Very proud of our Cardinal Bears Futsal team's performance this week. They placed 3rd place at the Futsal Nationals yesterday.
This is our third 3rd place out of the last 4 nationals and regionals.
Nationals and regionals are roughly the same tournament since national tournament features almost all NorCal teams, this was true even when it was played in Anaheim.
In the semi-final, we lost an exciting game to Futsal Without Borders, 6-5.
We were up against an all-star team including some of the best 2004 players from all over the bay area, with a coach that was brought in from Barcelona, Spain and have been training for months. All of our kids except our goalie are 2005s and none are in "Academy" teams. They beat two other teams loaded with top 2004 Academy players to get to the semi-final...beating national champs Marin 5-4 and Legends Futsal 6-1.
We keep a roster small enough so that all the kids play roughly half the game and we try hard to make sure they all get their playing time. Everyone likes to win but we stick with all the kids and win or lose as a team. It was a full team effort.
If anything, our kids made up for all my coaching mistakes in the semi-final. One of our boys stepped up at halftime to give our boys a pep-talk to lift their spirits after we gave up a cheap PK to end the half, leaving us down 5-2. We rallied back and had them on the ropes. A spectacular goal by their star player put them to 6.
We scraped back to 5, and in the last minutes had several near goals...a hard shot off the bar that nearly ricocheted in off the back of the keeper and right at the end, a ball that was touched past the keeper rolling slowly right along the goal line with our onrushing player just barely unable to reach it.
This was in front of a couple of hundred people watching...exciting stuff.
About our team...all of the players are ones that played with my boys, Gavin and Luke, and Charles Moore's son Jimmy.
We found the kids who took an interest in Futsal...almost all of them started futsal with classes run by Futsal Kingz and coached by excellent coaches Tom Brough, Tim Newsome and Dan Neal.
We tried to get a lot of our teammates to try it, only a handful would, and out of them only a handful stuck with it and those are the boys that formed our team. You could see the impact of futsal on their outdoor soccer game. We've been playing together for 3 years now with pretty much the same kids.
Our team is not so much coached as allowed to play. We get together to play once a week...but don't do tactics or drills (a little rondo to warm up)...but the key is we play an intense 5v5 for 1 1/2 hrs...no subs, one break for 2 minutes in the middle. We occasionally stop play to discuss what just happened but it's just lots of touches and a chance to try stuff, shoot a lot and not worry about mistakes.
For those soccer coaches or parents that don't do futsal...it's terrific fun for the kids and the best way to develop real soccer skills. You're missing out if your kids are not doing it regularly.
There's a lot of futsal happening in the bay area.
We highly recommend Futsal Kingz for younger players (as early as 2.5yrs). We've also trained with
Vava Marques at World United Futsal Academy. He really knows futsal and is US National team coach. Our friend Diana Guntvedt has built up a strong program Futsal Without Borders. Legends Futsal does a lot in the San Jose area and really does a good job teaching futsal skills and tactics.
Another training a lot of our kids do is SoccerIQ with Humphrey Asiaba who runs trainings in Almaden every day of the week.
There's few people around who understand development of technical skill than Humphrey.
There's two big leagues in the bay area and Cardinal Bears play in both.http://futsalsj.org
that plays in San Jose and Stanford-Palo Alto League http://usyouthfutsal.com/stanfordpaloaltofutsal/ourleague/index_E.html
The other thing the Cardinal Bears do is 5v5 outdoor soccer tournaments, run by http://5v5soccer.org/
It's played much like futsal but on turf or grass.
They run a 1-day tournament almost every weekend all around the bay area...if we can get 6 kids able to go, we go.
They're a lot of fun and great for getting the kids lots of touches and opportunities to try their skills.
The competition is sometimes uneven but very good teams do show up there.