U.S. Youth Futsal National Futsal I.D. Day Three Recap From Kansas City
This is a recap of the action at the U.S. Youth Futsal National ID program on Day Three – As the days continue on the Futsal courts in Overland Park, Kansas City, the competition continues to increase as more than 400 players participated in morning training sessions and fast, action packed pool play in the afternoon.
Day Three Recap: Hundreds of America’s most elite youth soccer and futsal players are gathered in Overland Park, Kansas to develop their Futsal skills and compete for a highly coveted roster spots on the U.S. Youth Futsal National Teams.
“Coaches always ask for effort and every kid has given 100%,” said U.S. Youth Futsal Technical Director, Keith Tozer. “The players all want to learn and are picking up the information very quickly. Add the players’ passion, fueled by their desire to be part of our USA team going to Costa Rica and this really creates a great environment.”
“The player evaluation process has to be fair,” said Tozer.
“Tryouts are daunting, especially if you are with some of the best players in the country and with new coaches,” said Tozer. “We know that kids perform differently depending upon how they slept at night, which coach they are working with, how well their bodies have recovered from training….”
“In this longer, 4-day process, we have a better chance to evaluate them thoroughly and select the best 10 field players, two goalkeepers plus 4 alternates for each of the U.S. Youth Futsal teams.”
The players selected at the National ID camp will be on the U.S. Youth National Futsal rosters and will compete in a series of international friendlies against top Costa Rican futsal programs from July 30 – Aug. 1.
What happens to the player not selected for a roster or alternate spot on the National Youth Futsal team? Tozer remembers the American Idol story where contestants come back the next year and make it.
“If a player is not selected, they need to search out a Futsal Academy, keep playing Futsal and keep trying,” said Tozer.
“There is so much pressure to be successful. It’s a competitive environment and we want players to use this National Camp as a stepping stone.”
“After three days of the 2nd annual National Futsal I.D. Camp, I am thoroughly impressed with the talent level and how the players are applying the Futsal specific techniques and tactics to the games. The future of Futsal in the USA is extremely bright,” said Jon Parry, Executive Director of U.S. Youth Futsal and a member of both the 1996 United States Futsal Team which competed in the World Championship in Spain and the 1998 team that played in the Brazilian Olympics. Parry holds an USSF “A” License, is also the Academy Director of Sporting Kansas City.
“These players are putting their hearts into every session. It is a pretty grueling schedule with multiple training sessions and games each day yet they continue to bring passion and skill to the court. It is incredible to see the increase in the quality of play from last year to this year. And although this makes our job of selecting the National Teams more difficult, it is a wonderful problem to have and it shows that futsal is growing quickly here in the USA,” said Bree Duckworth, Director of Operations of 619 Futsal.
What are the coaches looking for?
“I am looking for players with passion — not necessarily the best skilled player, but the kid who works just as hard at defense as on offense,” said Sean Bowers.
“I think all the players here have very good technical abilities. You see a lot of good 1v1 challenges,” said U.S. Youth Futsal Southwest Regional Director Bowers who is also the founder of 619 Futsal.
“Players can lack the defensive side of the game. Our US National Team Head Coach Keith Tozer always says that we base everything off our defense,” said Bowers. “Can players play defense off a 1v1? We are looking for players who, if they miss a shot and the play doesn’t go their way, they can hustle back and get in to a defensive challenge. I have seen a change in the players as the days pass. Players came here thinking they needed to show off their technical abilities. Now they know they need to do this plus prove they can play defense.”
Where do these talented youth Futsal players come from? The players attending this National ID session were selected at their local U.S. Youth Futsal Regional ID Camps and come from the following regions across the USA:
- 55 players come from Northeast
- 48 players come from Southeast
- 102 players come from Central
- 75 players come from Lakes
- 28 players come from Mountain
- 44 players come from South
- 73 players come from Southwest
For this National ID Camp, the coaches all arrived a day early to review the curriculum with Tozer who held a classroom training session. All the coaches also attended a regional training course. “I think it is important the coaches have the same foundation and use the same terminology. I don’t want robots and I love their creativity but I want our coaching of the players to be consistent,” said Tozer who first played Futsal in 1986.
Who are the U.S. Youth ID Directors?
Keith Tozer is the Technical Director and while he travels extensively all around the country, he lives in Milwaukee, Wis. Tozer is also the Head Coach for the US National Futsal Team as well as the commissioner for the Professional Futsal League (PFL), launching next year. Mark Litton is the Director of Goalkeeping and also lives in Milwaukee. Litton actually played for Tozer years ago and has worked with him for many years.
Who are the U.S. Youth Futsal National ID Camp Directors and Coaches?
Boys Directors: Sean Bowers; Murrieta, Calif., Soorena Farboodmanesh; Waban, Mass., Jon Parry; Overland Park, Kan., and Paul Roderique; Indian Land, S.C.
Boys Staff: Rafael Amaya; Denver, CO, Tom Bellen; Merrimack, N.H., Andre Berenzon; Mount Pleasant, S.C., Chris Booker; Philpot, Ky., Craig Canavan; La Grange, N.Y., Drew Ducker; Ann Arbor, Mich., Shawn Forcellini; Olathe, Kan., Mike Gentry; San Diego, Franklin McIntosh; Atlanta, Andy Schmidt; Overland Park, Kan., Derek Smith; Cincinnati and Bruno Victal; Merrimack, N.H.
Girls Directors: Jason Miller; Sudbury, Mass., Otto Orf; Kent, Ohio and Ty Stauffer; Owensboro, Ky.
Girls Staff: Briana Duckworth; San Diego, Jen Duke; Olathe, Kan., Kevin Jackson; Charleston, S.C., Jeff Lamy; Lowell, Mass., Mary Rea; Catawba, S.C., Jose Fabian Rodrigues; Grand Rapids, Mich. and Valerie Strocco; San Diego, CA.
“It was incredible to watch the players put the last three days of practice into play during the last game session,” said Bryan Finnerty whose son Josh plays for theU15 Michigan Jaguars and is participating in the U.S. Youth Futsal National ID program. “It is a true testimony to the depth of talent represented here in Kansas City. It is inspiring to watch as a former player and now father – futsal has arrived!”
“Futsal is exploding in the US and this will surely serve to improve the quality of young player the nation will produce,” said Pete Rickards, President of Bermuda Futsal. “CP Athletic Development is delighted to have two players from our Futsal academy in the US National Youth Futsal National ID program. Coach Tozer and his staff have again facilitated a top quality event. The level of talent here is tremendous.”
What is this experience like for the parents? “I think I’m more exhausted than my daughter,” said Kristi Kennedy. “I came here expecting to get a little work done while my daughter Zoe trained but I have gotten almost nothing accomplished except shuttling her to training three times each day, feeding her, making ice packs, stocking up on ibuprofen and muscle rollers, and sitting in the laundry room line each evening — but, the experience is absolutely worth all of the effort. Zoe has loved her time here at the ID Camp and has learned so much. She’s eager to head back to her team in South Carolina and share all that she’s learned…and she’s also already talking about coming back next year! The things we do for the love of our kiddos!”
Who will make the National Futsal Team and travel to San Jose, Costa Rica to compete with the esteemed futsal programs of Colegio Ezcazu, Colegio Santa Ana and Borussia Futsal? The players invited to play on the National team will be selected in the next few days and notified on Monday, July 13, 2015.
For more on the upcoming Futsal National Team experience in Costa Rica and why it will be tremendously beneficial for youth players, please read Keith Tozer comments from Day One recap.
The Futsal dream continues – who will be selected to represent our country at the international futsal competition in Costa Rica on a U.S. Youth Futsal National Team? The evaluations are in-depth and comprehensive and every player works hard to bring their A game to the Futsal courts. This National ID program identifies and develops elite Futsal players in the most challenging and competitive environment possible.
Costa Rica, the reigning CONCACAF men’s futsal champion, has participated in two Futsal World Cups and hosted the CONCACAF Championships twice. In December 2014 it hosted the first-ever Women’s World Championships.
Editorial Note: [7:50pm] The article was updated to modify Keith Tozer’s quote.