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2013 U.S. Beach Soccer

U.S. Beach Soccer Kicks off 2013 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Tahiti on Thursday

USA Opens Group A Play Against Spain, with Broadcast Live on ESPN3

CHICAGO (Sept. 19, 2013) – The U.S. Beach Soccer National Team kicks off the 2013 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup on Thursday against Spain in Papeete, Tahiti. The Group A match begins at 4 p.m. local (10 p.m. ET) and will be streamed live on ESPN3. Game updates will also be provided on Twitter @ussoccer_ynt. This marks the USA’s fourth appearance in the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, previously competing in the 2005, 2006 and 2007 tournaments.

This year’s squad hopes to do what its predecessors have failed to do – advance past the group stage. Here is a look back at the U.S. Beach Soccer National Team’s previous three World Cups:

2005 Beach Soccer World Cup; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: The USA went 0-2-0 in the Group B stage and was eliminated after two games. The U.S. fell 3-2 to Japan on May 9 to open the tournament. Benyam Astorga scored a goal in the opening minute and Eduardo Testa scored an equalizer after Japan scored back-to-back goals. But the USA had to play the remainder of the match without Astorga, who picked up two yellow cards in the opening period. The U.S. then had a daunting task against Portugal and dropped a 9-3 decision on May 10. Portugal, the eventual runner-up in the tournament, darted out to a 7-0 lead. The USA would eventually find the scoring column with Christian Braga, Astorga and Francis Farberoff each netting a goal. Portugal advanced to the title game against France, and after a 3-3 stalemate, France won the championship on penalties.

2006 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: The U.S. garnered its first win in a FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, but it was not enough in a difficult Group A that featured eventual champion Brazil. The USA opened the tournament with an 8-4 loss to Japan on Nov. 2 but rebounded with a 4-2 victory against Poland three days later. Anthony Chimienti scored two goals for the U.S., with Brendon Taguinod and Benyam Astorga also contributing toward the USA’s first victory. Astorga’s 19th-minute tally proved to be the winner. On Nov. 7, Brazil scored the game’s first five goals and topped the U.S. 10-6. Raphael Xexeo netted a hat trick, Astorga had two goals and Taguinod scored the game’s final goal.

2007 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: In a similar pattern as the previous year’s World Cup, the U.S. Beach Soccer National Team dropped its Group B opener 8-4, this time to Spain, on Nov. 2. The USA kept its tournament very much alive two days later with a 7-6 victory against Iran. Joshua Nolz and Anthony Chimienti each scored two goals and Zak Ibsen’s 34th-minute goal was the game-winner. The third group stage match against Portugal was an exciting one as the USA overcame a 4-1 deficit with four straight goals to take a 5-4 lead late in regulation. However, just seconds after Jevin Albuquerque’s go-ahead goal, Portugal’s Madjer scored an equalizer to send the game to overtime, where Bilro tallied the winner and eliminated the U.S. from the tournament.