata to play Argentina for our 3rd and 4th games.  The 6-hour bus ride was a wonderful bonding experience for the players and staff as they played cards, sang songs, and just enjoyed each others' company.

This is my first trip to Argentina, so it was nice to experience the landscape and sites along the way.  I am from Wisconsin, and the landscape is very similar, including the miles and miles of cows everywhere!  We arrived in Mar del Plata around 5pm local time, which gave us enough time to check into our hotel rooms, grab a quick pre-game meal, and then load up the bus to head to the arena 20 minutes away.  The arena in Mar del Plata is very nice.  Much larger than the Villa La Nata Sporting Club arena in Buenos Aires that we played our first two games in.

We came out with the same fire and intensity to start the game that we have become known for.   Each of our games against Argentina has given us the opportunity to learn more about our opponents, and learn more about ourselves, and the areas that we need to continue improving.

Today's game saw several areas of improvement over the last two games, but we are still falling short against one of the best teams in the world.  Tonight's contest ended with a 5-1 loss to Argentina.  They are so organized and experienced, and every player executes.  Even though we have lost our first three games, this has been invaluable experience for our futsal program and players, as we are preparing for the 2016 CONCACAF qualifying tournament and hopefully -- if we qualify -- the 2016 FIFA Futsal World Cup that will be held in Bogata, Columbia.

Tomorrow we play Argentina in our fourth and final game.  In preparation, we will have a light morning training session with the team, then the coaching staff will watch game film tomorrow afternoon.  But for now, our long day is finally winding down.  The players are off to bed, and the coaching staff is soon to follow.  Thank you to everyone following this blog and supporting our U.S. National Futsal Team!  Go USA!


Mark Litton is the goalkeeper coach of the U.S. Men's National Futsal Team.

Friday, August 29, 2014

National Team Takeover: Pat Healey

It was team bonding day.
Healey is third row right,
shown here on the team bus.
We original had plans to do some sightseeing in Buenos Aires today, but some things are out of our control, and we had to stay in the hotel all day. For most teams, this might be a little upsetting.  Players would just sit in their rooms all day and sleep the day away, but this team has what all teams look for: CHEMISTRY.

The team started out with an early breakfast to get the right nutrition in our body to prepare for the hard four games in five days.  After breakfast, guys either got treatment with the excellent medical staff or got an hour more of sleep. After an afternoon of lunch and a gym session on your own to get the lactic acid out, the team bonding continued.  Guys hung out and played FIFA, listened to music, or played a card game called 22.

The night ended with a great dinner and a film session of yesterday's game.  The 2-0 defeat showed improvement, but we want more out of the trip.  We want to get a win.  The film showed places where we can improve and learn ... and that is what this trip is about.  
I can't wait for tomorrow. It is another day to get better as an individual, as a group, and present our country.
Pat Healey is the captain of the U.S. Men's National Futsal Team. He is a fixo from Bel Air, Maryland.

National Team Takeover: Philip Suprise

Today, we started the day off with a great training session. During this session we worked diligently on building from the back as a team. 

After our session, our whole team felt much more comfortable on the ball and maintaining possession in our own half. We had a great lunch and an extensive rest period where we were able to kick back, relax, and focus on the upcoming match.
Philip Suprise
Philip Suprise
We arrived at the match a little later than expected due to the extensive traffic in Buenos Aires. However, this didn’t take us out of our element because we played significantly better. Even though we lost 2-0, we were still able to maintain ball possession and get some great looks on goal. The Argentine goalkeeper came up pretty big on a couple of shots I had, along with plenty of other chances my teammates had!

This was a great improvement compared to our game on Tuesday [which we lost by a wider margin]. Tomorrow we are strictly confined to our hotel due to the strikes and protests going on in the city. But we will be ready to get back to work on Friday!


Philip Suprise is a 23-year-old ala from Milwaukee.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

National Team Takeover: Nelson Santana

Hello! My name is Nelson Santana and I'm a fixo for the U.S. Men's National Futsal team. I play for the Syracuse Silver Knights in the MASL (Major Arena Soccer League) and I'm a defender.

Nelson Santana
Nelson Santana
Here in Argentina, we just finished training at the AFA (Asociación del Futbol Argentino) camp grounds. We are preparing to face the Argentina Men's National Futsal team. I'm really excited -- as are my teammates -- to be playing against the 5th ranked futsal team in the world (as determined by FIFA).

Our team has been working hard to get to the next level of futsal and playing against Argentina will let us know where we are. I can't wait to face them! So far Argentina has been a great host; very friendly people and eager to talk to us ... knowing some of our players don't speak the language of Spanish.

I hope this trip will make our U.S Men's National Futsal team better and sharper. Thank you for your support. Go USA!!!!!!!


Nelson Santana is from Santa Clara, Calif. and is posing above with staff members at the Holiday Inn Ezieza in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

National Team Takeover: John Leisman

Hello/¡Hola! from Buenos Aires! My name is John Leisman and this is the first post from the U.S. Men's National Futsal Team camp in Argentina. I am 16 years old and from Kansas City, Missouri.

In soccer I play any forward position -- whether it is central or on the wing -- for Sporting Kansas City Academy in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy. In futsal, I play pivo.

John Leisman
John Leisman
This is my first trip with the national team and I am honored to do the first blog post covering our trip!

This morning, the team woke up for 8 o'clock breakfast. The food and services of our hotel have been great and the people are wonderful. After breakfast, guys went back to their respective rooms to catch a few more winks of sleep or get ready for the day before getting treatment (if needed). Around 9:40, the team loaded the bus for the first training session of the camp. 
Getting out on the court with the others was great for a rookie like me. It gave me a chance to get a feel for the style of the play and learn from my more experienced teammates. After training, we returned to the hotel for lunch and then rested for a little bit. After some time to recover, the next session began. The second session was more tactical-based and allowed the coaching staff to implement some ideas for the games ahead. Following the second training, the team returned to the hotel once again and ate dinner. 

Getting to know the guys has been easy. Along with some of the other new players, my singing and acting skills -- or lack thereof -- are being called upon. As the team continues to come together, I am excited to see what we can produce on the court!

John Leisman was selected for the Men's National Team after participating in the U.S. Youth Futsal I.D. program. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Men's National Team Takes Over Blog

United States
The U.S. Men's National Futsal Team left for Buenos Aires, Argentina on Saturday, where it will train and play friendlies against the hosts country.

While taking over the futsal courts of Argentina, they will also be taking over this blog! Head Coach Keith Tozer and members of the team will be sharing their experiences with you in this very space!

As our first blogger will illustrate, participants in the U.S. Youth Futsal I.D. program might start out in a local gym ... and a few months later be playing against one of the top senior national teams in the world!

We encourage you to follow @USYouthFutsal on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and to check this space regularly.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Futsal I.D. Participant Named to Men's National Team

OVERLAND PARK, KAN. (Aug. 20, 2014) - John Leisman, a 16-year-old from Kansas City, was recently added to the senior U.S. Men's National Futsal Team for its upcoming trip to Argentina. He was identified by U.S. Head Coach Keith Tozer at July's U.S. Youth Futsal National I.D. Camp.

“John caught my eye as a player who could really help our men's national team in the future,” observed Tozer, the U.S. Youth Futsal Technical Director.

Leisman, who plays soccer and futsal for Sporting KC Academy, credits the U.S. Youth Futsal coaching staff with teaching him a great deal during the four-day event.

“Coach Tozer and the regional coaches taught me so much about futsal,” said Leisman, a junior at Rockhurst High School in Missouri. “The way they did it at the camp - they demanded a lot from you. It was high paced, dynamic teaching and very fun to be a part of.”

U.S. Youth Futsal Executive Director Jon Parry explained that although Leisman's immediate selection for the senior national team was not expected, it meets with the objectives of the Futsal I.D. program.

“John's inclusion shows that Futsal I.D. provides players with the best opportunity to train futsal at the highest level, with players of like ability and by the best futsal coaching staff in the U.S.” noted Parry, who also serves as Sporting KC Academy Director. “It is truly a pipeline to the U.S. Men's National Futsal Team.”

Tozer is equally excited about the player development and identification opportunities Futsal I.D. presents.

“The U.S. Youth Futsal I.D. program -- along with the U.S. Soccer Academy program -- has been a huge success and finding John [through the I.D. camps] means the game of futsal has a huge future here in the United States and around the world,” Tozer said.

The 16-year-old player -- who has never been out of the United States -- received a phone call from Tozer a few days after the camp, and both Leisman and his mother were thrilled by the incredible opportunity.

“When Coach Tozer called I was extremely excited and extremely nervous at the same time,” Leisman said. “But I'm just ready. It will be a very beneficial experience for me.

“My mother is very proud. She has given me the opportunity [in soccer and futsal] by devoting her money, time and love.”

Leisman recommends all interested, qualified players participate in the U.S. Youth Futsal I.D. program.

“You never know what kind of opportunities would arise,” said the young men's national team pivo.

Friday, August 1, 2014

More than 300 Players Attend First-ever Futsal I.D. Camp

U.S. Youth Futsal National Teams to be Selected after four-day Event
OVERLAND PARK, KAN. (JULY 22, 2014) - Calling it "One small step for football, one giant leap for futsal," U.S. Men's National Futsal Team Head Coach Keith Tozer presided over U.S. Youth Futsal's first-ever national player identification camp last week, with more than 300 players from 25 states in attendance.

"I was extremely impressed with the quality of all the teams from each of our five regions," said Tozer, the association's technical director. "The quality of the players, coaching staff and organization of the event was excellent. This puts U.S. Youth Futsal at the forefront of futsal in the United States. I am extremely excited about finally having U.S. youth futsal national teams."

Participants were evaluated during three training sessions and four matches, all under the leadership of Tozer, Director of Goalkeeping Mark Litton and the U.S. Youth Futsal regional directors and coaching staff.

"The purpose of the event - and of the Futsal I.D. program itself - is to facilitate the training and identification of the most talented youth futsal players in the country and to select the very best for U.S. Youth Futsal National Teams," Director of Futsal I.D. Soorena Farboodmanesh explained. "The National I.D. Camp follows five Regional I.D. camps and subsequent Regional training camps."
Former National Team goalkeeper Otto Orf, the Lakes Region Director and a key architect of the program, is certain Futsal I.D. will have a vital role in the near and long term.

"U.S. Youth Futsal has put a program in place to identify generations of future players, to educate them, train them and lead them on a path that will afford them opportunities on youth and senior national futsal and soccer teams," Orf said. "Futsal I.D. will have a real and lasting impact on the sport of soccer in our country."

Esteban Mariel, a former National Team player and current South Region Director, agreed.

"It was the first National I.D. camp for futsal in United States history," Mariel said. "It marks a new era in the growth of the sport of futsal and the fundamental necessity of futsal toward lifting U.S. Soccer and player development to the next level."

Central Region Director Ty Stauffer, whose son Lucas is the youngest player in U.S. Men's National Futsal Team history, was thrilled to be part of the historic event.

"After discussing the idea of an identification program for several years, it was awesome to see it happen," Stauffer noted. "Players from all over the country were exposed to training led by Coach Tozer and his staff and they also had a chance to train with and build friendships with players from different regions."

Darin and Melanie Dewsnup brought their 10-year-old son Jeffrey from Utah and were incredibly impressed with the experience.

"Camp was extremely well organized and thought out!" the Dewsnups wrote on the U.S. Youth Futsal Facebook page. "Couldn't be more impressed with the staff and coaching! Top Notch!"

About U.S. Youth Futsal
United States Youth Futsal is the largest U.S. Soccer affiliated futsal organization in the country. Launched in 2004, U.S. Youth Futsal oversees more than 70 local leagues and hosts 8 Regional Championships and 1 National Championship.

The U.S. Youth Futsal I.D. program includes 8 Regional I.D. Camps and 1 National I.D. Camp, from which youth national teams are selected. It is led by U.S. Youth Futsal Technical Director (and USMNFT Head Coach) Keith Tozer.

The U.S. Youth Futsal Leadership Summit takes place each spring in conjunction with U.S. Men's National Futsal Team activities.

Futsal Coaching Courses

United States Youth Futsal has held two Futsal coaching courses in the Boston and Dallas.
This year ( 2014-2015) there will be at least 6 more courses offered in the country.

Two day classroom and on the pitch instructions by Keith Tozer- Fifa Futsal Coaching instructor.

This course has taken Futsal coaching for me to a higher level.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

United States Youth Futsal Leadership summit

United State Youth Futsal will host a Summit meeting, Thursday June 12th – Saturday June, 14 in Milwaukee WI. 

U.S. Youth Futsal is opening the meeting to non – USYF league owners and others who are contemplating opening Futsal operations in the coming year.

“USYF has become the recognized brand for Futsal events and player development.  With our reputation, support tools and visionary league owners, we decided to open the meeting to all non-USYF Futsal league owners and event organizers to share our ideas.  What better way to advance the game?” said John Sciore, National Director of Development.

The daily Summit schedule hours are

Thursday June 12th – start at 1 pm, adjourn at 5 pm

Friday June 13  – start day at 9 am, adjourn at 5 pm

Saturday June 14 start day at 9 am, end Summit at 3 pm

The anchor activity of the Summit is the U.S. Futsal Mens team preparing for the next FIFA Futsal World Cup. 

Date and times of the National team is below

U.S. Futsal Mens Team activities

Thursday 7 pm International friendly vs. France

Saturday 7 pm International friendly vs. France

Summit Agenda

State of U.S. Youth Futsal address
Where we started from, where are we now, vision for the future

Marketing, Advertising and Team Retention
How to increase the number of teams in your league’s events.  Presented will be best-practice ideas from a panel of League Owners, including an expert guest speaker on how to use Social media to make your league stand out.

Coaching Education
U.S. Futsal Mens Head Coach Keith Tozer hosts the topic.  Learn how the U.S. Youth Futsal Coaching Education program can help you and your league.

Futsal Academy
How to organize and run a futsal academy for player development.  Best-practice ideas from a panel of League Owners who operate the largest Futsal academies in the country.

One of the most significant advantages U.S. Youth Futsal has over competition is the referees who officiate our events.  Find out what U.S. Soccer, your state association and your locally assembled staff can do to differentiate your league. 

HTG Sports
Presenting tools to help you manage your administration.  Learn to use tools in the system and find out what improvements are in the works and make suggestions.

Futsal ID program updates
What is the purpose of the Futsal ID program and where is it headed?  Find out why your league should be involved in identifying players to get them to the “next level” of Futsal.

Reviewing the advantages of USSSA membership and discuss the insurance and risk-management tools available to U.S. Youth Futsal

U.S. Youth Futsal Regional / National Tournaments
The when, who, how and why your league should be sending teams

Owning your own facility
Find out what  league owners know about the advantages and challenges of owning your own facility.

Do not miss the informal benefits of socializing with passionate, like-minded futsal people after hours and in between sessions.  U.S. Youth Futsal has the 6 largest leagues in the country, all of them with over 200 teams. 

Special Guest Presenters

Keith Tozer  – Head Coach US Futsal National Team and Technical Director of USYF will discuss the Coaching Education program and the Futsal ID program

Ed Marco – FIFA Futsal Referee Instructor – USA Soccer referee instructor.  Will discuss the future of Futsal officiating.  Also discussed are practice management techniques employed by local leagues to present a superior officiating corp.

Gerry High – President of HTGSports, the official USYF provider for Futsal event registration and administrative management.

Craig Scriven – USSSA, Director of Soccer and Futsal,

Max Schroeder – Social Media specialist

United States Youth Futsal is an affiliated league of US Soccer.  With 72 leagues, 7 Regional tournaments and the largest National Futsal tournament in the country, USYF is the largest and fastest growing Futsal organization in the US.