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.

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