USYF New Futsal Academy Program Has Quickly Become Highly Successful in Southern California
Sean Bowers, Founder of 619Futsal, was a member of the U.S. National Futsal Team from 1994-2004, becoming the captain in 1998. Bowers has the honor of being the most capped player in U.S. Soccer’s futsal history, earning 36 international caps. In addition, Bowers was one of the most sought-after players in the MLS 1996 Super Draft and played for Sporting Kansas City when it was known as the Kansas City Wizards. After a long and successful career as a professional soccer player, Bowers retired and is the General Manager for the San Diego Sockers as well as the Executive Director of 619Futsal.
What is the latest excitement in youth soccer — specifically on helping today’s youth soccer players improve their skills so that one day the USA might succeed in the World Cup?
Many of the world’s greatest soccer players played futsal and it is widely recognized as one of the best training methods. Playing futsal is fun, fast, and promotes creativity along with fast thinking, it also enhances technical skills and builds tactical awareness — and, best of all, kids love it. While playing futsal is not news what is newsworthy are the new, US Youth Futsal Academies launching this fall. In Southern California, Sean Bowers’s 619Futsal has been selected as one of only 15 academies across the country to participate in this player development program.
“American soccer players will benefit immensely from futsal training. Futsal is the next step in our success of the American soccer player and the Academy program will help train today’s youths into world class players,” said Sean Bowers, founder of 619Futsal and Academy Technical Director.
619Futsal is focused on bringing youth players a fun, exciting and safe place to explore their talents to become better soccer players. Since 2011, 619Futsal has provided futsal programs to more than 7,000 youth soccer players through their leagues, camps, and clinics. Now, with the launch of the USYF 619Futsal Academy, Bowers, and his Academy Directors will have the opportunity to provide the focused futsal training to help players reach the next level.
“Futsal is a wonderful sport and futsal training helps develop the youth soccer player technically and easily translates to the outdoor game. As a training tool, there is no better way to develop youth soccer players than introducing them to futsal at a young age.”
Futsal is a fast-paced game played on a court with five players and intrinsically encourages movement and rotation as well as a sense of innovation and creativity. Players have to quickly switch from offensive to defensive as the ball rapidly moves around the court. Quick thinking is essential — while you may have 20 yards in soccer to pass the ball, you have a few seconds in futsal and often only a couple feet. With so many touches on the ball, a players technical skill improves quickly as does his or her understanding and vision of the game.
Bowers asked, “Did you know 11 out of the 23 Brazilian Men’s National team players played futsal?”
“I know many international soccer pros who attribute their success to playing futsal,” said Bowers.
Launching this year, the idea behind the USYF Futsal Academy is to develop better players. One of only 15 Futsal Academies approved in the USA, the 619Futsal Academy offers consistent training and player development to help raise the level of Southern California youth soccer players.
Bowers wants to provide as many youth players with the opportunity to be trained and play in the 619 Futsal Academy as possible.
“Offering multiple free tryouts in both July and August gives Southern California’s youth soccer players the chance to come to one or several tryouts and do their best to be selected for the program — as well as accommodate hectic summer tournament and vacation schedules,” said Bowers. “We wanted to take the stress out of the Tryout process and just let players be their best — and, without a fee, players can come back multiple times to work on impressing the coaches and do not have to try out with the pressure of one single chance to make the 619Futsal Academy team. We want the Open ID Process to be a positive experience,”
619Futsal is committed to maintaining objectivity in the formation of their Academy teams. “We are not a youth soccer club and have no affiliations with area soccer clubs. Although we are proud of the support and cooperation of many local soccer coaches, we have a strict “no recruiting policy” at 619Futsal and always want to be a positive environment where each and every player can be the best that they can be and not be afraid to fail,” said Bowers.
Our 619Futsal Academy Directors all have longtime connections with the game of futsal. Two of our directors — Carlos Basso and Danny Madrigal — have played futsal at the highest level on US Men’s National Team and both Jim Flowers and Mike Gentry are licensed futsal coaches with years of experience teaching the game.
“I’m proud to be 619Futsal Director of Academy Player Development and this is going to be a great year for player development in the Southern California area,” said Gentry. “Ever since 619Futsal launched, it has been an awesome adventure watching youth players grow with the sport but now, with the Futsal Academy, players are going to be able to take their talents to the next level with our training.”
“If the Futsal Academy was only available when I was a young player, well, I keep asking myself, ‘Where could I have gone with better skills, a higher soccer IQ, and faster decision making?’ It will be great to provide this learning opportunity for so many talented players and I believe that the next group of U.S. Soccer National Team players will have a strong background in the game of Futsal,” said Gentry.
Madrigal believes that futsal training is critical for youth soccer players.
“Futsal is the missing ingredient for creative soccer players.”
“The Academies will raise the bar around the country — not only on players’ ball mastery and pinpoint passing but on their overall technical skills,” said Madrigal.
“My players have been playing at 619Futsal for the past four years and I am very excited to be a Director with the new Academy program. It is great that 619Futsal has two major facilities.”
“We expect to have over 200 players signed up for the free tryouts,” said Bowers.
Flowers is also excited to be a part of the 619Futsal Academy program. “619Futsal has an outstanding reputation for quality programs and I look forward to seeing more kids have success in the San Diego area. Nothing feels better than a thank you from a former player who feels that you were a big part of his or her success. With the 619Futsal Academy and its great training environment, I know I can help a lot of players improve. Our Academy players will receive so many more touches than they usually get and they will be surrounded by other kids who really want to improve.”
In July, tryouts for Pre-Academy (2012-2009), U12 Academy (2007/8), U14 Academy (2005/6) and U16/18 Academy (2001/04) will be held at Miramar College Gym on the following dates:
- Friday, July 13
- Friday, July 20
- Friday, July 27
Additional tryout dates will be available in August.
Along with Scott Payne, who is also a licensed futsal coach and Kacie Oliver who has played futsal oversees in Italy, the 619Futsal Academy is launching this fall with three programs and may have several academy teams. For more information on tryouts, please visit 619Futsal.