Oct. 27, 2011-- When asking our TEPAL clubs what could be used to improve our players ability, a few of them stated that futsal is something we not only should use more, but need to use more in training our players. For those of you less familiar with futsal, the FA.com states that Futsal started in Montevideo, Uruguay, in 1930. It is usually played indoors and on a smaller pitch, with four field players and a goalkeeper. Futsal is played with a smaller soccer ball that has less bounce than the ball our players would use outdoors, and encourages creativity, improvisation and technique.
Lonestar Soccer Club of Austin, Texas, has started incorporating futsal into training on a weekly basis. It started about a month ago with around 35 players who came out to the optional training session, and has continued every Wednesday since. In its fifth week the turnout has grown to nearly 100 kids coming out to play in the one hour and fifteen minute session.
Bruce Talbot, Coach of the Lonestar Pre-Academy teams says, “Futsal helps our players become more aware of the ball. It encourages taking small, quick touches and having soft feet. We also have our kids play barefoot. This helps develop a different kind of feel for the ball, and they must concentrate more on their technique to play a proper ball.”
Kevin Mellon, who is on staff with the University of Connecticut men’s soccer team, believes that futsal is important in training our youth players. “If they are able to master a tight space and become more confident in their abilities, then creativity will come. Patience is a must in a fast, small-sided match like futsal.”
The U.S. Futsal National Team recently competed in the invitation only, Grand Prix of Futsal tournament held in Manaus, Brazil, Oct. 16-23. This was the first time they competed in the tournament, which is known as one of the best events in world futsal. While the U.S. failed to record a single win in the tournament, they scored 10 goals in their first appearance at the event. The tournament was won by Brazil, which makes this their fifth Grand Prix of Futsal title.
Nick DeMarsh, Head Women’s Soccer Coach at Buffalo State College, DOC of Kenmore Soccer Club, and Head Coach for Black Watch Premier, believes futsal needs to be utilized by our youth clubs across the country to develop players. “Futsal is one of the most important pieces of the puzzle in U.S. soccer development and it is completely ignored. The two most influential football countries in the world are Spain and Brazil and they are also the best at futsal. It is no coincidence.”