Rose City Futsal Grows the Game in Portland
The growth of futsal in the United States has taken the forefront of soccer development with many facilities across the country dedicated to growing the game at the ground level. With the dedication of organizations such as US Youth Futsal and the upcoming Professional Futsal League, futsal is making rounds as a known benefit for player development.
The help of local futsal facilities should not go unnoticed as they serve as a contributing factor for growing the beautiful game in the United States.
Futsal News: At our second stop in Portland, Oregon, GoalNation visits local soccer center Rose City Futsal (RCF), which has experienced enormous growth over the last three years.
RCF opened in 2013 with the help of nine families invested in the business. Since then, the group has revitalized an old T.V. and appliance warehouse into a growing futsal facility that now runs youth and adult leagues, youth academy trainings, camps, open-play and even adult classes.
General Manager Kevin Murray, an original investor, explains that one of the key aspects that RCF prides itself on is the ability to see all ages playing at a given moment.
You can have a 2-year-old playing futsal on one court with someone in his 50s on the next court, and a former pro player on the following court,” said Murray.
Murray stepped in to be general manager last year after serving as board president prior to his appointment. He explains that the development of RCF has been a complete group effort with each family utilizing their skill sets to help build the facility into a top tier soccer hub.
“We have a diverse group of families with different skills,” said Murray. “Everybody has stepped up at one time or another to help get the business off the ground.”
RCF consists of one hard court and two turf fields. At the time of the facility’s opening, the goal was to provide new players to the game with an opportunity to transition from turf to a hard surface court.
People who were familiar with the game of futsal were drawn to the hard surface court, while newcomers wanted to play on turf. Murray explains that over time the hard court became the preferred field.
As futsal begins to take the main stage of soccer development in the United States, Murray notes that our youth system is currently at a point where it has yet to be defined how it ties in.
“We have conversations with local clubs about how it all fits in,” explains Murray. “What is the best thing for the growth of soccer and our talent? What is the best thing for the growth of futsal in the area?”
Ultimately, RCF has built a program that provides all players with an opportunity to quicken his or her feet to the pace of the futsal game.
Adult leagues consist of men’s, women’s and co-ed divisions as well as Over-40 and soon Over-50 for men. Youth leagues for boys and girls range from the 2010 age division up to 2000/2001.
In addition to league offerings, RCF also holds tournaments throughout the year.
The facility’s ThanksKicking Tournament concluded over the weekend, while its annual Rose City Futsal Cup is held in February. RCF also hosts numerous camps during the year, which includes single-day as well as Holiday/Spring Break events.
There is an opportunity for everyone to enjoy the game and take their skills to the next level at Rose City Futsal. Camps and leagues provide opportunities for all players as well as the notable training academy that ranges based on age and experience.
Rose City Futsal Academy
The training academy at Rose City bases its programs on three pillars: safety, professionalism and fun.
Director of Coaching Eduardo Araujo notes that RCF aims to provide the missing link in American soccer with an option for youth players to enjoy the game in a safe environment rather than playing in the streets.
RCF focuses on professionalism from the day players come in by developing discipline and sportsmanship with the goal always for children to enjoy the game.
When it comes down to futsal and the way we play – the main priority is that they need to play with joy,” said Araujo.
The RCF Academy consists of three programs for youth players. The All-Levels program is available for beginners who are learning the basic techniques of futsal, while the Advanced program is for players typically coming from outdoor clubs.
The facility’s Select Teams program primarily focuses on the specific skills of futsal with the squads traveling for tournaments.
In regard to the training curriculum, Araujo notes that younger age groups tend to focus primarily on technical skills. As the players develop technical abilities, the focus then shifts to more tactical concepts.
“As players reach the U13/U14 age groups we work on different concepts such as 5v4 situations,” said Araujo. “If you get in a situation and you’re losing the game, how do you bring your goalie out? How do we get the max number to try and equalize the game?”
In addition to its own training, RCF also welcomes guest futsal instructors for a chance to gain insight from prestigious coaches in the game.
Italian futsal coach Marco Shindler is the latest visiting instructor who led a coaching clinic and player training two weekends ago.
Growth of Rose City Futsal
The soccer community in Portland has embraced Rose City Futsal as kids and adults have found a place to enjoy the game together.
“People come regularly to play with their friends and enjoy the atmosphere,” said Murray.
He explains that the growth of futsal in the United States is getting to the tipping point where everyone is talking about it. Rose City is glad to be a part of this growth as Americans begin to embrace futsal at all levels.
“We know there are a lot of futsal facilities out there,” said Murray. “We’re glad to be a part of that mission – we’re here to grow the game.”
Murray explains that the facility has reached all soccer communities in the region and has even created new ones. Local women immediately fell in love with the game upon RCF’s opening, and eventually players started volunteering to teach their friends how to play and even launched their own women’s league.
Rose City Futsal also participates in fundraisers to provide after-school camps to local youth. RCF’s Soccer Stars program serving 18 month to 6-year-olds allows for young children to come in and socialize as well as develop basic motor skills at an early age.
In addition to the offerings provided on the court, RCF also serves as a community to enjoy after training or matches. You are able to cheer on the local Portland Timbers at Clive’s Public House, a bar and grill located on the upper level of the facility named after Clive Charles – a local legend who played for the NASL Timbers.
As the new year approaches, the ownership group is preparing for the opening of its second location, Rose City Futsal West. The new facility will include three hard courts with the same programs available.
RCF West will open its doors in January as the Rose City team heads 16 miles west with the same mission in place – continue to grow the game.