Five Things to Know: 2021 Concacaf Beach Soccer Championship
USA Looks to Qualify for 2021 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup
CHICAGO, Ill. (May 15, 2021) - U.S. Beach Soccer Men’s National Team will look to qualify for a sixth FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup at the 2021 Concacaf Beach Soccer Championship from May 17-23 in Costa Rica. The top two teams will earn spots that the World Cup, set to be played in Russia in August. Here are Five Things to Know About the tournament and qualifying:
The FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup debuted in 2005 and was played yearly until 2010. The next was held in 2013 and has been held every two years since. 2021 will be the 11th edition.
Regional qualifying was different for each of the first three World Cups. In 2005 and 2007, Concacaf and Conmebol combined to determine the participants. In 2006 and since 2008 on, Concacaf has held its own Beach Soccer Championships to qualify two nations for the World Cup. The USA has qualified for five Beach Soccer World Cups:
Concacaf entries at each World Cup:
2005: USA - Third place in combined Concacaf / Conmebol Tournament; Brazil defeated Uruguay in final, USA beat Argentina in 3rd Place match. All four qualified.
2006: USA - Winner, Concacaf Beach Soccer Championship
2007: USA - Winner, combined Concacaf / Conmebol Tournament. USA won the Concacaf Group, Mexico second; Uruguay won Conmebol Group, Argentina second. USA defeated Uruguay 4-3 in Final; Argentina defeated Mexico 6-5 for 3rd. All four qualified for the World Cup.
2008: Mexico - Winner, Concacaf Beach Soccer Championship; El Salvador - Runner up
2009: El Salvador - Winner; Costa Rica - Runner up
2010: Mexico - Winner; El Salvador - Runner up
2013: USA - Winner; El Salvador - Runner up
2015: Mexico - Winner; Costa Rica - Runner up
2017: Panama - Winner; Mexico - Runner up; Bahamas - World Cup host
2019: Mexico - Winner; USA - Runner up
 2021 FORMAT AND USA OPPONENTS:
Originally drawn as a 12-team field split into three groups of four, the 2021 Concacaf Championship is now an 11-field after Guadeloupe withdrew in April. It will be played entirely at the Costa Rica Federation complex in Alajuela. COMPLETE SCHEDULE
Group A: Mexico, Panama, Belize
Group B: El Salvador, Bahamas, Guatemala, Dominican Republic
Group C: USA, Costa Rica, Turks and Caicos Islands, Trinidad and Tobago
After round-robin play, the top two teams from each group and the two best third place teams advance to the Quarterfinals. The two semifinal winners will earn berths at the 2021 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Russia and play for the regional title.
May 17: USA v Turks & Caicos (4:30pm ET / 2:30pm local)
May 18: USA v Trinidad and Tobago (4:30pm ET / 2:30pm local)
May 19: USA v Costa Rica (6pm ET / 4pm local)
Quarterfinals May 21: 1C vs 2B; 2C vs 2A; if 3C…vs 1B or 1A
The USA and Costa Rica are appearing in their ninth Concacaf Beach Soccer Championship; Trinidad and Tobago are appearing in their fifth, while Turks and Caicos are here for a fourth time.
The USA won the tournament in 2006 and 2013 and were runners up in 2019.
Costa Rica were runners up in 2009 and 2015.
Trinidad and Tobago have advanced out of the group stage in the last three Championships.
Turks and Caicos are looking to advance to the knockout round for the first time.
The USA is 6-1 against Costa Rica in WCQ, including six in the stand-alone Concacaf Championships:
2006 Group: L USA 2-3 CRC
2007 Group: W USA 5-3 CRC (combined with Conmebol)
2008 Group: W USA 7-2 CRC
2009 Group: W USA 6-1 CRC
2010 Group: W USA 4-3 (pks) CRC; W 3rd Place: USA 7-5 CRC
2013 Semis: W USA 4-3 CRC
The USA defeated Trinidad and Tobago 5-1 in 2017 (Group) in the only WCQ meeting. The U.S. has never faced Turks and Caicos on sand.
Nick Perera scored versus Costa Rica in the 2013 semis, and Alessandro Canale scored twice in the win over T&T in 2017.
This is the second time Costa Rica has hosted Beach Championship and first since 2006, when current U.S. Head Coach Francis Farberoff led the USA to the title and earned tournament MVP honors.
U.S. Assistant coach Ben Astorga was T&T’s head coach in the 2017 Championship.
 USA STATS IN BEACH SOCCER WORLD CUP QUALIFYING
The USA has scored 201 goals in 39 combined games in the eight stand-alone Concacaf Championships - with the 2021 roster combining to score 62 of those goals.
Nick Perera is the USA’s all-time leading scorer with 99 international goals. He also has the USA record for most Concacaf Championship goals with 37, and most goals in an individual tournament after tallying 13 in 2019.
Farberoff holds the USA record for most WCQ games played (31) and for scoring in seven consecutive World Cup qualifying tournaments.
Top USA All-Time WCQ Goals (* current team):
*1st - Nick Perera 37 = 11 in 2013, 9 in 2015, 4 in 2017, 13 in 2019
Besides the high-flying bikes and small-sided fast action, the concept is the same as the traditional 11-a-side game. But there are a few unique things you’ll see on the beach version - some similar to futsal. You can find the Rules of the Game here, and a quick guide below:
The sand court measures about 30x40 yards, with goals around 18’x7’. Rosters are 12 deep, and games are played with one goalkeeper and four field players who can substitute on the fly.
Games are split into three 12-minute periods. If tied after 36 minutes, they play a three-minute overtime period. If still tied, it’s best of three penalties (or until a winner). Points for the group stage are: 3 points for win in regulation; 2 points for overtime win; 1 point for win in Pks.
Goalkeepers can only use their hands once per possession; Fouls anywhere on the court result in direct kicks, with no player permitted to stand between the ball and goal.
If a player is shown a red card, their team will play short-handed for two minutes or until the opponent scores.
 TEAMS QUALIFIED FOR RUSSIA 2021
The 16-field for the 2021 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup set for Aug. 19-29 in Moscow is slowly taking shape, however not all with the same qualification methods.
EUROPE: Russia is in as hosts. Four other European teams will qualify through competition this summer.
CONCACAF: Two teams will qualify from the Concacaf Beach Soccer Championships from May 17-23.
AFRICA: The CAF Beach Soccer Africa Cup of Nations will be played from May 23-29 in Senegal. The two finalists from the eight-team tournament qualify.
CONMEBOL: The qualifiers will be played June 26 to July 4 in Brazil, with the top three qualifying.
ASIA: The qualification tournament was cancelled. The AFC Executive Committee agreed to use the point system, which ranks the performances of the continent’s top eight teams in the last three editions of the AFC Beach Soccer Asian Cup. Based on the ranking of the point system, Japan, Oman and the United Arab Emirates received tickets.
OCEANA: The qualification tournament was also cancelled, so the OFC’s Executive Committee nominated Tahiti to represent Oceania at Russia 2021 as the highest-ranked OFC team, reigning continental champions and former FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup runners-up.