CHICAGO (Oct. 25, 2019) – U.S. Men’s Beach Soccer National Team head coach Eddie Soto has called in 15 players for the team’s two friendly matches in Tahiti against the hosts next week. The games will serve as a final evaluation before the 12-player roster is decided ahead of the 2019 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, which kicks off Nov. 21 in Asuncion, Paraguay.
The USA will depart for Tahiti on Oct. 27 and play its fellow World Cup participant on Oct. 30 (9 p.m. CT) and again on Nov. 1 (8 p.m. CT) at Park Aorai Tinihau in Pirae, Tahiti, French Polynesia.The USA was drawn into Group A at the World Cup and will face Switzerland on Nov. 21, Japan on Nov. 23 and Paraguay on Nov. 25.
U.S. Men’s Beach Soccer NT Tahiti Camp Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Juan Cervantes (Los Angeles, Calif.), Chris Toth (Fallbrook, Calif.),
DEFENDERS (6): Chris Albiston (Virginia Beach, Va.), Adriano Dos Santos (Baltimore, Md.), Fredo Dilbert (Miami, Fla.), Ryan Futagaki (Huntington Beach, Calif.), Oscar Reyes (Santa Ana, Calif.), Jason Santos (Cardiff by the Sea, Calif.)
FORWARDS (7): Alessandro Canale (Venice, Calif.), Jason Leopoldo (Scottsdale, Ariz.), David Mondragon (Santa Cruz, Calif.) Nick Perera (Carlsbad, Calif.), Lucas Roque (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), Gabriel Silveira (San Francisco, Cali.), Franck Tayou (Las Vegas, Nev.)
Also known as the “Tiki Toa,” Tahiti was runner-up in both the 2015 and 2017 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cups. The French Polynesian island hosted the 2013 FIFA Beach Soccer World and in June won the Oceana Nations Cup to qualify for a fifth consecutive Beach Soccer World Cup.
Tahiti has won all three meetings against the USA on sand. The team’s first met at the 2012 Intercontinental Cup in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, with the Tiki Toa taking a 4-3 win. Tahiti and the USA squared off in Group B of the 2013 World Cup with the hosts claiming the 5-3 overtime win. The last meeting was at the 2018 Intercontinental Cup last November in Dubai, where the USA again fell in overtime, dropping a 6-7 result.
The roster includes 11 of the 12 players that helped the USA qualify for the World Cup by finishing second in the 2019 Concacaf Beach Soccer Championship in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico: Cervantes, Toth, Dos Santos, Mondragon, Reyes, Santos, Canale, Futagaki, Leopoldo, Perera and Tayou.
The only player absent from the Concacaf Championship roster is Taner Akol, who sustained a knee injury at the 2019 ANOC World Beach Games qualifying tournament in El Salvador in August.
Albiston, Dilbert and Silveira were also part of the team that played Tahiti in Dubai in 2018, along with Reyes, Perera, Leopoldo, Toth, Canale, Cervantes and Mondragon.
Roque, who was also part of the domestic camp in September, makes his return to competitive beach soccer for the first time since a knee injury sideline him after the 2017 Puerto Vallarta Cup.
Cervantes, Reyes and Santos have participated in all seven camps in 2019.