U.S. Needs a Real 'Futsal Program'
By Tim Sheldon
U.S. Coach Keith Tozer referred to the U.S. and Canada as "two
proud countries and two new futsal programs."
We don't know about Canada, so much, but this description in the case of the U.S. is
ambiguous, because we don't know what Tozer means by "new Futsal program". The
reality for the U.S. is that there is no new Futsal program.
What it meant in this tournament is that we fielded a U.S. Futsal Team that has played
little or no Futsal. You might call that a new Futsal program.
There is no program at all, to speak of. U.S. Soccer pays minimum attention to Futsal and
has no real plan in place to develop the sport.
Other countries in CONCACAF are moving ahead in various ways in their
development of the sport, and the U.S. is falling further behind. The U.S. won the 2004
tournament, finished third in 2008 and were eliminated last night in the 2012 tourney.
We're not sure where the concept of a new program applies in there, except that U.S. could
really use one. The new program is conspicuous in its absence.
There has, however, been a system in place in which the U.S. brings in players from
professional indoor leagues that play the game with six players per side and use dasher
boards. In the early years, the U.S. was actually ahead of the international curve and
produced some competitive teams with this system.
But the rest of the word has since caught up and moved ahead.
The U.S. will never compete effectively in international Futsal, the World Indoor Game,
until it really does develop a "new Futsal program".