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Futsal Kicks Off CONCACAF Qualifying on Monday vs. Haiti in Guatemala


U.S. Futsal National Team
Game Notes — U.S. vs. Haiti
Group B, CONCACAF Championship
Guatemala City, Guatemala
June 3, 2008


FIRST MEETING WITH HAITI: The U.S. opens defense of its CONCACAF Futsal Championship at 12 p.m. local time Tuesday (June 3) against Haiti in the second game of Group B pool play at Domo Polideportivo in Guatemala City, Guatemala. Haiti and the United States have never played an international futsal match. Haiti qualified for the CONCACAF Championship by finishing second to Trinidad & Tobago in the Caribbean Qualifying Tournament. It is the first time Haiti has qualified for the CONCACAF Championships. Haiti defeated Guyana 12-2 and Sint Maarten 19-1 before falling 6-3 to Trinidad & Tobago in the Caribbean final. Edouard Voltaire had a hat trick in the victory over Guyana and four more goals against Sint Maarten.

NEW FACES FOR THE U.S.: Not one player from the 2004 CONCACAF gold medal team is on the 12-man U.S. roster for this tournament. Two players — Jamar Beasley and Pat Morris — were part of the team that played in the 2004 FIFA World Championships in Taipei. There are 64 combined caps on the team, led by Morris (18) and Beasley (17). Four players will be making their first international appearances in this tournament.

TUNING UP: Head coach Keith Tozer brought his team to Guatemala City last Wednesday, and the Americans have played two exhibition matches and held three training sessions since arriving. On Friday, the U.S. defeated Winasor 7-1 and on Saturday, scored a 13-0 victory over Ferretaria el Trebol. Both teams play in the second division of Liga Nacional de Futsal Guatemala. “One thing this team needs is to play a lot of games, which is why we came down early,” Tozer said.

THE BEST SO FAR: CONCACAF has conducted three futsal championships, and the U.S. has an overall record of 10-2-2, with two gold medals (1996, 2004) and one bronze (2000). The only team with a comparable record of success is Cuba, which has been the runner-up in all three championships. Keith Tozer has been the coach for all three appearances in the CONCACAF. All-time, the U.S. is 41-32-13 since beginning futsal play with a 4-1 loss to Holland on Nov. 18, 1986.

TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE
All matches at Domo Polideportivo, Guatemala City, Guatemala
All times local (Mountain Time Zone)
Group A
June 3: Cuba vs. Mexico, 6 p.m.
June 3: Guatemala vs. Trinidad & Tobago, 8 p.m.
June 4: Trinidad & Tobago vs. Cuba, 6 p.m.
June 4: Guatemala vs. Mexico, 8 p.m.
June 5: Mexico vs. Trinidad & Tobago, 6 p.m.
June 5: Guatemala vs. Cuba, 8 p.m.

Group B
June 3: Costa Rica vs. Panama, 10 a.m.
June 3: USA vs. Haiti, noon
June 4: Haiti vs. Costa Rica, 10 a.m.
June 4: Panama vs. USA, noon
June 5: Panama vs. Haiti, 10 a.m.
June 5: USA vs. Costa Rica, noon.

Semifinals
June 7: Group B1 vs. Group A2, 2 p.m.
June 7: Group A1 vs. Group B2, 4 p.m.

Finals
June 8: Third place, 2 p.m.
June 8: Championship, 4 p.m.
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