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Vava Marques Proud of U.S. Performance vs. Barcelona

FRISCO, TX (3-14-15) - U.S. Coach Vava Marques praised the way his U.S. Futsal team played in their 4-3 loss to Barcelona Friday night in the opening match of the PFL international Challenge at the Dr. Pepper Arena in Frisco.

vava presser.jpg (63082 bytes)"It took a lot of energy and personality to get back in a game like that," he said, "especially against a team that trains and plays every day."

(Photo: Vava Marques at post-game press conference with U.S. Players, from left, Boris Pardo, Stephen Milhoen and Lucas Stauffer,)

The U.S. fell behind 3-0 in the opening minute, with all three goals from Alejandro, but then came back to make it 3-1 on a goal from Fabinho. After Raul scored Barca's fourth goal, Daniel Mattos scored two quick goals to bring the U.S. back to within one in the final minutes.

"For me to see our guys, especially our young guys, not just young in age but young in futsal, at such a high level, to play the way they did, to handle the pressure the way they did, I'm not only proud of the team, but how the fans helped us, how the organization made everything so beautiful."

The U.S. played even with Barcelona and staged its comeback before a turnout of 5,179, the largest crowd ever to see a futsal match in the U.S., and drew cheers of "USA, USA!"

"There was great atmosphere," Marques said. "I think a lot of people now, after this game, will understand what futsal is all about. It's an exciting game. This is a game that I always believed was a perfect game for the U.S."

Marques said that in his 17 years with the U.S. Team, he has seen large crowds in countries such as Guatemala and Brazil, but for the U.S. to have that kind of crowd, "it was the most amazing thing. There was a feeling that it was a dream that came true for me. So it was awesome, not only for how many people were here, but for them to see the kind of game they saw. For me it was the best thing that happened for all time in futsal. It's just the beginning of futsal in this country."

In Saturday's following match of the round-robin tournament, Barcelona easily dispatched Mexico, 13-2, and in the Sunday final, the U.S. topped Mexico 7-3 in an innovative outdoor setting as part of the NBA Dallas Mavericks' "Los Mavs" Festival at Gilley's in Dallas.

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