5 Things to Know: Futsal National Team Aims for Third CONCACAF Futsal Championship

As the U.S Futsal National Team prepares for a two-game play-in series against Canada in San Jose, Costa Rica for a berth in next week’s CONCACAF Futsal Championship, here are five things to know about these crucial matches:

Inspired by the game of soccer, futsal is known for its fast pace as well as technical and tactical play in a confined space. The term futsal derives from the Spanish phrase “futbol de salon” which translates to “indoor soccer.” Futsal is a game that focuses on the technical skill of players and can serve as an excellent foundation for soccer players.




11 Players

Five players

Goalkeeper, Defender, Midfielder, Forward

Goalkeeper, Fixo, Alas, Pivot

Three substitutions

Unlimited substitutions

45-minute halves

20-minute halves



Size #5 Ball

Size #4 Ball

The U.S. will compete with Canada for a berth in the 2016 CONCACAF Futsal Championship, which begins on Sunday in San Jose, Costa Rica. The route to Group B is simple: the team that scores the most goals during the two-match play-in series will earn the final spot in Group B alongside host nation Costa Rica, Curacao and Cuba.

The men’s futsal competition will feature eight countries, six of which have already earned a berth in the tournament. The top four finishers will qualify for the 2016 FIFA Futsal World Cup to be held this September in Colombia.

The U.S. has competed in the CONCACAF Futsal Championship since its inception in 1996, which was also the year the team earned its first gold medal. All five appearances have been under the leadership of head coach Keith Tozer. The tournament was previously held in Costa Rica twice, where the U.S. placed well both years, earning bronze in 2000 and gold in 2004. The U.S. is tied with Costa Rica with two gold medals apiece, the most of any CONCACAF team. 

The U.S. and Canada both feature players who play professionally in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. The U.S. roster includes five players who participated in the 2012 CONCACAF Futsal Championship: Kraig Chiles, Patrick Healey, Bryan Perez, Nelson Santana and team captain Danny Waltman. Three players on the U.S. side look to earn their first international cap: Tony Donatelli, Adriano Dos Santos and Franck Tayou. 

Canada has made one appearance in the tournament’s history and finished in seventh place. The FNT defeated Canada 3-2 in the 2012 group stage of the tournament, with goals by Healey, Perez, and Chiles, all players on the 2016 tournament roster.

The play-in series kicks off at BN Arena in San Jose, Costa Rica on May 4, with the second match taking place on May 5, both at 10 p.m. ET. The aggregate score from both games determines which team qualifies for the CONCACAF tournament. In the result of a tie, two five-minute periods of extra time will be added at the end of the 40 minutes of regular play, followed by penalty kicks if the match remains at a draw.

The winner of the series will face Costa Rica in the first match of the Group Stage on Sunday, May 8 at 7:30 p.m. ET. Fans can follow the action on Twitter @ussoccer_ynt.

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