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U.S. Futsal National Team Continues World Cup Campaign Against Italy at 11:30 a.m. ET on Thursday, Oct.2


U.S. Futsal National Team Pre-Game Notes
2008 FIFA Futsal World Cup
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
October 1, 2008


CONTINUING THE QUEST: The U.S. Futsal National Team continues its FIFA Futsal World Cup campaign when they face Italy at 11:30 a.m. ET on Thursday, Oct. 2 at the Maracanãzinho in Rio de Janeiro. After Tuesday's loss against Paraguay, points are at a premium for Keith Tozer's side as they come up against an Italian side that just shaded Thailand, 1-0, in their opening game. The U.S. vs. Italy can be seen live on ESPN360.com and tape delayed on Galavision on Oct. 3 at 12:30 a.m. ET/PT. The MNT Blog will also have live text updates of the game.

Quick Hits:

  • Twelve players are eligible to dress for the United States in the game against Italy, meaning two players of the 14-man roster will be inactive.
  • Midfielder Andy Rosenband returns to the squad following his suspension for the first game. Rosenband was ineligible for the first FIFA Futsal World Cup game against Paraguay, having been red carded in the USA's last competitive international game against Panama in the CONCACAF Championship's third-place match.
  • Two U.S. players, Pat Morris and Jamar Beasley, are carrying yellow cards heading into the next match. Italy, meanwhile, does not have players carrying bookings.
  • Italy was forced into a late roster change on Monday. Due to injury, Douglas Corsini was replaced by Jocimar Jubanski on the Italian roster.
  • Now in its fifth FIFA Futsal World Cup, the U.S. has played 26 matches all-time, going 12-10-4. See below for more U.S. FIFA Futsal World Cup history.
  • Following the loss against Paraguay, the U.S. drops to 4-2-2 in 2008. The other loss came against Guatemala in the CONCACAF Futsal Semifinals in June.
  • The U.S. has scored 25 goals this year, while conceding 21. Defender Matt Stewart is the USA's leading scorer with six goals to his credit.
  • With only two players, Jamar Beasley and Pat Morris, who have prior FIFA Futsal World Cup experience, the game against Paraguay marked the first appearance in the World Cup for most of the U.S. squad. Jeff Richey, Joe Hammes, Denison Cabral, Matt Stewart, Ptah Myers, Chile Farias, Andrew Jacobson, Sandre Naumoski and Brett Wiesner all earned their first World Cup cap against Paraguay.
  • Both Morris and Beasley are far and away the cap leaders on the FIFA Futsal World Cup squad. Morris has 26 caps while Beasley is just behind him with 24. Sean Bowers is the U.S. Futsal National Team's all-time cap leader, having played 35 times for the national team between 1996 and 2004.
  • Morris has the most international goals of any player on the U.S. team. His 12 tallies are good for second all-time behind Jim Gabarra's 17 goals.
  • The Philadelphia KiXX, Chicago Storm and Milwaukee Wave each have three representatives on the U.S. World Cup team, while the Detroit Ignition sends two players to Brazil. Denison Cabral is the sole representative from the Baltimore Blast of the recently disbanded MISL. He was named MVP of the 2008 MISL Championship match, helping Baltimore earn the title.
  • Head coach Keith Tozer has been at the helm of the U.S. Futsal National Team for more than 13 years, the longest streak of any current U.S. Soccer head coach.
  • In the history of the FIFA Futsal World Cup, only two nations have ever won the title: Brazil in 1989, 1992 and 1996, and Spain in 2000 and 2004.
  • Despite the sport's popularity in Brazil, the samba nation has never hosted the FIFA Futsal World Cup. The previous hosts: The Netherlands (1989), Hong Kong (1992), Spain (1996), Guatemala (2000) and Chinese Taipei (2004).

U.S. FUTSAL NATIONAL TEAM ROSTER BY POSITION
(A detailed roster is available at ussoccer.com)

GOALKEEPERS (2): Jeff Richey (Fort Wayne, Ind., 6/0), Nick Vorberg (Grants Pass, Ore., 9/0);
DEFENDERS (2): Joe Hammes (Cedarburg, Wis., 12/3), Pat Morris (Philadelphia, Pa. 26/12);
MIDFIELDERS (6): Denison Cabral (Baltimore, Md., 14/5), Andrew Jacobson (Palo Alto, Calif., 6/0), Ptah Myers (Columbus, Ohio, 10/0), Sandre Naumoski (Philadelphia, Pa., 8/3), Andy Rosenband (Hammond, Ind., 8/1), Matthew Stewart (El Paso, Texas, 16/9);
FORWARDS (4): Mike Apple (Akron, Ohio, 7/1), Jamar Beasley (Fort Wayne, Ind. 24/7), Chile Farias (Los Angeles, Calif., 8/2), Brett Wiesner (Brookfield, Wis., 3/0).
*numbers indicate all-time caps/goals

SHOW ME THE FUTSAL: The Spanish-language network Galavision will be broadcasting games from the FIFA Futsal World Cup in the United States on a tape-delayed basis. Also, ESPN360.com will show all of the U.S. team’s group matches live.

U.S. Futsal TV Schedule

Date Opponent City Time (ET) TV
Oct. 2 Italy Rio de Janeiro 11:30 a.m. Live on ESPN360.com,
Taped Delay, Galavision (12:30-2 a.m. ET/PT, Oct. 3)
Oct. 4 Thailand Rio de Janeiro 9:30 a.m. Live on ESPN360.com
Oct. 6 Portugal Rio de Janeiro 9:30 a.m. Live on ESPN360.com,
Taped Delay, Galavision (12:30-2 a.m. ET/PT, Oct. 7)

GROUP B – ONE GAME IN: Tuesday's Group B opening matches also featured Italy just getting by a pesky Thailand side, 1-0. A goal from the penalty spot by Italian captain, Grana, was enough to give the Azzurri the victory. Thailand fought back and Alexandre Feller's outstanding acrobatic goalkeeping was the main reason that Italy managed to hold on for the narrow win. Portugal was idle during Tuesday's games, but that will change on Thursday when they open up against Paraguay in the early game at the Maracanãzinho.

Group B Standings
Team GP W L T GF GA GD Pts
Paraguay 1 1 0 0 5 0 +5 3
Italy 1 1 0 0 1 0 +1 3
Portugal 0 0 0 0 0 0 E 0
Thailand 1 0 1 0 0 1 -1 0
USA 1 0 1 0 0 5 -5 0

Sept. 30
Italy 1, Thailand 0
Paraguay 5, USA 0

Oct. 2
Portugal vs. Paraguay, 9:30 a.m. ET
USA vs. Italy, 11:30 a.m. ET

Oct. 4
Thailand vs. USA, 9:30 a.m. ET
Italy vs. Portgual, 11:30 a.m. ET

Oct. 6
Portugal vs. USA, 9:30 a.m. ET
Thailand vs. Paraguay, 11:30 a.m. ET

Oct. 8
Italy vs. Paraguay ,11:30 a.m. ET
Portugal vs. Thailand, 11:30 a.m. ET

For a full schedule of the 2008 FIFA Futsal World Cup, including all four groups, click here.

U.S. FIFA FUTSAL WORLD CUP HISTORY: The U.S. is competing in its fifth FIFA Futsal World Cup, with its first appearance coming at the inaugural tournament in 1989 where the Americans finished third. In 1992, the U.S. returned to the world stage, besting its performance from three years ago to finish second. Losing 4-1 in the final to Brazil, the 1992 team posted the best finish of any U.S. men's team at a FIFA competition a record which still stands.

FREE SCORING FUTSAL: After a day that saw Brazil beat Japan, 12-1, and Cuba defeat FIFA Futsal World Cup debutants, Solomon Islands, 10-1, the 2008 tournament is on pace to become the highest-scoring edition in history. An average of 7.75 goals per game is more than all five previous tournaments, though there's still a long way to go to maintain that rate.

EXPANDING THE POOL: For the first time ever, 20 nations will contest the FIFA Futsal World Cup and the participants have been split up into four groups of five teams. That means the U.S. will play four first round games, a slight difference from the traditional four-team groups of most major tournaments. The top two teams in each group advance to the second round, where an additional group phase commences. From there, the top two teams in groups E and F are placed into the semifinals, with the winners contesting the FIFA Futsal World Cup Final on October 19 in Rio de Janeiro.

OFFICIAL TAKE BLOG: U.S. Referee Jason Krnac is representing the United States at the FIFA Futsal World Cup in Brazil. He's blogging about his experience from Rio de Janeiro, including referee training, a visit to the Maracana and his first assignment: timekeeper for the match between Argentina and China on Wednesday, Oct. 1. Read all about his exploits in Brazil at the U.S. Soccer Referee blog: Official Take.

AGAINST THE AZZURRI: The U.S. Is 4-3-0 all time against the Italy Futsal Team, including 1-2-0 in FIFA Futsal World Cups. The last meeting between the two sides came in the opening match of the 2004 FIFA Futsal World Cup in Chinese Taipei, with the Europeans prevailing, 6-3. The earliest meeting between the two sides came in a 7-3 victory on Nov. 19, 1986. U.S. head coach Keith Tozer was a starter for the team that day.

SCOUTING THE OPPONENT: ussoccer.com sat down with U.S. Futsal National Team assistant coach, Vava Marques, to get his thoughts on the upcoming game against Italy. With a quick turnaround from the Paraguay game, ussoccer.com asked Vava about the mood of the team heading into tomorrow's big game. Listen to the full podcast here: http://podcast.ussoccer.com/10-01-08VavaScoutItaly.mp3

HOW THEY GOT HERE: Italy, runner up to Spain for the title in 2004, breezed through European qualifying earlier this year. Sporting a plus-27 goal differential after the group stage, the Italians defeated Croatia easily, 9-3, in the playoff round to ensure an easy passage to the FIFA Futsal World Cup. Former Futsal Player of the Year, Adriano Foglia, is still a prominent player for Italy and he is one of several native Brazilians who play for the Azzurri.

LAST TIME OUT:

On the court for the USA
Sept. 30, 2008 – The Maracanãzinho – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – FIFA Futsal World Cup, Group B

United States    0
Paraguay            5      Jose Luis Santander 7', Fabio Alcaraz 17', Robson Fernandez 20',
                                      Carlos Chilavert 23', Rene Villalba 39’

USA: 12-Jeff Richey; 2-Joe Hammes, 4-Jamar Beasley, 5-Denison Cabral (capt.) 11-Matthew Stewart
Subs: 7-Ptah Myers, 8-Chile Farias, 9-Andrew Jacobsen, 10-Sandre Naumoski, 13-Pat Morris, 14-Brett Wiesner
Subs not used: 1-Nick Vorberg
Head Coach: Keith Tozer

PAR: 1-Mario Gazolli; 3-Fabio Alcaraz, 5-Carlos Chilavert (capt.), 9-Robson Fernandez, 10-Walter Villalba
Subs: 2-Oscar Jara, 4-Rodolfo Roman, 6-Jose Luis Santander, 8-Jose Rotella, 11-Horacio Osorio, 14-Rene Villalba
Subs not used: 12-Carlos Espinola
Head Coach: Ruben Subeldia

On the court for Italy
Sept. 30, 2008 – The Maracanãzinho – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – FIFA Futsal World Cup, Group B

Italy             1     Grana 15'
Thailand    0

ITA: 1-Alexandre Feller; 4-Jocimar Jubanski, 6-Edgar Bertoni, 7-Marcio Forte, 13-Sandro Zanetti
Subs: 2-Grana (capt.),8-Saad Assis, 9-Fabiano, 10-Adriano Foglia, 14-Patrick Nora
Subs not used: 5-Cleyton Baptistella, 12-Farina
Head Coach: Allessandro Nuccorini

THA: 12-Surapong Tompa; 3-Natthapon Suttiroj, 6-Panomkorn Saisorn, 10-Eakapong Suratsawang, 13-Sermphan Khumthinkaew
Subs: 4-Panuwat Janta (capt.), 5-Lertchai Issarasuwipakorn, 8-Tanakorn Santanaprasit, 9-Prasert Innui
Subs not used: 1-Somkid Chuenta, 2-Parinya Pandee
Head Coach: Jose Pazos

Italy vs. USA
Nov. 21, 2004 – Linkou Gymnasium – Tao Yuan County, Chinese Taipei – FIFA Futsal World Cup, Group C

Italy     6     Adriano Foglia 13', 28', Edgar Bertoni 18', Grana 27', Pellegrini 35', Bertoni 39'
USA    3     Johnny Torres 11’, Todd Dusosky 26', Pat Morris 30'

ITA: 1-Gianfranco Angelini; 5-Salvatore Zaffiro (capt.), 6-Edgar Bertoni, 7-Vinicius Bacaro, 9-Fabiano
Subs: 2-Grana, 3-Pellegrini, 8-Andre Vicentini, 10-Adriano Foglia, 11-Morgado, 13-Sandro Zanetti
Subs not used: 12-Alexandre Feller, 4-Montovaneli, 14-Rodrigo Bertoni
Head Coach: Allessandro Nuccorini

USA: 1-Scott Hileman; 5-Todd Dusosky, 6-Sean Bowers (capt.), 8-Johnny Torres, 10-John Ball
Subs: 3-Lee Tschantret, 4-Jamar Beasley, 7-Pat White, 9-Greg Howes, 13-Joel Shanker, 14-Pat Morris
Subs not used: 12-Brett Phillips, 2-Andy Guastaferro, 11-Steve Butcher
Head Coach: Keith Tozer


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