Tuesday, September 2, 2014

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.

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