CHICAGO (May 9, 2019) – U.S. Beach Soccer National Team head coach Eddie Soto has finalized the USA’s 12-man roster for the 2019 Concacaf Beach Soccer Championship, which will be played in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico from May 13-19. The top two teams will qualify for the 2019 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, to be held in Paraguay this November.
The USA will face Bahamas, Antigua and Barbuda and Bonaire in Group C play:
- Mon., May 13 vs. Bonaire (5:45 p.m. ET)
- Wed, May 15 vs. Antigua and Barbuda (4:30 p.m. ET)
- Thur., May 16 vs. Bahamas (7 p.m. ET).
The top two teams from each of the four groups will advance to the knockout stage. The two finalists will qualify for the 2019 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup.
Soto’s group carries a wealth of experience in this competition. Forwards Ryan Futagaki, Jason Leopoldo, Nick Perera and goalkeeper Chris Toth were all on the 2013 Concacaf Beach Championship winning side that qualified the USA for its last FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup berth.
U.S. Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Juan Cervantes (Los Angeles, Calif.), Chris Toth (Fallbrook, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (5): Oscar Reyes (Santa Ana, Calif.), Jason Santos (Cardiff by the Sea, Calif.), Adriano Dos Santos (Baltimore, Md.), David Mondragon (Santa Cruz, Calif.), Tanner Akol (Santa Cruz, Calif.)
FORWARDS (5): Alessandro Canale (Venice, Calif.), Ryan Futagaki (Huntington Beach, Calif.), Jason Leopoldo (Scottsdale, Ariz.), Nick Perera (Carlsbad, Calif.), Franck Tayou (Las Vegas, Nev.)
“The last cycle we were one game shy of going to the World Cup, so that weighed heavily on the group and the experience that we have,” Soto said of the assembling the roster. “It was a process. We have a lot of young guys that have been coming into the mix that have shown really well, and I think these guys are ready. Having a mixture of these young guys like Tanner Akol and David Mondragon are going to meld well with some of our veterans like Nick Perera and Chris Toth.”
- Soto has been coach of the USA’s last five Concacaf Beach Soccer Championships, starting with the 2009 tournament. The team is undefeated in group play during his tenure (14-0), has advanced to the semifinals four times, and won the 2013 title with a 5-4 overtime win over El Salvador in the championship match.
- Ryan Futagaki is the most experienced player on the team, making his sixth consecutive Concacaf Championship roster (2009, 2010, 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2019).
- Jason Leopoldo, Nick Perera and Chris Toth are on their fourth Qualifying tournament roster (2013, 2015, 2017, 2019); Alessandro Canale and Jason Santos are on their third (2015, 2017, 2019); Juan Cervantes and Oscar Reyes also return from the 2017 team.
- Perera is the USA’s all-time leading scorer in World Cup Qualifying with 24 goals in three tournaments, including one four-goal game and four hat tricks.
- Canales is tied for fifth all-time in qualifying with 11 goals, including a team-leading nine in the 2017 tournament.
- Four players are coming off the recently completed Major Arena League Soccer (MASL) season: Perera (player/coach, Tacoma Stars), Toth (Ontario Fury), Adriano Dos Santos (Baltimore Blast) and Franck Tayou (Monterrey Flash).
- Perera and Tayou have won the last four MASL Most Valuable Player awards: Tayou for 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18, and Perera for the recently completed 2018-19 season.
- Tayou, who is making his Beach National Team debut, has led the MASL in goals in each of the past four regular seasons, totaling 47, 57, 71 and 50 in each, respectively.
- Dos Santos was one of three finalists for the MASL Defender of the Year. Along with Perera, he was named First Team All-MASL.
- Toth was the 2016-17 and 2017-18 MASL Goalkeeper of the Year and joined Tayou on those season’s First Team All-MASL honors.
GROUPS AT THE CONCACAF BEACH CHAMPIONSHIP:
Group A – Mexico, Costa Rica, Jamaica, Guatemala
Group B – Panama, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos, U.S. Virgin Islands
Group C – USA, Bonaire, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas
Group D – El Salvador, Guadalupe, Belize, Gyana
The top two teams in each group after round robin play advance to the quarterfinals. The two finalists will qualify for the 2019 FIFA Beach World Cup in Paraguay.
HISTORY OF BEACH CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFYING:
The first official FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup was held in 2005 and played every year for the first five years. Teams from Concacaf and Conmebol combined for an ‘Americas Championship’ to determine its four participants for the inaugural Beach World Cup.
Concacaf held its first stand-alone Beach Soccer Championship as a World Cup qualifying tournament in 2006, before the two confederations joined again in 2007. Since then Concacaf has held its own Championship, including in 2008 and 2009. The FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup has been a bi-annual event since 2011, with Concacaf holding Beach Championships in 2010 (for the 2011 World Cup), 2013, 2015, 2017 and this year.
Winners of the seven stand-alone Concacaf Beach Soccer Championships: USA (2006, 2013); Mexico (2008, 2010, 2015); El Salvador (2009); Panama (2017)
USA QUALIFYING AND WORLD CUP HISTORY:
The U.S. has qualified for four of nine FIFA Beach World Cups all-time: 2005 Brazil, 2006 Brazil, 2007 Brazil and 2013 Tahiti.
- 2005 America’s Beach Soccer Championship – Third Place (defeated Argentina) to qualify for the inaugural 12-team 2005 FIFA Beach World Cup.
- 2006 Concacaf Beach Championship – Champions of the inaugural Concacaf Beach Championship (Top of the group).
- 2007 Combined Concacaf / Conmebol tournament – Won the Concacaf Group and defeated Uruguay in the ‘final.’
- 2013 Concacaf Beach Championship – Champions (defeated El Salvador, 5-4, in the final in overtime).
The USA did not qualify for the 2008 FIFA World Cup in France, 2009 in United Arab Emirates, 2011 in Italy, 2013 in Portugal, or 2015 in Bahamas.