CHICAGO (Oct. 27, 2004) — United States Futsal National Team head coach Keith Tozer has announced the 14-player roster for the FIFA Futsal World Championship 2004 in Chinese Taipei from Nov. 21 to Dec. 5.
“It’s one of the most exciting times for everyone involved. It’s not everyday that you get to coach or play in a world cup for your country,” said Tozer, who leads the team into his first FIFA event with a 20-10-6 record as head coach. “We understand that for us to be successful, defense is probably going to be the most important factor going over to Chinese Taipei. Our preparation, both prior to and during the competition, will also be a main factor.
“It’s extremely important that we have had a lot of competition over the last two years. We’ve been to Los Angeles twice to play Mexico and Guatemala. We’ve had Honduras here in Milwaukee, we’ve had a trip to Brazil, we’ve had several different training camps and I think that our preparation is on track for the world championship.”
All but one of the 14 players on the U.S. roster play in the MISL, with retired Baltimore Blast goalkeeper Scott Hileman the only player not active in the league this season. The players heading to Chinese Taipei represent eight MISL teams, who will release their players for the length of the tournament.
The Milwaukee Wave lead all teams with four representatives on the squad, while the Philadelphia Kixx and San Diego Sockers send two each. The Baltimore Blast, Chicago Storm, Cleveland Force, Kansas City Comets and St. Louis Steamers will each be represented by one player.
The roster features 12 players with experience in CONCACAF world championship qualifying matches this year, and 10 of the 14 players traveled to Costa Rica in late July as the U.S. won the CONCACAF Futsal Championship while qualifying for the Taipei Tournament.
U.S. captain Sean Bowers is the only player with previous experience in a FIFA Futsal World Championship, having traveled to Spain for the 1996 tournament. The second most capped player in team history with 29 appearances, Bowers anchors the U.S. defense and has scored five international goals.
The longest tenured player on the squad is goalkeeper Brett Phillips, who made his first appearance on Feb. 1, 1995 in a 7-4 victory vs. Australia. Phillips, who is expected to split time in net with Hileman, was honored as the top goalkeeper of the 2004 CONCACAF Futsal Championship.
The U.S. will depart for Chinese Taipei on Nov. 14 and their first game will be played one week later. The U.S., which qualified by winning the 2004 CONCACAF Futsal Championship in July in Costa Rica, was drawn into Group C with Italy, Japan and Paraguay. The U.S. opens play in Tao Yuan County on Nov. 21 vs. Italy, and will play their second match vs. Paraguay on Nov. 23. The U.S. will close group play vs. Japan on Nov. 25 in Taipei City, the nation’s capital. The top two teams from each of four groups advance to the knockout stage of the tournament, which will begin on Nov. 27
With their appearance in November, the U.S. will have taken part in four of the five FIFA Futsal World Championships after missing out in 2000. At the first two World Championship events in 1989 and 1992, the U.S. finished third and second, respectively. The 1989 team was the first at any level for men or women to place in the top three at a FIFA event since the 1930 men's World Cup team. Beaten in the final by Brazil in 1992 by a 4-1 margin, the U.S. Futsal team posted the best finish of any U.S. Soccer men’s team at a FIFA event.
Futsal is a derivative of soccer 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 superstars such as Pele, Zico and Ronaldo grew up playing the game and credit futsal with helping to develop their skills.
U.S. Futsal Roster
FIFA Futsal World Championship 2004
Chinese Taipei – Nov. 21-Dec. 5, 2004
Roster by Position:
Goalkeepers (2): Scott Hileman, Brett Phillips (St. Louis Steamers)
Defenders (3): Sean Bowers (San Diego Sockers), Lee Tschantret (Baltimore Blast), Pat White (Milwaukee Wave);
Midfielders (7): John Ball (Cleveland Force), Jamar Beasley (Kansas City Comets), Steve Butcher (San Diego Sockers), Andy Guastaferro (Chicago Storm), Pat Morris (Philadelphia Kixx), Joel Shanker (Philadelphia Kixx), Johnny Torres (Milwaukee Wave)
Forwards (2): Todd Dusosky (Milwaukee Wave), Greg Howes (Milwaukee Wave)
Alternates: Don D’Ambra (Philadelphia Kixx), Giuliano Celenza (Baltimore Blast), Nino DaSilva (St. Louis Steamers), Jeff Davis (Kansas City Comets), Troy Dusosky (Milwaukee Wave), Bryan Finnerty, Danny Kelly (Baltimore Blast), Nino Marcantonio (Milwaukee Wave), Chris Morman (Milwaukee Wave), Matt Schmidt (Milwaukee Wave), Brian Soell (Kansas City Comets), Matt Tanzini (Kansas City Comets), Nick Vorberg (Milwaukee Wave)
Head Coach: Keith Tozer (Mequon, Wis.)
Assistant Coach: Vilmar “Vava” Marques (Mountain View, Calif.)
Head of Delegation: Alex Para (Berkeley, Calif.)
Team Coordinator: Bryan Koch (Greenfield, Wis.)
Medical Trainers: Michael McCormick (Chicago, Ill.), Jeff Thomas (Chicago, Ill.)
Team Physician: Dave Garelick (Chicago, Ill.), Geoffrey Kuhlman (Willowbrook, Ill.)