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U.S. Futsal Team Downs Honduras 5-1 to Open CONCACAF Qualifying

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (May 18, 2004) – The U.S. Futsal National Team kicked off their two-game Preliminary Round CONCACAF qualifying series against Honduras on Tuesday night with a 5-1 victory at U.S. Cellular Arena in Milwaukee, Wis. The U.S. were led by five different goal scorers in the match, and goalkeeper Scott Hileman allowed just one goal.

The second-game in the series is set for Thursday night at the same venue, with the winner of the aggregate goal series advancing to the eight-team CONCACAF Final Qualifying Tournament, which will be played in Costa Rica from July 23-31 and will determine the region’s two participants in the FIFA Futsal World Championship in Chinese Taipei from Nov. 21 - Dec. 5.

The USA's five goal scorers included the Major Indoor Soccer League's Lee Edgerton (Cleveland Force) and Danny Kelly (Baltimore Blast), both of whom were earning their first-ever international caps. With those two opening and closing the scoring, respectively, the remaining three goals came from veterans Joel Shanker (third goal, third cap), Johnny Torres (second goal, fourth cap) and Greg Howes (first goal, third cap).

In the other two match-ups between Northern Zone and UNCAF representatives in the Preliminary Round, Canada will face Panama and Mexico will square off against El Salvador.

At the CONCACAF Final Qualifying Tournament in Costa Rica, the three winners will join up with the host Costa Rica, Cuba, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago and Surinam.

The U.S. is looking to get back to the World Championship after not reaching the final tournament four years ago when they finished in third place at the CONCACAF qualifying tournament in 2000. The U.S. had qualified for the first three FIFA Futsal World Championships (in 1989, 1992 and 1996), finishing in the top three twice. The U.S. earned a third-place finish at the inaugural World Championship in Holland in 1989 and a second place finish at the 1992 event in Hong Kong, but failed to advance out of their group in Spain in 1996.

Under the direction of Tozer, who is the winningest coach in U.S. indoor history with over 500 victories, the U.S. won the 2003 Futsal Goal Cup held at the Anaheim Convention Center in December with CONCACAF rivals Mexico, Canada and Guatemala in attendance. The U.S. beat Canada 5-3 in their opening match, but fell to Guatemala 1-0 on an own goal in a hard fought match a day later. The U.S. bounced back against Mexico with a dominating 7-0 win, which combined with Canada pulling a 5-3 upset over Guatemala, gave the U.S. the championship.

Futsal is a sport that is a derivative of soccer and played with five-man teams on a basketball style court, with no walls and a low bouncing ball, unlike the traditional sport of U.S. indoor soccer played with a six-man squads and walls. Great soccer super stars such as Pele, Zico and Ronaldo grew up playing the game and credit Futsal with developing their skills.

- U.S. Futsal National Team Game Report -

Participants:  U.S. Futsal National Team vs. Honduras
Date: May 18, 2004
Competition: Game #1 - Two-Game Preliminary Round CONCACAF Qualifying Series
Venue: U.S. Cellular Arena; Milwaukee, Wis.
Kickoff: 7 p.m. CT
Attendance: 217

Scoring Summary:
                          1st     2nd     Final
United States     2         3          5
Honduras            0         1          1

USA –  Lee Edgerton  (Jamar Beasley)     6th minute
USA –  Johnny Torres      11.
USA –  Greg Howes (Danny Kelly)        21.
HON –  Luis Martinez               21.
USA –  Joel Shanker (Pat White)      26.
USA –  Danny Kelly (Giuliano Celenza)         35.

USA – USA: 1-Scott Hileman – 2-Lee Tschantret-C, 4-Greg Howes, 8-Giuliano Celenza, 11-Danny Kelly.
Subs Used – 3-Donny D’Ambra, 5-Johnny Torres, 6-Lee Edgerton, 7-Pat White, 9-Joel Shanker, 10-Jamar Beasley.
Subs not used: Brett Phillips, Nick Vorberg, Lovelace Ackah, John Ball, Lee Edgerton, Dewayne Gilpatrick, Brian Soell,
Head Coach: Keith Tozer

HON – 12-Henry Enamorado – 8-Luis Villars-C, 9-Luis Danercy Martinez, 14-Favio Gonzalez, 15-Dany Solis.
Subs used:  7-Guillermo Alvarado, 10-Héctor Cardona
Head Coach: David Turcios

Statistics Summary:   USA/HON
Shots: 24/22
Saves: 8/7
Corners: 5/4
Fouls: 2/5

Miconduct Summary:

R: Donald Campos (NCA)
R2: Carlos del Sid (GUA)