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U.S. Futsal National Team Faces Must-Win Game against Thailand at 9:30 a.m. ET on Saturday, October 4


U.S. Futsal National Team Pre-Game Notes
2008 FIFA Futsal World Cup
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
October 3, 2008


POINTS OR ELIMINATION: The U.S. Futsal National Team continues its FIFA Futsal World Cup campaign when it faces Thailand for the first time ever on 9:30 a.m. ET on Saturday, Oct. 4 at the Maracanãzinho in Rio de Janeiro. Despite losing their first two games in Group B, against Paraguay and Italy, Keith Tozer's side still retains a hope of advancing to the next round. To do so, however, they need to earn points against the Thais, who went down to Italy, 1-0, in their first game. The match can be seen live on ESPN360.com or followed with live text updates on the MNT Blog on ussoccer.com.

Quick Hits:

  • Twelve players are eligible to dress for the United States in the game against Paraguay, meaning two players of the 14-man roster will be inactive.
  • The U.S. has never faced Thailand before.
  • Seven U.S. players are carrying bookings into the game against Thailand: Mike Apple, Jamar Beasley, Chile Farias, Joe Hammes, Andrew Jacobsen, Pat Morris and Andy Rosenband. If a player accumulates two yellow cards they must serve a ban for the next game.
  • Panomkorn Saisorn is suspended for Thailand, having been red carded during the loss against Italy. Lertchai Issarasuwipakorn, Surapong Tompa and Natthapon Suttiroj were all booked in the game as well.
  • Now in its fifth FIFA Futsal World Cup, the U.S. has played 27 matches all-time, going 12-11-4. See below for more FIFA Futsal World Cup history.
  • The loss against Italy dropped the U.S. to 4-3-2 in 2008.
  • The U.S. has scored 26 goals this year while conceding 27. Defender Matt Stewart is the USA's leading scorer with six goals to his credit.
  • Both Beasley and Morris are far and away the cap leaders on the FIFA Futsal World Cup squad. Morris has 27 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.
  • 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), 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., 7/0), Nick Vorberg (Grants Pass, Ore., 9/0);
DEFENDERS (2): Joe Hammes (Cedarburg, Wis., 13/3), Pat Morris (Philadelphia, Pa. 27/12);
MIDFIELDERS (6): Denison Cabral (Baltimore, Md., 14/5), Andrew Jacobson (Palo Alto, Calif., 7/0), Ptah Myers (Columbus, Ohio, 11/0), Sandre Naumoski (Philadelphia, Pa., 9/3), Andy Rosenband (Hammond, Ind., 9/2), Matthew Stewart (El Paso, Texas, 17/9);
FORWARDS (4): Mike Apple (Akron, Ohio, 8/1), Jamar Beasley (Fort Wayne, Ind. 24/7), Chile Farias (Los Angeles, Calif., 9/2), Brett Wiesner (Brookfield, Wis., 4/0).
*numbers indicate all-time caps/goals

GROUP B – TAKING SHAPE: Thursday's matches in Group B gave the table some shape, with Italy jumping out to a three point lead. Behind the Italians, Portugal and Paraguay are level with three points, while the U.S. and Thailand are behind them on zero.

Group B Standings

Team GP W L T GF GA GD Pts
Italy 2 2 0 0 7 1 +6 6
Portugal 1 1 0 0 3 2 +1 3
Paraguay 2 1 1 0 7 3 +4 3
Thailand 1 0 1 0 0 1 -1 0
USA 2 0 2 0 1 11 -10 0

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

Oct. 2
Portugal 3, Paraguay 2
USA 1, Italy 6

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 prior 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.

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 as the 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.

BRING THA RUCKUS: Thailand are a well-established team on the Futsal court, and they qualified for their third ever World Cup following a strong showing in the AFC Futsal Championship. The War Elephants, as they are known, marched all the way to the final before being narrowly defeated by Iran. Nonetheless, qualification was assured and Thailand quickly turned their sights to Brazil. Coached by Spaniard Jose Maria Pazos Mendez, the unpredictable Thai squad is a handful for any team, as they proved against Italy in the first game.

LAST TIME OUT:

On the court for the USA
Oct. 2, 2008 – The Maracanãzinho – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – FIFA Futsal World Cup, Group B

United States   1      Andy Rosenand 5'
Paraguay          6      Adriano Foglia 8', Sandro Zanetti 11', Patrick Nora 32', Grana 36',
                                    Edgar Bertoni 37', Saad Assis 40'

USA: 12-Jeff Richey; 6-Andy Rosenband, 7-Ptah Myers, 13-Pat Morris, 14-Brett Wiesner,
Subs: 2-Joe Hammes, 8-Chile Farias, 9-Andrew Jacobson, 10-Sandre Naumoski, 11-Matthew Stewart
Subs not used: 1-Nick Vorberg
Head Coach: Keith Tozer

ITA: 1-Alexandre Feller; 4-Jocimar Jubanski, 11-Morgado, 13-Sandro Zanetti, 14-Patrick Nora
Subs: 2-Grana (capt.), 3-Pellegrini, 6-Edgar Bertoni, 8-Saad Assis, 9-Fabiano, 10-Adriano Foglia,
Subs not used: 12-Farina
Head Coach: Alessandro Nuccorini


On the court for Thailand
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

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