In Youth Soccer, Futsal is Key for Player Development
Southern California has USYF’s 619 Futsal, founded by Sean Bowers, which provides a professionally run Futsal league for youth players. With participation from nearly 4,000 youth soccer players in recent years, 619 Futsal is highly established and recognized as the top elite Futsal league in America’s finest city.
Youth Soccer News: 619 Futsal’s Spring League is just around the corner as another session of futsal in San Diego starts — Futsal is a fabulous developmental tool which helps youth soccer players develop through the fast-paced, indoor game.
“All the best professional players in the world have grown up playing Futsal. You have to think faster, move quicker in Futsal — it is amazing training for youth soccer players,” says Sean Bowers, former U.S. Futsal National Team captain, and current San Diego Sockers General Manager.
In Futsal, players love how much they touch the ball and its fast pace.
Bowers is a well-known soccer star in America’s Finest City — and was one of the first players drafted in the inaugural MLS draft in 1996. Bowers played for the Sporting Kansas City — which was called Kansas City Wizards back then.
Bowers initially played for the city’s championship professional soccer team, the San Diego Sockers and received the honor of Defender of the Year on four occasions. Bowers is now he is the General Manager of the Sockers which play in the San Diego Sports Arena.
The ball is constantly at a player’s foot — and there is never any player left out of the action.
Many people agree, to be a great soccer player, you should play Futsal. Futsal is fabulous training for soccer. Pele, Ronaldo and Messi all play Futsal.
“Futsal started for me when I was called up to the National Team in 1996,” said Bowers. “Playing the game of Futsal at the international level opened up my eyes on how much I needed to be technically better with the ball at my feet and how constant purposeful movement within the game is so important for our National team success when we played in the 1996 World Cup.”
What makes 619 Futsal special? Bowers is hands-on and at the facility, often guiding players on the best Futsal techniques and answering questions.
“We are excited for the 2018 spring session that starts March 25th-June 17th on Sundays. Our winter session we had over 100 teams and our Spring session is always bigger,” said Bowers. “We look forward to our continued success developing the youth soccer player in San Diego.”
Does Futsal really help develop youth soccer players? We asked Bowers who said, “Most importantly, Futsal is a sport that can develop our youth soccer players — both technically and tactically — and make them more successful in the outdoor game.”
“Movement, more touches on the ball, creativity, defending in tight spaces, using skill to get out of tight spaces offensively, and creating confidence on the ball, as well as improving receiving a pass under pressure, along with better decision-making in 1v1 situations and ball retention — are all very important when developing our youth players. Futsal uniquely provides the opportunity to improve all these aspects of a player’s game.”
How is Futsal different from Soccer? How does it help develop skill?
Futsal, in using a smaller, and heavier ball forces players to develop their ball handling skills to be successful on the small, open court. With no sideboards to keep the ball in play, players must focus on accurate passing, quick reflexes and rapid decision making.
Futsal is played in a small space on a hard court floor, every touch on the ball matters. With all the fast-paced action, this sport is great for fitness.
Another great benefit of Futsal is that player size does not matter.
These fast-paced and high-scoring Futsal games are great for team bonding and players have a blast. The one single best reason to play? It is so fun and players love it.
The small team size – only five players – also assures that every player is involved in the action and has more touches on the ball.
Although many people know, some are still surprised to discover that Futsal is a recognized sport separate from soccer.
Futsal is the only form of indoor soccer officially recognized by FIFA and has been used for decades to help develop the skills of some of the world’s top players. In the last few years, the U.S. Development Academy has added futsal to their player development program.
Spring League Registration is now open. Season dates are March 25 to June 17, with no games scheduled on Easter, Mother’s Day or Memorial Day Weekend. Registration closes on February 28th.
Boys and Girls U7 – U14
High School (U15-U18)
Game Schedule: All (8) games are played on Sundays
Miramar Community College – 10440 Black Mountain Road, San Diego, CA, 92126
Canyon Crest Academy – 5951 E Village Center Loop Rd, San Diego, CA 92130
Cost: $595 per team
Team Size Recommendation: Best option is 8 to 12 players. The minimum is 5 and the max is 18 for the roster.
Recommendation: Players can form teams with friends or with teammates. Having a large bench is not a lot of fun for the players (nor the parents.) Often, if a club team wishes to play Futsal, the players can form two 619 Futsal teams and have a great time.
Conflicts: Teams may enter up to two conflict dates that will be granted. This must be done through the registration system.
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