USA roster set for 2021 Concacaf Futsal Championship
CHICAGO, IL – U.S. Futsal National Team head coach Dusan Jakica has announced the 14-player roster that will represent the USA at the 2021 Concacaf Futsal Championship from May 3-9 in Guatemala.
The USA will face El Salvador, Nicaragua and Cuba in Group D play at the 13-team tournament. After round-robin group play, the top two teams from each of the four groups will advance to the quarterfinals. The four semifinalists will earn a berth at the 2021 FIFA Futsal World Cup in Lithuania this September (rescheduled from 2020).
“We had many difficult decisions in choosing the roster that will represent the U.S. in Guatemala, having evaluated over 600 players since September 2019– when we started preparation for this tournament,” said Jakica. “I want to thank all the players who participated- we now have a wide base of players and great potential for the future. We opted for players who at this point we think can bring us what we want. I am very excited and confident that we will play well in Guatemala.”
“Covid significantly disrupted our plans, but it also disrupted the plans of other teams. While we did not have the preparation period we wanted, I expect that we will provide good games in Guatemala and the U.S. Futsal National Team will play real, modern futsal.”
Fans in the U.S. can watch all matches on TUDN platforms and the official Concacaf app.
U.S. FUTSAL NATIONAL TEAM ROSTER BY POSITION (Club/Hometown)
Position Key: Fixo = Stopper, Defense; Ala = Winger / Midfielder; Pivot = Target / Forward
GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Eduardo Macias (Unattached; Dallas, Texas), 12-Diego Moretti (Petrarca Pavoda/ITA; Ancona, Italy)
FIXOS (3): 13-Eduardo Buenfil (Unattached; San Jose, Calif.), 5-Julian Escobar (Harrisburg Heat – MASL; Hicksville, N.Y.), 8-Guilherme Veiga (Milwaukee Wave – MASL; Milwaukee, Wisc.)
ALAS (6): 14-Luciano Gonzalez (Buldog Lucrezia/ITA; Mendoza, Argentina), 6-Jeremy Klepal (Lansing City Futsal; Lansing, Mich.), 7-Daniel Mattos (Compass United Futsal; Chicago, Ill.), 11-Tomas Pondeca (Paris Acasa/FRA; Dallas, Texas), 10-Ricardo de Maria Sobreira (Florida Tropics – MASL; Lakeland, Fla.), 4-Alencar Ventura-Junior (Safira Futsal; Tewksbury, Mass.)
PIVOS (3): 3-Raphael Araujo (NY Ecuador Futsal; Bound Brook, N.J.), 9-Everson Maciel (Safira Futsal; Milford, Conn.), 2-Zach Reget (Florida Tropics – MASL; Kenosha, Wisc.)
Head Coach: Dusan Jakica (Eden Prairie, Minn.)
Assistant Coach: Otto Orf (Akron, Ohio)
Assistant Coach: Pablo da Silva (Fort Worth, Texas)
The USA will gather in Atlanta on April 26 before departing for Guatemala on April 30. The Futsal National Team will follow the comprehensive U.S. Soccer Return to Play Protocols and Guidelines during the pre-tournament training camp and the tournament.
- The Concacaf Futsal Championship was originally scheduled for May 2020 but was postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- All matches will be played without fans at the Domo Polideportivo in Guatemala City, which hosted the 2000 FIFA Futsal World Cup.
- This is the seventh Concacaf Futsal Championship and fourth time the tournament has been staged in Guatemala (1996, 2008, 2012). The other three championships were held in Costa Rica (2000, 2004, 2016).
- The USA won the inaugural 1996 and 2004 Concacaf Futsal Championships and finished third in 2000 and 2008. Costa Rica (2000, 2012, 2016) and Guatemala (2008) are the only other countries to win the regional championship.
- After playing in five of the first six FIFA Futsal World Cups (1989, 1992, 1996, 2004 and 2008), the USA is seeking a return to the world stage after failing to qualify in 2012 and 2016.
- Three players on the USA roster play futsal in Europe: goalkeeper Diego Moretti in Italy’s Serie A with Petrarca Padova, Luciano Gonzalez in Italy’s Serie A/2 with Buldog Lucrezia and Tomas Podenca with Paris Acasa in the Championnat de France Futsal D1.
- Moretti is the second American to play professionally for a club in Padova, Italy in Serie A. Former MNT defender Alexi Lalas played on the outdoor Calcio Padova team during the 1994-95 season.
- Four players currently compete professionally in the Major Arena Soccer League: Julian Escobar (Harrisburg Heat), Zach Reget and Ricardinho Sobreria (Florida Tropics) and Guilherme Veiga (Milwaukee Wave).
- Eduardo Macias and Daniel Mattos return from the U.S. Futsal NT that fell to Canada in a two-legged series during the 2016 Concacaf Futsal Championship Qualifiers in Costa Rica. Mattos scored in both matches.
- Five players have played with teams that have participated in the Concacaf Club Futsal Championship: Futsal Club Toronto, which played in the 2014 Concacaf Club Futsal Championship, added Luciano Gonzalez for the 2015 Intercontinental Futsal Cup in Brazil. Additionally, Macias, Sobreria, Veiga and Alencar Ventura-Junior played for Elite Futsal Club (Provo, Utah), which finished second at the 2017 Concacaf Club Futsal Championship and represented the region at the 2018 Intercontinental Futsal Cup in Thailand.
- Two players have coached in Major League Soccer academies in New York: Raphael Araujo coached NY Red Bulls Youth training programs and Regional Development Schools camps from 2015-17 while Julian Escobar has coached U-9 to U-15 youth programs in the NYCFC Academy since 2018.
- At 19, Pondeca is the youngest member of the team, graduating from Marcus High School (Texas) in 2020 before beginning his futsal career in France. The second youngest is Eduardo Buenfil (23), who played four years at San JState University and is set to graduate in late May.
- In case of serious injury, teams may replace a player on the 14-player roster with a player from the 20-player provisional list up until 24 hours before kickoff of the first game, as approved by Concacaf.