U.S. Futsal Blog: Legendary Preparation
It was a night for fine-tuning at the Megapaca futsal complex on Friday night as U.S. Futsal National Team head coach Keith Tozer’s squad played Guatemala Futsal League club Legendarios in a closed-door scrimmage. The U.S. won 5-1 with goals from Bato Radoncic, Ptah Myers, Nelson Santana, Kraig Chiles and Matthew Stewart.
The U.S. is two days out from its first match of the 2012 CONCACAF Championship, where the team will seek to earn a berth at the 2012 FIFA Futsal World Cup later this year.
Radoncic put the U.S. on the board first when Stewart sent a corner kick back down the sideline to Pat Healey. Healey served in a quick cross to the middle of the goalmouth where Radoncic was lurking, beating his defender for the one-time deflection into the net.
Stewart, the team captain, once again instigated the goal sequence on the second U.S. goal, pressuring a confident Legendarios goalkeeper who had come out past the midfield line and was holding the ball. Stewart’s pressure caused the goalkeeper to turn the ball over and Myers sprinted onto it, beating his defender in the footrace. With the defender on his heels, Myers managed to tap the ball forward before the goalkeeper could recover, sending it into the open goal from just past midfield.
The final goal of the first half initiated with Radoncic holding the ball in the middle and dishing it to Stewart on the right. Stewart timed his square pass perfectly for Santana, was making the run to the far post. Santana ran onto the ball with speed, slamming it home from six feet out.
Legendarios regained their composure during the break, opening the second half scoring by taking advantage of some miscommunication between U.S. goalkeeper Boris Pardo and midfielder Angel Rivillo. Rivillo and the Legendarios attacker battled for the 50-50 ball, with the Guatemalan player winning the ball and hitting it toward the goal as Pardo came out to cut off the angle. The ball slid under Pardo and Myers was unable to sprint back to stop it from crossing over the goal line.
The U.S. responded with two unanswered goals. Lucas Stauffer passed the ball up the right flank to Sandre Naumoski who passed it straight up to Chiles. Chiles let the ball run toward the endline, pulling the goalkeeper out before sending it in from a tight angle.
Stewart sealed the score line for the U.S. as he correctly read an attacking play and intercepted the ball. He carried the ball up the middle, passing it to the left for Chiles who returned it with a deft wall pass for Stewart finish from close range.