USA kicking off FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup today against Switzerland
ASUNCIÓN, Paraguay – The U.S. Beach Soccer Men’s National Team returns to the global stage on Thursday, Nov. 21 with its opening match of Group A play at the 2019 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup against Switzerland at Estadio Mundialista “Los Pynandi” in Asuncion, Paraguay (3:50 p.m. ET; FS2, Universo).
The USA will also face Japan on Nov. 23 and the hosts, Paraguay, on Nov. 25 in Group A action. Fans can watch all the matches on FS2 and Universo, and follow the team on Instagram at@ussoccer_beach and Twitter at @ussoccer. The World Cup hashtag is #BeachSoccerWC.
2019 U.S. MEN’S BEACH SOCCER NATIONAL TEAM WORLD CUP ROSTER:
U.S. head coach Eddie Soto brought back five players who he took to the USA’s last FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup appearance in 2013 in Tahiti, including captain Nick Perera and goalkeeper Chris Toth, who were named among the Top 50 Beach Soccer players in the world for a third consecutive year. Also returning are Alessandro Canale, Jason Leopoldo, and veteran Ryan Futagaki, who has the unique distinction of having also played for the USA at the 1999 FIFA World Youth Championship in Nigeria.
USA Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Juan Cervantes (Los Angeles, Calif.), Chris Toth (Fallbrook, Calif.),
DEFENDERS (4): Adriano Dos Santos (Baltimore, Md.), Ryan Futagaki (Huntington Beach, Calif.), Oscar Reyes (Santa Ana, Calif.), Jason Santos (Cardiff by the Sea, Calif.)
FORWARDS (6): Alessandro Canale (Venice, Calif.), Jason Leopoldo (Scottsdale, Ariz.), David Mondragon (Santa Cruz, Calif.) Nick Perera (Carlsbad, Calif.), Lucas Roque (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), Gabriel Silveira (San Francisco, Cali.)
USA Roster Notes:
- Canale (2 goals), Futagaki (1 goal), Leopoldo (1 goal) and Perera (5 goals) played in all three games for the USA at the 2013 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Tahiti, combining to score nine of the USA’s 13 goals. Toth appeared in two matches in goal.
- Perera’s five goals in 2013 were the most for American in any single FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, surpassing the four Raphael Xexeo scored in the 2006 tournament.
- Perera is also the USA’s all-time leading scorer in World Cup qualifying with 37 (Concacaf Beach Soccer Championships: 11 in 2013, 10 in 2015, 4 in 2017, and 13 in 2019).
- The roster also includes 10 of the 12 players who helped the USA qualify for the World Cup by finishing second in the 2019 Concacaf Beach Soccer Championship in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico: Canale, Cervantes, Dos Santos, Futagaki, Leopoldo, Mondragon, Reyes, Santos, Perera and Toth.
- Futagaki who began playing with the BSNT in 2007, Leopoldo (2009) and Reyes (2010) are the most tenured members of the team.
- In addition to Futagaki, who played in the 1999 FIFA World Youth World Championship (Under-20) and U-23 MNT at the 1999 Pan American Games, Leopoldo was part of the U.S. Youth National Team program from U-15 to U-23 and was on the 2005 Milk Cup winning team. Reyes and Cervantes were also called in to U-17 YNT camps.
- Eight players played collegiately and earned degrees, led by four former UCLA Bruins: Futagaki, Leopoldo, Oscar Reyes and Juan Cervantes. Canale (UC-San Diego), Jason Santos (UC-Davis), Gabe Silveira (San Francisco State) and Perera (UC-Santa Barbara) are the other graduates.
- Lucas Roque, who made his BSNT debut at the 2017 Puerto Vallarta Cup, returned to the sand for the first time since that tournament in September after recovering from a second ACL surgery in 2018.
- Adriano dos Santos, Roque and Perera have also played for the U.S. Men’s Futsal NT.
- Toth and Perera have been nominated among the Top 50 Beach Soccer players in 2017, 2018 and 2019 by Beach Soccer Worldwide, the sports organizing body.
- Four players also played club soccer on current Development Academy sides: Reyes (Strikers FC Irvine), Cervantes (Pateadores – 2010/11 DA U18 Champions; LA Galaxy), David Mondragon (De Anza Force) and Silveira (Marin FC). Leopoldo played for SoCal United, which later merged to form Real SoCal.
- Three players play in the Major Arena Soccer League: Perera (Tacoma Stars), Toth (Ontario Fury), Dos Santos (Baltimore Blast)
- Cervantes, Reyes and Santos have participated in all seven camps in 2019.
- Head coach Eddie Soto leads the team to his second FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, having also been at the helm in 2013. He is assisted by former BSNT captain Francis Farberoff, the only player to play in each of the USA’s first four Beach Soccer World Cup appearances (2005, 2006, 2007, 2013).
THE TOURNAMENT FIELD:
Sixteen teams make up the field for the 2019 Beach Soccer World Cup, divided into four groups of four. The top two teams from each group after round-robin play will advance to the quarterfinals.
In the latest Beach Soccer Worldwide Rankings, all four teams in Groups A and B are ranked in the top 15. Rankings in parenthesis.
Group A: Paraguay (7th), Switzerland (8th), Japan (12 th), USA (15th)
Group B: Italy (4th), Tahiti (9th), Mexico (11 th), Uruguay (14th),
Group C: Russia (2nd), Senegal (10th), United Arab Emirates (13th), Belarus (18th)
Group D: Brazil (1st), Portugal (3rd), Nigeria (21 st), Oman (22nd)
Group A Schedule:
- Thur., Nov. 21: Switzerland vs. USA (3:50 p.m. ET)
- Thur., Nov. 21: Paraguay vs Japan (7 p.m. ET)
- Sat., Nov. 23: USA vs Japan (3:50 p.m. ET)
- Sat. Nov. 23: Paraguay vs Switzerland (7 p.m. ET)
- Mon., Nov. 25: Japan vs Switzerland (3:50 p.m. ET)
- Mon., Nov. 25: USA vs Paraguay (7 p.m. ET)
USA AT THE FIFA BEACH SOCCER WORLD CUP:
The USA clinched a berth at the 2019 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup by advancing to the 2019 Concacaf Beach Soccer Championship final in May with a penalty kick win over El Salvador. It marks the USA’s first time back at the World Cup since 2013, and fifth appearance in ten FIFA Beach Soccer World Cups,
U.S. Beach Soccer World Cup Results (USA Goal scorers):
2005 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
May 9: L 2-3 Japan (Pierre Cazassus, Eduardo Testa)
May 10: L 3-9 Portugal (Christian Braga, Ben Astorga, Francis Farberoff)
2006 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Nov. 3: L 4-8 Japan (Raphael Xexeo, Francis Farberoff, Yuri Morales, Anthony Chimienti)
Nov. 5: W 4-2 Poland (Chimienti (2), Brendon Taguinod, Astorga)
Nov. 7: L 6-10 Brazil (Xexeo (3), Astorga (2), Taguinod)
2007 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Nov. 2: L 4-8 Spain (Xexeo, Zac Ibsen, Jevin Albuquerque, Chimienti)
Nov. 4: W 7-6 Iran (Josh Nolz (2), Chimienti (2), Morales, Astorga, Ibsen)
Nov. 6: L 5-6 Portugal (OT) (Astorga (2), Nolz, A. Chimienti, Albuquerque)
2013 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup – Tahiti, French Polynesia
Sept. 19: L 4-5 Spain – Ryan Futagaki, Nick Perera, A. Chimienti, Lewie Valentine
Sept. 21: L 3-5 Tahiti (OT) – Own Goal, A. Chimienti, Perera
Sept. 23: W 6-4 United Arab Emirates – Perera (3), Alessandro Canale (2), Jason Leopoldo
Key U.S. Stats:
- The USA has won three World Cup matches and suffered eight defeats over its first four tournaments.
- Current Men’s Assistant Coach Francis Farberoff is the only player to appear in all four World Cups.
- Most World Cup Games Played: Farberoff (11), Brendon Taguinod (9), Ben Astorga (8)
- Most World Cup Goals: Anthony Chimienti (9), Ben Astorga (7), Raphael Xexeo (6), Nick Perera (5)
- Most Games with a Goal Scored: 7 – Chimienti; 5 – Ben Astorga; 3 – Xexeo; 3 – Perera
- Most Consecutive Games with a Goal Scored: 5 – Chimieni (3 in 2007, 2 in 2013); 3 – Perera (2013)
- Most Games by a Goalkeeper: 6 – Luis Montanez; 4 – Bayard Elfin; 2 – Cazassus, Daryl Fischer, Chris Toth
- Hat tricks: Xexeo – Nov. 7, 2006 (L 6-10 Brazil); Perera – Sept. 23, 2013 (W 6-4 UAE)
- First Goal: Per FIFA, the first USA goal at a World Cup was scored by goalkeeper Pierre Cazassus May 5, 2005 in a 2-3 loss to Japan.
THE USA’S GROUP A OPPONENTS:
Switzerland is participating in its fifth Beach Soccer World Cup and third straight…Their best tournament in 2009 in UAE, where Switzerland finished as runner-up to Brazil…They finished fifth in 2017 and eighth in 2015…Switzerland qualified after finished fourth in European qualifying…their coach Coach Angelo Schirinzi was Tahiti’s coach in 2013 when they beat USA in OT, and has been a player or coach in all five of Switzerland’s World Cup appearances.
- The last meeting between the USA and Switzerland came in a friendly on August 21, 2016 with the Europeans winning 10-6 in Spiez, Switzerland. Canale, Dos Santos, Leopolodo, Perera and Santos played in that match.
Japan has never missed the Beach Soccer World Cup, joining Brazil as the only nations to compete in all 10 tournaments…Japan’s best finish was 4th in inaugural 2005 edition…the USA fell to Japan in the group stage of the 2005 (2-3) and 2006 World Cup (4-8)…Japan advanced to the quarterfinals in 2006, 2009, 2013 and 2015 and failed to get out of group in their other four tournaments…They qualified for Paraguay 2019 by winning AFC Beach Soccer Championship on penalty kicks over United Arab Emirates…Ozu Moreira was the top scorer (8 goals) and Most Valuable Player at the Asian qualifying tournament, and recently named to the world Best Five team …Head coach Ruy Ramos also led Japan at the 2005, 2009, 2011 and 2013 World Cups.
- The USA defeated Japan for the first time on August 12, 2018 with a 5-3 win in the opening match of the Balaton Cup in Siófok, Hungary, with goals coming from World Cup roster players Alessandro Canale, Jason Leopoldo and David Mondragon, as well as Chris Albiston and an own goal.
- Japan has been one of the USA’s most frequent opponents outside of Concacaf over the years as the two have met in the U.S., Hungary, Japan, Dubai, Portugal and Brazil.
- Prior to 2018, Japan won all ten meeting since the inaugural FIFA World Cup: three friendlies in January 2017 in Florida, two in 2015 in Japan, both matches at the 2014 Intercontinental Cup in Dubai and also in the 2014 Mundialito in Portugal. The USA also lost to Japan at the 2005 and 2006 World Cups.
- The last recorded USA win over Japan came prior the sport was under FIFA at the 1999 World Series.
The hosts first qualified for the Beach Soccer World Cup in 2013, and 2019 marks their fourth consecutive appearance …The team’s best finish was in the Quarterfinals in Bahamas 2017, where they lost to eventual runners-up Tahiti…pivot Pedro Moran was top scorer at 2015 World Cup in Portugal with eight goals; Moran has combined to scored 15 goals in his three World Cups.
- The USA and Paraguay have never met on sand.
BEACH SOCCER HISTORY:
- Born on the beaches in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, beach soccer has long been played informally on sandy shorelines around the world. Despite its South American roots, the game was codified in 1992 by a group in Los Angeles and one year later the first professional beach soccer competition was held at Miami Beach with the USA hosting Brazil, Argentina and Italy.
- In 1994, the first World Championship was held for beach soccer in Rio de Janeiro, and the U.S. team had modest success with a second-place finish in 1995 and a third-place finish in 1997.
- FIFA recognized beach soccer beginning in 2005 with the first official FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup played in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The first five World Cups were played yearly, however following the 2009 World Cup in Dubai, the event has taken place every two years. Paraguay 2019 will be the tenth under the auspices of FIFA.
FOUR COUNTRIES HAVE WON THE BEACH SOCCER WORLD CUP:
Top four finishes at each of the first nine FIFA Beach Soccer World Cups.
2005 (Brazil): 1st France, 2nd Portugal, 3 rd Brazil; 4th Japan
2006 (Brazil): 1st Brazil, 2nd Uruguay, 3 rd France, 4th Portugal
2007 (Brazil): 1st Brazil, 2nd Mexico, 3rd , Uruguay, 4th France
2008 (France): 1st Brazil, 2nd Italy, 3rd Portugal, 4th Spain
2009 (Dubai): 1st Brazil, 2nd Switzerland; 3 rd Portugal, 4th Uruguay
2011 (Italy): 1st Russia, 2nd Brazil, 3rd Portugal, 4th El Salvador
2013 (Tahiti): 1st Russia, 2nd Spain, 3rd Brazil, 4th Tahiti
2015 (Portugal): 1st Portugal, 2nd Tahiti, 3 rd Russia, 4th Italy
2017 (Bahamas): 1st Brazil, 2nd Tahiti, 3 rd Iran, 4th Italy
FIVE THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT BEACH SOCCER:
The concept is the same as the traditional game, but there are unique rules for the beach version. Without re-writing the Beach Laws of the Game, here are some basics:
- The game is played on a sand ‘pitch’ measuring roughly 30×40 yards and goals around 18×7 feet, with four field players and a goalkeeper, who can – and often does – score.
- There are three 12-minute periods (3 minute breaks in between), and no ties. If tied after 36 minutes, they’ll play a three-minute overtime period. If still tied, it’s best of three penalties, followed by sudden death. Points are as follows:
- 3 points for regulation win
- 2 points for overtime win
- 1 point for penalty kick win
- Teams can dress all 12 players and make substitutions on the fly from the designated area.
- Goalkeepers can only use their hands once per possession, which is why having a goalkeeper comfortable with their feet can be advantageous.
- There are yellow and red cards. If a player is shown red, his team will play a man down for two minutes (or until the opponent scores if within two minutes). Afterwards, the team may re-insert another player to return to level.